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My descent into lockdown madness is complete

I bought a spiralizer. It came today.

I know what you’re thinking and it’s a filthy lie. I do not intend to make zoodles. I tried them once. As an interesting experiment in oven-roast zucchini, it would probably be okay. As a substitute for pasta, shit’s nasty.

No, I had a sudden and terrible craving for spicy curly fries. Can’t get them here. For all I know, you don’t eat them there any more, either.

There are a bunch of recipes floating around. I’m going to try baked rather than deep fried. Deep fryers scare me. I did a stint at Dunkin Donuts – the kitchen had a tile floor slippery with wet flour and I was sure some day I was going to slip and plunge my arm up to the shoulder in the Fryolater.

I have a vivid imagination when it comes to pain.

I couldn’t try a recipe at lunchtime. I remembered I had chicken stock that really needed to be made into soup, so I spiralized the hell out of all my soup vegetables. I liked the texture and it cut cooking time way down.

Any good spiralizer ideas?

p.s. I also bought a strawberry corer, but it’ll be three months until strawberry season. Look out – I’m a madwoman!


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: March 17, 2021, 8:34 pm

“Look out – I’m a madwoman!”

I endorse this message.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 17, 2021, 10:33 pm

This will make you sad, and I’m sorry. Arby’s (the roast beef fast food restaurant) still serves curly fries and I always get them. They also serve (this is the part that will make you sad) Loaded Curly Fries, which includes cheddar cheese sauce, and Ranch dressing drizzled all over the fries, then topped with lots of crispy pieces of fried bacon. It’s about 700 calories and the sodium content is outta sight. I’ve never ordered the Loaded Curly Fries because when I croak I don’t want it to be from Arby’s LCF.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: March 17, 2021, 11:40 pm

…it’ll be three months until strawberry season…

Huh? Strawberries all winter long here. $2.00-$2.50/lb, then on sale for $1.49 and last week for $0.99. And not flown in from Chile or Peru like the grapes.

I wonder what is the difficulty over there.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: March 18, 2021, 12:00 am

We’re enjoying Peak Strawberry here in Florida. Four bucks for two big punnets. Yum!

Does a spiralizer works on meat? I’m thinking of DC swamp rat meat.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 18, 2021, 2:10 am

Carl’s Jr made the best curly fries…but alas no more. I make sweet potato curly fries in the oven…if you have a convection oven then you are home & hosed.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 18, 2021, 10:05 am

Okay, sue me. You won’t need a spiralizer for this.
And really, short of making curly fries, there’s no reason for anyone to have a spiralizer.

Spaghetti Squash Scampi, with shrimp. Is a very very passable substitute for pasta. And it really does come out a lot like spaghetti.

But let’s be honest, there IS no substitute for good pasta.

We experimented with the spiralizer(s). Apart from making interesting things out of cucumber that remind me of old time popcorn stringing, meh.
Or perhaps making carrot strings, if you like carrot strings.

Now the dicer, THAT gets used all the time.
And the mandolin slicer, though ya know, apart from dehydrating, most of these fancy kitchen gadgets are only useful for attractive presentation of food you’re probably serving to guests.

So they’re all Goesundas. They go under some other kitchen tool you bought and stuck in the closet or in the kitchen gadget junk drawer.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: March 18, 2021, 10:18 am

RR – ‘strawberries’ all year round here, too. Sadly, though, they are imported from Spain (for the most part) where scientists have laboured long and hard to perfect varieties and growing techniques that produce fruit either with no flavour at all, or something distinctly sinister.

They are not worth wasting money on, I’m afraid. Better to await locally grown fruit that actually tastes of something.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 18, 2021, 12:59 pm

If I had a spiralizer
I’d spiralize in the morning
I’d spiralize in the evening
I’d probably spiralize my hand (Hope Not!)
I’d spiralize a carrot
I’d spiralize a potato
I’d spiralize Carl’s Curly Fries®️ for
All the Weasels and the Badgers
All over Eng-Land!

