Cro-Nutting, v. The Art of Frying That Which Should Not Be Fried.
Truth – I don’t like to fry, deep fry, stuff in my apartment. A few good reasons…
It’s a bit messy and the hot oil can escape the cauldron and dirty surrounding cabinets and counters.
- When the frying is over and after you’ve overindulged in a good fried treat, you’re left with a large vat of used oil and no where to dispose of it…OK, you’re supposed to put in into an empty coffee tin and freeze it before throwing away…But, I think you have to go back to 1985 to find an empty coffee tin.
- The frying leaves a certain odor – note, not really aroma, but odor – in your tiny living space and on your furniture, walls, carpets, floors and towels.
- OH, yeah….and technically frying anything is super fattening.
So, I only fry during away games. Listen, I’m a great house guest. Someone even recently named me guest of the decade. I mean, I keep a clean room, cook, entertain people’s kids, run errands and always wash my sheets and towels before my departure. So, letting me do a little frying in your kitchen seems like a small price to pay.
On a recent visit to the middle – that space between New York City and LA where my brother and his people live – I decided to entertain my two favorite teenagers with a frying bonanza.
Prior to my arrival, I emailed the kids with some culinary options that we could deep fry in their large suburban kitchen.
But the only thing they wanted was….Cronuts, the croissant/donut hybrid that is all the rage in NYC right now, a treat that is not yet available in Cincy.
The attention span of any teenager is similar to that of an ant – even my incredibly intellectually advanced niece and nephew. So, I knew that creating cronuts from scratch wouldn’t be an option. I did some research and decided the best way to go would be to cronut frozen croissants from Trader Joe’s.
Tiny Apartment Tips:
- Don’t deep fry in your apartment for reasons already outlined above
- Do be the best guest to earn the privilege to deep fry when guesting outside of the city
Cro-Nutted TJ’s Croissnts (servings…really, no one should eat any of these, so at a serving size of one bite, this’ll make about 24)
1 Box Trader Joe’s frozen croissants – they come 8 to a box – AND the box says ‘Mini’…but, they are not mini
- 1 Large Cauldron of vegetable oil – about 1 1/2 – 2 inches deep
- 1 Candy Thermometer – I’ve been trying to find the one that has the temp taker attached to a long cord vs the glass one that clips to the side of the cauldron…but, haven’t found it yet. LMK if you have any ideas
- 1 Fry Spider kitchen tool – readily available everywhere and a kitchen must
- 1 Tub of Dolci Frutti Chocolate hard chocolate shell OR A Jar of Nutella Hazelnut Spread
1. The night before you want to make these ridiculously caloric and fat heavy treats…You have to take the frozen Trader Joe’s Croissants out of the package, separate, set on a plate and let sit out overnight. The frozen croissants magically rise while you’re sleeping and double in size – again, not mini
2. Pour 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil into a large, deep cauldron….Or big pot
3. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. OK, maintaining 350 degrees is tricky – so, heat the oil higher, then turn it way down. Oil must be between 325 – 350, so keep checking that now dangerously hot glass candy thermometer that’s clipped to the side of the cauldron and adjust the stove as needed
4. Using a tiny (1 inch) biscuit cutter (remember, buy the full set of biscuit cutters that nest) cut the croissants into little bite-sized pieces
5. Gently…very gently….using a spider or other good frying tool…lower the croissant cut-outs into the scalding oil
6. Fry each side for about a minute – you’ll know when to flip cuz they brown up nicely
7. Remove the friedness from the oil and transfer to a paper towel to blot the excess oil – this is a step that just makes you feel better…but really, these are fried, so get over it.
8. While frying, in the microwave melt up some of those Dolci Frutti chocolate shell chocolate chips
9. Once the Cro-Nutted Croissants are quasi cooled – hand them along with the melty chocolate to your niece and nephew who can then spoon chocolate-y goodness over the deep fried delight
10. Eat….But eat only one, seriously
I always gain about 500lbs when I go to the middle…Or does just the fat go to the middle, whatever. But, you can’t put a price on entertaining kids with the art of deep frying. And, if you want to feel a little better, Cro-Nutted Croissants are technically vegetarian. Just remember to be a good guest and clean up. You don’t want to lose your fry-privileges.