Remember the power of ONE for a light, crisp batter. I use any kind of summer squash I have growing in the garden -- zucchini, Yellow Crookneck, Patty Pan, 8 Ball, Papaya Pear, Sunburst, ... . IMO, the best size for frying is when the seeds have begun to develop but before they've gotten large and hard. The immature seeds add depth to the flavor. Cooking time will vary with the size of your frying utensil.
- Clean and cut up zucchini/squash. I like to cut them into sticks rather than slices because that shape fries more evenly in deep fat without need of turning.
- Pre-heat oven to 250.
- Prepare an oven-proof pan by lining it with several paper towels.
- Either heat your deep fryer to the temperature recommended for fried squash in its manual or heat 2 inches of frying grease (I prefer a 50-50 mix of oil and shortening), in your preferred, stove-top, frying utensil -- mine is a cast iron chicken fryer -- until a drop of water thrown into the grease sizzles vigorously but not violently.
- While the grease is heating beat the egg in a shallow bowl. Beat in the milk, seasonings, and finally the flour. The batter will be thin and may have a few lumps.
- Toss a skillet's worth of squash sticks in the batter and coat thoroughly.
- When the grease is ready carefully drop in the battered sticks, being sure not to drop them right on top of each other. If you are in doubt of your ability to do this without burning yourself use tongs.
- Yes, the thin batter will have drippy bits that dangle from the sticks and there will be a lot of little, batter crispies in the grease. The drippy bits are what makes this batter light and crisp where a thicker batter might be heavy.
- If necessary turn the pieces over partway through so as to brown them evenly.
- When nicely brown transfer the sticks to the prepared pan and put them into the oven while you fry the next batch. Do not try to fry too much at once or the temperature of the grease will drop and the coating will end up soggy and greasy.
- When the squash is done serve with grated Parmesan at the table.
- Some people might like ranch or blue cheese dressing instead or a simple dipping sauce made from sour cream, fresh dill, and a bit of lemon juice to thin it.
- This recipe doubles nicely. But if you need more than that I suggest making separate, additional batches since the rising power fades after long sitting.
- Leftovers can be reheated on a baking sheet in a 450 degree oven. The microwave would make them soggy and unpleasant.
- This batter is also good on eggplant, onion rings, and chicken tenders.
- Note: If you do not keep self-rising flour in the house you can use 1 cup all-purpose flour mixed with 1tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt instead.