Comment from drew458
Time: March 18, 2021, 4:15 pm

Try not to be afraid of deep frying. If the weather isn’t too cold or wet, do it outside away from the house. A fairly inexpensive electric skillet is all you need. Keeps the right temp automatically. Oh, and some oil. Grapeseed oil is the current favorite of fryers and cast iron lovers, inexpensive, very high smoke point with very little flavor.

One secret to making good fries is to parboil them a little first, then let them cool and dry off. All kinds of info online.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 18, 2021, 4:26 pm

Uncle B….obviously the same Top Men who developed the “hot house/tomatoes on the vine” sold in the winter that taste like disappointment.

@Some Veg Bravo!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 18, 2021, 7:15 pm

Thing is, durned, aside from taste, texture is the most important thing in a food to me. So something that makes food a different shape is potentially a good thing.

My curly fries, however, were disgusting. That’s because our oven never gets up to temp. So I took what was leftover and fried it for lunch. Much better.

BJM, my control panel told me you had a couple of messages in the holding queue, but I couldn’t find them.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: March 18, 2021, 8:54 pm

That’ll be them, BJM! Fruit from France and Italy tends to be fine, but Spanish produce is just a waste of money. We do get stuff flown in from Chile to cater for the out of season market and some of it is OK, but quite expensive.

Meanwhile, I have freezers full of gooseberries, rhubarb and other home grown delights! Greedy ol’ badger…

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 18, 2021, 9:07 pm

But, strawberry rhubarb pie!

I wonder how that would work with gooseberries.

Now, the Instant Pot, that gets used, constantly, and the air fryer, and the little dicer gadget, all constantly.
Spinny vegetable lathe device? Not so much.

Comment from Tim Carlson
Time: March 18, 2021, 11:48 pm

It’s a good thing Lorena Bobbitt didn’t have a spiralizer …

Comment from BJM
Time: March 19, 2021, 12:49 am

@Stoaty…Hmmmm…I don’t think anything went astray. I did have some odd goings-on during preview recently.

@Durned…Have you tried an Instapot cheesecake yet?

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 19, 2021, 2:03 am

@BMJ – ooooooo. NO!
We’ve been using Jeff Eisner’s book, and his web site

We’ve had great luck with, of all things, potato salad and just yesterday the Chicken Cacciatori. Many of his recipes have lots of my favorite ingredients, like mushrooms.

And of course Uncle Al’s “Rachel” sandwich was lunch a couple times this week.

Roasting a whole chicken, which was not one of Eisner’s and was more steamed than roasted, but made for good chicken salad later.

But cheese cake, sounds like a must try! I didn’t anticipate doing a lot of cooking as part of my retirement, but about 3:00 PM sees me starting supper most days.

I go on ‘culture’ benders. It was Japanese for a while, then German, then Korean, lately it’s been Indian (subcontinent).
Much to my surprise they all liked Wednesday’s Saag Paneer.
The fact that we have so many Desi strip mall stores now has made finding proper ingredients a cinch.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 19, 2021, 2:07 am

BJM! OMG – pressureluckcooking has recipes for peanut butter fudge ripple cheesecake, a dulce de leche and a blintz souffle!

Oh goody….heh.

Did I forget to mention crepes and German pancakes for breakfasts?
It’s a wonder I don’t weigh 250 pounds.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 19, 2021, 5:03 pm

@Durned…if you enjoy Saag Paneer you gonna love Saag Gosht. Punjabi cuisine is my fav. Years ago I took a cooking course from Madhur Jaffery…here’s her recipe. I add paneer during the last 20 minutes of simmering. All ya need is steamed rice or naan and a cold beer.

Comment from musical mountaineer
Time: April 16, 2021, 4:21 pm

I had a bumper crop of zukes and crooknecks last season. I don’t mind the fresh ingredients in a sauce or soup, but you can’t preserve them in that form. I needed a preservation technique.

I sliced my squash thin and put it in the food dryer. As the article you linked says, zuke is 90+% water. With the water out, the stuff keeps indefinitely on the shelf.

And it cooks SO MUCH BETTER! Make a stew, toss in some dried squash at the end, and it comes out with a toothsome leathery texture and undiminished flavor. I’m surprised the zoodle article, which mentions that water content is a problem, doesn’t consider this. It works.

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