My Definition of the Verb "to frazzle"

I have been frazzling things in the kitchen for years but whilst preparing this post I looked up “frazzle” in the dictionary for the correct meaning; apparently the primary definition is ...

“to put in a state of extreme physical or nervous fatigue”

I probably did frazzle some of the kitchen staff, including myself on occasion, but that’s not what I mean.

The other definition I found is ...

“cause to shrivel up with burning”

I might have done this too once or twice but I wouldn’t recommend it.

My own personal definition of frazzle is ...

“to fry shreds of an ingredient till crisp”

This sort of frazzling is a great way of using up and enhancing a little bit of this or that to create a snack, cook’s treat, garnish or component of a dish.

I was prompted to write post this by a couple of experiments we did in the pub kitchen where I am now employed making desserts – firstly we sliced a Chantenay carrot lengthways and deep fried it.  Drained, cooled and salted the slices were both pretty and delicious.  

Yesterday, as I peeled a whole case of apples to make loads of apple crumble (the season is upon us – yikes!), I wondered what would happen if we deep fried some of the peelings.  So we did and they were crisp and lovely with caster sugar and a pinch of cinnamon, I think they will be showing up quite a lot on the menu.

I don’t think I have frazzled either of these in the past and have no photos of the above experiments but I have frazzled the following ...

Sweet Potatoes 

To frazzle these I first peel the sweet potato and then using the potato continue peeling until I have a pile of sweet potato ribbons. More ideas for delicious sweet potatoes here.


These make a lovely crunchy garnish for creamy leek dishes (see a few great ideas for leeks here). Cut a leek into long thin strips, rub a little cornflour (aka corn starch in the US) through them to help them go crips and deep fry for a few minutes till golden. Lift out of the oil with a skimmer and drain on kitchen roll. Sprinkle with a little crunchy sea salt.

Sage and Parsley

Just drop clean and dry sage leaves or parsley sprigs into hot fat for literally a few seconds, 2 or 3 will probably do it. Drain on kitchen roll and sprinkle with sea salt. Bacon and pork, savoury apple dishes, onions, butternut squash and blue cheese will all benefit from a sage garnish, and the parsley is a great garnish for fish dishes in particular and most other savoury dishes too.

Frazzled Onions which I usually call Onion Grass on menus. 

This is a quicker, easier and in my opinion nicer alternative to making onion rings. 

~   Peel halve and thinly slice onions into half-moons.
~   Toss together with seasoned flour – the easiest way to do this is in a bag.
~   Shake off excess and deep fry the onions.
~   Drain well and season.


Fry coarsely chopped, julienned or shredded (or any other shape) chorizo in a little olive oil till crisp.  Remove from the oil and set aside on paper towel to cool and crisp. Sprinkle on salads, soups, pasta dishes, fish and anything else that takes your fancy.

DON’T throw the oil away it will be infused with chorizo and great for drizzling on things such as soup or fried eggs, for instance.  See here for lots more on chorizo including purpose made chorizo oil. 


Pretty well the same goes with Prosciutto for instance Tagliatelle in Asparagus “Pesto” with Frazzled Prosciutto.

Chicken and Duck Skin – Grattons and Gribenes

These are delicious crispy morsels made from duck or chicken skin. See here for how to make grattons and gribenes and use them to garnish soups, salads, pâtés and general duck dishes or just nibble on them.


Leftover pancakes are great cut into strips, fried till crisp and used to garnish whatever you fancy.

This is just one good way to use up scraps, bits and pieces and leftovers – I have written a book containing literally hundreds of good ideas, suggestions, recipes and tips ~ have a look at my leftovers cookbook Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers.

the ultimate leftovers cookbook Creative Ways to Use Up Leftovers

Sorry I haven’t posted for a while, by the way, my computer has been having a problem but he’s OK now.

OK - that's all for now, enjoy the sunshine! Let me know if you think of anything else that could do with a damn good frazzling!

1 comment:

Sue said...

I'm glad your computer is better ;-)