Beer-battered fish and chips
Speedy cooked this delicious dish of fish and chips. The batter used for coating the fish was made with flour, salt, pepper, stout beer and yeast. No eggs, no bread crumbs. Amazing just how light and crisp the coating was. Not bread-like at all. And not thick that it absorbs too much oil. Just a wisp of crust that enfolds the fish so that all its natural juices are retained. Whether it was the beer or the yeast that did that to the crust, I am not sure. But I love the contrast in color and texture in this dish. White fish inside, golden brown crust outside. Moist and juicy fish inside, light and crisp crust outside.
In Britain, the battered and deep fried fish is half of the classic fish and chips combo. Ideally, to make sure that both fish and chips are hot and in perfect newly-fried condition when they are served, they should be cooked at the same time in two different frying pans (or deep fryers, if you have them). If you’re a wiz at multi-tasking, you can do that. If not, I suggest that you fry the potatoes first as they take a bit longer to cook. The fish cooks in a jiffy.
- 1 kg. of fish fillets no more than 3/4 inch thick (Speedy used cream dory), each fillet cut in serving-size pieces
about 2 c. of all-purpose flour
about 1 c. of stout beer (Speedy used Guinness)
salt and pepper
1 tsp. of instant dry yeast
about 2 c. of cooking oil for deep-frying
a dipping sauce made with equal amounts of mayo and ketchup (Speedy used Japanese mayo)
Place the cup in a bowl.
Make a well at the center and pour in the beer.
Mix to make a rather thin batter with the consistency of pancake batter. You may need to add more flour or beer to get the right consistency.
Add salt and pepper. Stir in the yeast. Leave for the yeast to become active, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the French fries. See French fries: hand-cut and home-cooked. The only difference between the linked recipe and how Speedy did the fries that went with the fish is that he soaked the cut potatoes just long enough for the oil to get hot.
By the time the fries are done, the batter should be almost ready. Start preparing the fish. Dab with paper towels to remove excess moisture as the batter will not stick properly to the fish if it is wet.
Heat the oil (the oil in which the fries were cooked are perfectly all right to use).
Dip each piece of fish fillet in the batter.
Fry until golden, flipping over for even cooking. This should take about a minute or two for each side.
Remember not to overcrowd the pan. Fry only one or two pieces at a time.
As each piece of fish cooks, scoop out of the oil and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to get rid of excess oil.
Arrange your fish and chips on a plate. Serve at once with the mayo-ketchup dip on the side.
Cooking time (duration): 35 minutes including the time to make the French fries
Number of servings (yield): 3 to 4