Fair Food

The end of summer and beginning of fall mark the time of year for all of those great fairs and festivals! This past weekend, while back home visiting family, I could hear the music and screams from our own fairground, just blocks away. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I can’t help, but take a walk over and see what it has to offer.

As I’ve gotten older, my attentions sway to the larger fairs such as Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition, or simply the CNE. One thing that has never changed with age, however, is my craving of “fair-food”, which implies anything deep fried! When I was little, there were deep fried fries, corn-dogs and pickle spears, but it seems that the world of carnival food has gotten adventurous! I have seen everything including, but not limited to, deep-fried ice cream, mars bars, bacon, chocolate, and butter (yes butter)!

In the spirit of the CNE and your local fairs and festivals, I’ve pulled an absolute favourite recipe of mine from the Mushrooms Canada recipe book. Get your family in the sprit with these Herb Crusted Mushrooms, then get out there and enjoy the rest of your summer!

Herb Crusted Mushrooms

Serve larger mushroom slices as a vegetable accompaniment or smaller ones for hors d’oeuvres. Vary the herbs and type of bread for different flavours.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes  Cooking Time: 15 minutes

3 eggs, beaten
2 tsp (10 mL) garlic powder
¾ tsp (3 mL) each salt and pepper
3 cups (750 mL) fresh bread crumbs          
¼ cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped chives
1 ½ lb (750 g) fresh Mushrooms (white, crimini or portabella)
sliced ½“/1 cm thick OR whole mushroom caps
4 cups (1L) canola or light olive oil (for deep frying)
Lemon wedges or dipping sauces*

In a shallow bowl or pie plate whisk eggs, garlic powder, salt and pepper with 1 tbsp/15 mL water. Place breadcrumbs, parsley and chives in food processor and process until finely chopped; place in another shallow bowl or pie plate.

Meanwhile heat oil in deep fryer or about 1 ½ “(3.5 cm) oil in a heavy wide saucepan to 350ºF (180ºC).  Using a fork or tongs dip a few mushroom slices or caps at a time into egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off and then transfer to bread crumbs, pressing into crumbs to adhere (note coating will be uneven.). Transfer to a tray or baking sheet.

Fry mushrooms in hot oil in single layers, turning once for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel lined tray or baking sheet. Return oil to 350ºF (180ºC) and repeat batches. Keep each batch warm uncovered in 350ºF (180ºC) oven while cooking the remainder.  Serve with wedges of lemon to squeeze on top or dip into prepared sauces.

Makes 6 servings

Dipping Sauce suggestions: honey Dijon mustard, honey dill dipping sauce, no fat herb, blue cheese or roasted red pepper dressing, sweet Thai chili sauce

Variation: Use whole wheat, multigrain, herb or rye bread for different flavours.

Which fair food do you most look forward to?


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One comment

  • Mary Younkin August 27, 2012   Reply →

    These sound delicious. I love all of the herbs!

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