I like the taste of beef bourguignonne and would like to create a vegetarian version of it. For that, I plan to use oven-dried, tempura-fried aubergine slices instead of meat (egg-containing tempura, fried to a golden crust), and mushroom stock for the sauce.
The problem is that I am not sure how filling this substitution will be, and how many calories it contains - the aubergines probably close to nothing, but the fried tempura is rich.
How should I go about calculating the portions, so they are roughly equivalent to a portion of standard beef bourguignonne?
For bourguignonne, most of the calories are going to be in the noodles anyway. The beef amounts for bourguignonne are smallish, and the flavorings (mushroom, possibly carrot, broth, wine) are pretty much non-existent nutritionally.
I would just go by mouth-feel. Cut the aubergine in amounts that approximate the texture and flavor of the original dish, and don't much care about the differences.
I tried to deep fry cauliflowers (without breading; I am NOT making tempura), but they turned out soft. I have seen that done on TV where cauliflowers are freshly deep-fried and turn out to be crunchy. But when I tried doing that, the cauliflower ended up soft and somewhat soggy. I increased the frying time thinking that may help evaporate the moisture inside the cauliflower but it then turned out soft and soggy with oil instead of water. Are there preparations that I need to do to the cauliflower, or are there something special that I need to add to the oil?
I've probably only made tempura 10 times in my life, with fairly inconsistent results. often it has been heavier than the best restaurant versions I've had. There seem to be many variables involved: type(s) of flour added pure starch (cornstarch, arrowroot, ...?) use of seltzer use of chemical leavening overall thickness of batter type of oil temperature of oil Which of these factors (and any others I've forgotten) are most important to getting a thin, light, non-greasy tempura shell?
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