Why “Beer Battered”?
Beer makes such a great base for batter because it simultaneously adds three ingredients—carbon dioxide, foaming agents and alcohol—each of which brings to bear different aspects of physics and chemistry to make the crust light and crisp. The beer contributes a nice, yeasty flavor. It’s the stuff that gives fish and chips that “wow” factor. Be sure that the beer is cold. Along with the carbonation of the beer the temperature helps make the batter crisp.
So, which beer should you use?
The beer that works in the batter will generally be the correct beer to drink with the final dish.
If deep-frying seafood use the following beer in the batter:
- Flathead – Lager or a Pale Ale.
- Cod –Pale Ale or an English Bitter
- Sardines – a Japanese Lager
- Oysters – Stout or Porter
Ok then, why Cod?
Cod is perfect for Fish and Chips. With it’s mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh, it’s no wonder cod is one of the most common fish used for fish & chips along with haddock.
- 1/2 teaspoon Paula Deen’s House Seasoning (see below)
- 2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
- 4 large baking potatoes cut into French fry strips
- 1 1/2 lb cod fillets, skinned with bones removed, and fish cut diagonally into 1-inch-wide
In a Dutch oven, heat oil to 375 degrees F.
Fry potatoes until golden brown, roughly 10 minutes removing with a slotted spoon or spider. Hold in low oven to keep warm while cooking the fish.
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F
In a large bowl, pour in 1 bottle of beer. Sift 1 1/2 cups flour into the bowl, whisking in gently until just combined, stir in House Seasoning. Pat fish dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper and coat the fish in the beer batter. Dredge the pieces of fish in 1/2 cup of remaining flour and slide into oil as coated. Fry fish, turning over frequently, until deep golden and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven. Fry remaining fish in batches, returning oil to 375 degrees F between batches.
Serve fish with French fries. The topping of malt vinegar and sea salt are essential for a full fish & chips experience.
Paula Deen House Seasoning:
- 1 cup salt.
- 1/4 cup black pepper.
- 1/4 cup garlic powder.
- Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
Recipe adapted from: Paula Deen