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Mushrooms in Vodka Batter

Updated on October 21, 2015
Mushrooms in vodka batter
Mushrooms in vodka batter | Source

Mushrooms in vodka batter - vegetarian recipe

This is a totally delicious recipe. This makes a great vegetarian lunch or dinner but is also lovely as an appetizer or side dish.

The batter contains no milk so it's dairy-free and many brands of vodka are also vegan.It's also surprisingly easy to make and very quick too.

If you're making these deliciously light fritters for guests or for a dinner party, the batter can be prepared in advance, so can the mushrooms, so that all that remains to be done is to fry and serve.

This recipe was inspired by chef Heston Blumenthal. In his book In Search of Perfection he creates a wonderful batter using vodka. As you know, he is part chef, part scientist and his logic in using vodka in batter is that it evaporates so much faster than milk or water. This means that it will brown more quickly and gives a lovely crispness.

I rarely fry foods in our quest to eat healthier foods but once in a while, this is a complete treat and I justify it by serving these wonderful mushrooms with salad, in this case, simple tomatoes and basil.

Ingredients for this recipe

This made enough for five mushrooms each, which makes it a lovely dinner for two. The amounts are easy to adjust for more servings.

  • 8oz button mushrooms
  • ½ cup vodka
  • ½ cup plain flour - plus a little extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tomatoes
  • Fresh basil to garnish

Prepare the mushrooms first

Mushrooms being prepared
Mushrooms being prepared | Source

BUTTON MUSHROOMS

Clean the mushrooms thoroughly. They will be shallow-fried and turned during cooking so it's important that they will lie flat in the pan. Be sure to cut the stalks so that they will have a secure base when they are sitting on the stalk side in the pan. Place them on their tops and if necessary. cut a small slice from the top if they don't sit flat. This helps to reduce the time they need in the oil so less oil will be absorbed.

PAR BOIL

Put about half a cup of water into a medium pan and bring to the boil. Add the mushrooms then turn down the heat so that they simmer gently. They only need to cook for a couple of minutes during which time you can prepare the quick and simple batter.

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Make the batter

Make the vodka batter
Make the vodka batter | Source

VODKA BATTER

It's hard to believe that these three ingredients can make such a fabulous batter. Heston Blumenthal's version was a bit too tricky - it included lager in addition to vodka, plus honey, and is then put into a soda syphon ... this was just a bit much for me, I have to admit. When recipes start talking about sugar thermometers and other specialist equipment, I look for an easier way. Heston uses the soda syphon to add lightness to the batter. Baking powder has a similar, but simpler, effect.

Vodka
Vodka | Source

MIX THE BATTER

This is so easy. You could use a mixer but it's not necessary. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. I like to hold the sieve several inches above the bowl because this adds air; another way to ensure a light batter. Pour in the vodka, and whisk with a fork until it's smooth.

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Drain & dry

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BACK TO THE MUSHROOMS

Drain well. Pat them dry using paper towel - there's no need to get them bone dry, just remove the obvious moisture. Put the extra flour into a bowl and add the mushrooms. The flour will adhere to the outside and it makes the batter stick well. Shake off any excess flour. They don't have to be completely coated.

TOMATOES

Slice the tomatoes to serve with the mushrooms. I don't add any dressing because the mushrooms will be cooked in oil and simple sliced tomatoes are refreshing to the palate.

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BATTER & FRY

Heat olive oil in a skillet - frying pan. There needs to be about a quarter of an inch of oil in the pan. Add the mushrooms to the batter. When the oil is hot, add them one by one. (You can test this by adding a drop of batter first. If it turns golden, the oil is ready). The batter will cook quickly so as soon as you've added the last it will be time to turn the first. Place a sheet of paper towel into the sieve and put the cooked mushrooms in there so that the oil can be absorbed.

Serve

Serve the mushrooms in vodka batter with sliced tomato and basil
Serve the mushrooms in vodka batter with sliced tomato and basil | Source

ENJOY!

Serve with the sliced tomato garnished with fresh basil leaves. Delicious!

Further reading

I've been cooking vegetarian meals since I was in my teens and without letting you know how old I am now, I have been a grandmother for several years so that gives you some idea! And yet despite the fact that I cook meat-free meals daily, I still love to buy recipe books for more and more inspiration - especially those that feature our favorite ingredients.

Frying the easy way

When I was a child, my mum had a highly dangerous 'chip pan' This was a regular pan that was always full almost to the brim with oil and had an elderly, twisted wire basket. Goodness knows how many times that thing caught on fire. Today's fat fryers are completely different though. They are self-contained and much safer and the Presto range in particular gets rave reviews.

Photography credits

All photograph © me.

Alcohol note

I have been asked about the alcohol content of this dish. Please note that the alcohol evaporates when it is fried - the finished dish is NOT alcoholic! You can safely serve this dish to children and people who don't touch alcohol. In addition, there is no flavor of the vodka, it is there solely to make the batter delicious.

Step by step instructions with photographs
Step by step instructions with photographs

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

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    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Yummy! Your lens has been featured on our Google+ page today! Come and check it out!https://plus.google.com/106731555139009429707/post...

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TJHousel: You'll love it! I was almost brought up on batter (English fish & chips) but I have never known a batter to be as light as this one. If you're making it for guests, the vodka has a bit of a novelty value too :)

    • TJHousel profile image

      Tawnya 3 years ago from NE Ohio

      I can't wait to try this!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @sousababy: It is truly SO good!

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 3 years ago

      A must-try immediately (if not sooner). Thanks for yet another masterpiece in the vegetarian world of cooking.

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @makorip lm: That will work just as well - enjoy! In fact I was just wondering what to make for dinner....

    • makorip lm profile image

      makorip lm 4 years ago

      Wow! Going to do this but change to Kettel One

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Stuwaha: They are :) I hope you try the recipe!

    • Stuwaha profile image

      Stuwaha 4 years ago

      these mushrooms look pretty wonderful :)

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @ian-patrick-716: Haha, Ian. There's nothing to stop you having a large glass of vodka as an accompaniment. In fact, I'd recommend it :)

    • ian-patrick-716 profile image

      ian-patrick-716 4 years ago

      "the finished dish is NOT alcoholic!" the only flaw in a fine sounding dish

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @stewartscoles: Heston is amazing, isn't he? In the book I mentioned, he makes several dishes that he thinks have been ruined by chefs over the years. It's remarkably interesting. I hope you try the recipe - it's so tasty and only takes a few minutes. (Or a bit longer if you're like me and sip the vodka!)

    • profile image

      stewartscoles 4 years ago

      My son at Uni will love this one. He and I are avid fans of Heston...