Here at MTI, home of the AutoFry, we are always experimenting with new foods and recipes, making sure we can provide AutoFry users with the best knowledge for the highest return on investment. When it comes to fried food (or any food for that matter) you need a beverage that will not only balance your food but also enhance the overall meal. So we took to the interweb to find the best spirited beverage pairings for some of our favorite fried dishes. Check out our top picks and feel free to let us know about some of your favorite pairings!
Fried Chicken is an absolute staple in any kitchen. The crunchy outer coating meets with the juicy flavorful chicken in an awesome way that can only be described as pure magic. Palate Press recommends pairing fried chicken with a nice bottle of Cava or Prosecco. The bubbles of the drink enhance the spices of the crunchy coating while the acidity of the wine cuts down on grease. If you’re more of a beer drinker, Serious Eats recommends giving Surly Hell a try. This pale-gold lager is light in body with a fresh bready malt that enhances the flavor of the crunchy outer coating and contrasts with the salty/savory chicken.
Whether you call it Fish and Chips or Fish Fry, battered fish accompanied with deep-fried French fries is another fan favorite when it comes to fried food dishes. Typically made of cod or haddock, the fish portion of this meal is a long standing Catholic favorite on Fridays, especially during lent. Sunset Magazine recommends pairing your meal with a Chenin Blanc, a crisp, refreshing white wine with citrus flavors that takes away any need to squeeze lemon on your fish. Inside Beer recommends pairing your fish fry with Hitachino Nest White Ale, from the Kiuchi brewery, a Belgian wit-style beer that features citrus undertones perfect for cutting the greasiness of the meal and refreshing your pallet.
Fried calamari is one of those dishes that you either love or hate. As kids we think eating squid is unimaginable but one taste of well-prepared fried calamari and your whole viewpoint on the eight legged sea creature takes a turn for the delicious. The Chicago Tribune likes to pair the crunchy fried rings with a Brut Champagne. This dry, bubbly wine cuts down on the greasiness and highlights the mild flavor of the squid. The Savory on the other hand recommends pairing your delicious fried rings with an American IPA, whose bitterness will enhance the crunch of the calamari and cut down the richness of your meal.
Up until now, all of our pairings have been with beer or wine, so let’s raise the steaks (see what I did there?) and delve into some harder alcohol and fried food pairings. One of my personal favorite meals are chimichangas paired with a refreshing margarita. The chimichanga is a delicious deep fried burrito, filled with rice, tomatoes, onions, chicken or beef and typically slathered in a cheese or salsa. The rich and piquant spices from the chimichanga are matched with citrus and tartness from the margarita making this a perfect pairing of spicy and sour. And if you really want to take things to the next level try choosing a flavored margarita to pair with your entree, my favorite flavor is the pomegranate margarita on the rocks with sugar on the rim!
Perhaps you’re more of a sweet spirit fan? Have you ever thought of pairing fried frog legs with bourbon? Neither had we, in fact we’re not even sure how we feel about frog legs but The Courier-Journal, a local Kentucky publication rates this dish as a top choice. The trick with this pairing is to serve the crispy fried frog legs with a creamy, spicy Creole sauce. The sauce will match the sweetness of the bourbon and tone down the acidity of the dish and serving the bourbon on the rocks or with a touch of water (which will open up the bourbon) brings the meal to the next level. A full recipe for frog legs can be found on their site, which I know you are now eager to try!
And finally, my favorite part of any meal: Dessert! One of my absolute favorite dessert choices are beignets served with a chocolate dipping sauce. The fried bites of dough are the perfect ending to any meal and Atlanta Restaurant Blog suggests pairing your next order of fried dough with a Tennessee Coffee. If you’re not familiar with the warm drink, Tennessee Coffee is a divine mixture of whiskey, espresso, steamed milk and a touch of sugar. Chocolate and espresso have long been known as a perfect pairing and couple that with the caffeine jolt you’ll get from this drink to counteract the fried food sleepiness you might be feeling and you've got the best of both worlds.
If you were a fan of last week's blog on Pink's Hot Dogs, you'll love this last bonus pairing. Hot Dogs and fries are quite possibly my favorite summertime meal and nothing pairs better with a summer meal then a nice refreshing spiked frozen lemonade cocktail served up in a souvenir cup (spiked lemonade not available at all Pink's locations). The juicy snap of the Pink's famous hot dog and crunchy fries prepared with the AutoFry pair perfectly with the icy tart lemonade making for the ultimate summer (or any season, we won't judge) meal.
We hope to have inspired you to go out and try some new and maybe unusual dishes for a fun night on the town or a great night in with friends and loved ones. But now it’s your turn! What are your favorite fried food and spirit pairings?