Vermicelli Bird Nests
|Softened herbs||1 Tablespoon|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste|
|Corn oil/Vegetable oil||3⁄4 Quart|
1. Cook vermicelli just until al dente. (It is better to undercook this as it will cook again.) Drain well and return to pot in which it cooked. Add butter, herbs, salt, and pepper and toss well. Be sure each strand of pasta is coated as this will help prevent sticking.
2. Heat oil in a small, deep saucepan, approximately 6 1/2 inches wide by 4 inches deep until it reaches 325 degrees. While oil is heating (watch carefully), arrange some of the cooked pasta in a basket spoon. Since a smaller sister basket spoon will be inset into the larger one, try to arrange the pasta in a well, so the smaller spoon will sit in it to form a basket or nest form. Once this has been set (spoons together and clipped), cut off pasta ends with scissors do this over pasta pan so cut ends are not wasted.
3. Immerse the basket spoon filled with pasta into the hot oil. When the pasta is submerged, the oil should bubble with great effervescence, especially at the beginning. The bubbling will subside somewhat but not much. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and remove spoon. The pasta nest should be golden not brown or scorched. Remove the clips on the basket spoon and then the smaller spoon. Turn over the large spoon and tap on a flat surface lined with 2 layers of paper toweling. The nest should release itself easily and, if by chance, it doesn't hold its shape, it didn't cook long enough. Repeat until 6 nests are made.
4. Fill each nest with any of the fillings