Some days are not meant to happen. I mean, we plan for the best, go all out in preparation and can only hope everything ends well. I do hope everyone had a great fourth of July last week.
Our 4th holiday was pretty much all washed up, literally. It rained cats and dogs, a total gully washer. It was one of those downpours whereby I am surprised Dave, our neighbor didn't get the boat out and take a spin around the block. When I say it rained, I mean our entire yard was six inches under water. Now that is not just from the downpour, it's an accumulation of runoff from the many blocks that slowly downgrades to our lovely area of town, and with no help from our city's dilapidated drainage system either. The good thing is that the water does run off pretty fast. That is why all the houses in our garden district are up 3 or 4 foot on piers. You can see photos of our neighborhood and our beautiful park here, on my neighbor's site, From Rome to Home.
We made the best of it. One thing I was determined to do, and I did, was fry up some vegetables to go with our hamburgers. This batter is remarkable, a tempura like but with a ever so slight lemony taste that is so great with fish and shrimp, and amazing with squash, asparagus and eggplant. Yes, we fry just about everything around these parts. I like to do my frying outside on the gas burner. The kitchen is so much nicer without the added grease and house too without the fumes.
Now, in between thunderstorms, I did manage to get the veggies on, hurriedly I might add and the burgers too. I probably overcooked the veggies but the hamburgers were out of sight. Hope you try this batter the next time you feel like frying fish, shrimp, okra, pickles or whatever as it is really a good one. The sparkling effervescence and citrus is what makes this one of my favorites. Enjoy!
My 7-Up Batter for Seafood & Vegetables
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon onion salt
Salt-free Creole or Cajun seasoning if desired
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons cooking oil
3/4 cup cold 7-Up
In a medium bowl, sift the flour, sugar, soda, baking powder with the salt. Stir in the egg, oil and 7-Up until just mixed. You do not want to over beat the batter. It should be of pancake consistency.
Dip foods in the batter and fry in small batches in hot oil (370 degrees F). Drain on paper towels. Keep fried foods warm in a heated oven by spreading on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Season to taste with salt, pepper or desired seasoning while still hot. Lemon or lime juice squeezed over seafood and vegetables right before servings makes a big difference in taste.