- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 cups beer
8 cups vegetables, such as:
- Eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch thick 1/2 moons
- Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch strips
- Fennel, cored and cut into 1/2-inch strips
- Scallions, cut into 3 to 4-inch lengths
- Yellow squash or zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- Celery, peeled, split lengthwise, cut into 3 to 4-inch lengths
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Salt, as needed
- Lemon-Garlic Dipping Sauce, recipe follows
Fill a large pot of salted water and place over high heat. Prepare an ice bath and set aside. While water is heating, prepare the batter and proceed with the following steps.
Combine the flour, cornstarch, black pepper and cayenne and mix well with a whisk. Slowly whisk in the beer until batter is completely smooth. The consistency should be like heavy cream. Set aside to rest for 1 hour.
Place the eggplant slices into a mixing bowl and sprinkle with salt. Toss to evenly coat slices. Place the slices on a wire rack set over paper towels and set aside for 30 minutes.
Preheat a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F.
When the salted water comes to a boil, blanch the carrots and fennel, in batches, until crisp-tender, about 30 seconds. Remove and immediately submerge in the ice bath. Drain, pat dry and set aside.
When the vegetables are blanched and patted dry, begin frying each vegetable, in batches, as follows: completely submerge each vegetable piece in the batter and then remove it, letting the excess batter drip back into the bowl. Transfer to the deep-fryer, adding as many pieces as will fit without overcrowding. Cook until the vegetables are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a large plate or baking dish lined with paper towels to drain briefly before serving. Sprinkle with salt, to taste. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and serve with the Lemon-Garlic Dipping Sauce.
Lemon-Garlic Dipping Sauce:
- *2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
Combine the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic and mustard in the bowl of a food processor and process on high speed for 30 seconds. While the machine is running, add the olive oil and extra-virgin olive oil in a very thin, steady stream, until completely incorporated, smooth and thick. Add the salt and cayenne, taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Transfer to a nonreactive bowl for serving and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day in advance. (Return to room temperature before serving.)
Yield: about 1 1/2 cups sauce
*RAW EGG WARNING
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.