Buttermilk Battered Fennel Fries with a Creamy Buttermilk Dipping Sauce
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large bulb fennel, cut into 1/8-inch thick lengthwise slices
- 4 cups vegetable oil
- Buttermilk Dipping Sauce, recipe follows
- Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and coarsely grated
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat the oil to 350 degrees F.
Carefully place in the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 1/2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Lightly season with additional salt to taste and serve with the Buttermilk Dipping Sauce.Buttermilk Dipping Sauce:
Place the cucumbers in a small bowl and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt. Stir to combine, then set aside while you assemble the remaining ingredients.
In a small bowl combine the buttermilk, mayonnaise, garlic, dill, cayenne and salt and stir to combine well. Drain the cucumber in a small colander, then, using your hands, squeeze to remove as much excess water as possible. Add the cucumber to the buttermilk mixture and stir to thoroughly combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 day in advance.
Yield: about 1 1/4 cups sauce