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Deep-fried Meat and Vegetables (Fritto Misto)

Fritto Misto is the Italian for ''mixed fry' and that is exactly what this dish is–the Italians are very fond of this method of cooking. Almost any type of meat andjor vegetables may be used, but the ingredients used below are typically Italian.

ingredients

8 servings
2 Calf's sweetbreads, soaked in cold water for 1 hour and drained
1 Tbs Lemon juice
1 tsp Salt
1 Aubergine (eggplant), peeled, sliced and degorged
1/2 kg (1 lb) Courgettes (zucchini), sliced and degorged
Sufficient vegetable oil for deep-frying
4 Chicken breasts, boned and cut into strips
8 Medium mushrooms
2 Lemons, quartered

for the batter

125 g (4 oz) 1 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tbs Vegetable oil
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Milk

method

1. To prepare the batter, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and put in the eggs and oil. Mix the eggs and oil together, gradually incorporating the flour, then add the milk, a little at a time. Cover and keep in a cool place for 30 minutes.

2. Put the sweetbreads in a saucepan and pour over enough water to cover. Add the lemon juice and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to moderate and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the sweetbreads in a colander. Rinse well under cold running water. Carefully remove and discard the outer membrane, then cut out the tubes and any gristle. Cut the sweetbreads into 2 1/2 cm (1 in) cubes.

3. Dry the aubergine (eggplant), courgettes (zucchini) and sweetbreads with kitchen towels.

4. Preheat the oven to very cool 140°C (Gas Mark 1, 275 °F). Line a large baking dish with kitchen towels.

5. Fill a large deep-frying pan one-third full with oil and heat until it reaches 190°C (375 °F) on a deep-fat thermometer, or until a small cube of stale bread dropped into the oil turns golden in 40 seconds.

6. Using tongs, dip the chicken strips first into the batter, then carefully lower into the oil. Fry for 5 minutes. Transfer the pieces to the baking dish and keep hot in the oven.

7. Dip the aubergine (eggplant), courgettes (zucchini), mushrooms and sweetbread pieces into the batter and then into the oil. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes each and keep hot while you finish frying.

8. Transfer the fritto misto to a warmed serving dish and garnish with the lemon quarters.

9. Serve at once.

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