This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
One or two eggs are always added to the batter for doughnuts or fritters; this acts just as the egg with which the croquette is coated, and keeps out fat. If the dough is too short, however, fat will be absorbed. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the hot fat. Meats or small fish should be "coated" according to the directions given for croquettes. French fried potatoes, fish, meat and croquettes should be placed in the frying basket before being lowered into the fat, as by this means several articles can be cooked at once, and be quickly removed when done. Doughnuts and fritters should be slipped directly into the fat without aid of the basket, and, as they should rise immediately to the surface, they can be readily removed with a long-handled fork. It is never necessary to "turn" a fritter or doughnut, as when they are "done" on one side, the heavier weight of the uncooked dough on the top will cause them to turn over without assistance. In frying, no article should touch another, as steam will be created at the point of contact, which will cause the crust to burst. No matter what the food, it should always be drained on crumpled brown paper or paper toweling before serving.
With the right care, fat will last as long as a drop remains. When nearly cold, it should be put through a fine strainer or cloth into a clean can; after being used several times, it will not color the foods well and, when cooked, they will have a slightly unpleasant taste. It must then be clarified. This is done just as the left-over fat is prepared for the frying kettle - by heating with the sliced raw potato and soda.
It may seem on first thought that deep-fat frying is more troublesome than in the ordinary skillet. When it is considered how quickly the foods cook, and how much easier it is to prepare them in this way, instead of standing over the hot stove to watch the skillet, and when the saving in fat is recalled, any housewife will adopt this method if she must fry at all
Various fires have resulted from careless handling of the deep-fat kettle, but just as many fires can occur from the fat-laden spider; and any careful housewife, whether she fries, or broils or cooks in any way, will have at least a pail of sand in her kitchen to meet such an emergency. This will quench any fire - from burning fat or oil, or blazing paper, and this little timely precaution in the kitchen may be the means of avoiding serious accident and saving hundreds of dollars' worth of property.