First things first--don't forget about my contest--it's almost over :) Win a copy of TJOC!
I've decided to EXTEND the end date of the contest (is it to early for another epiphany joke? Yes? Okay...) until midnight, January 12th!
In our household (or more accurately, my grandmother's household) Christmas Eve is totally meat-free. Usually it includes a giant bowl of pasta with some sort of fish sauce--usually with calamari or crab, both fried and stuffed calamari, both fried shrimp and shrimp scampi, and fried cauliflower, plus all of the other dishes. Yum!
I tend to be in charge of frying--in a terrifying retro fryer. This year I decided to use Tempura Batter (p. 658) for all of the fried food. I feel like I know tempura after my summer in Japan!
This recipe was very simple (I doubled it!).
First, mix two eggs and two cups of water...they didn't look like they were going to mix but they finally did.
In another bowl, mix flour, salt, and a bit of black pepper...
And then mix a few times (but leave lumps!). You don't want it to be overbeaten...
Dip the shrimp/calamari/cauliflower into the batter. I like to leave the tails unbattered so that they are easier to eat--but that's just my personal perference.
Dump the battered food into the (hot hot hot) oil and pray that you don't get splattered. My Fry Daddy at home has a cover so that you don't have to be QUITE so terrified but this fryer...well...it's a bit old.
And finally...a giant platter of fried food!
(From left to right--cauliflower, calamari--bodies and tails, and shrimp)
How was the batter? AMAZING! So good that it was remarked upon by every guest (granted, only four people, but still--four calamari experts!). I really recommend this batter. It's really tasty and incredibly easy. And it tastes pretty similar to the tempura that I had in Japan!
In other news, one of the things I love most about Florida is the plethora of lizards (I think they are anoles). I have (and still do!) spend lots of happy time trying to catch them. This year I saw the smallest lizard I've ever seen!
My phone, to give you a size perspective (you can compare the crack in the flagstone):
Merry Christmas from Santa and Mrs. Gracie Claus!
And Duchess Claus!