My four children are huge fans of tempura. Theyalso get very excited every time I cook and bake withalcohol, as if they are eating something illicit. In thisrecipe, the deep beer flavor really comes through, butthe alcohol evaporates in the cooking, so you get thebest of both worlds.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets, or 1 18-oz package Eden frozen cauliflower florets (do not defrost) -
- 1 large egg -
- 1½ cups full-flavored beer, such as stout -
- 1 cup all-purpose flour -
- ½ tsp salt -
- 4–6 ice cubes -
- oil for frying -
1. Place the egg and beer in a medium bowl and whisk together. Add the flour and salt and mix in; the batter may be lumpy. Add four ice cubes and mix in; they do not need to melt. Add 5–6 pieces of cauliflower and use a fork to turn to coat well so you do not see any white of the cauliflower.
2. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a small or medium saucepan over medium-high flame until the temperature reaches 360°–380°F. Once a thermometer reads 370°F, turn flame down slightly. Use a fork to lift the pieces of cauliflower out of the batter, letting the excess batter drip off, and add to the oil. Do not fry more than five pieces at a time. Cook for about five minutes, or until florets are golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate covered with paper towels.
3. After each batch, heat the oil until the temperature goes back up to at least 360°F. Repeat with another few batches of cauliflower. Serve warm.