Friday, September 24, 2010

Beer Battered Fish and Chips

Beer. Belly. Bloat. I used to think I was allergic to beer. That's what triggered my search into my symptoms and finding a celiac diagnosis.

I would leave parties early looking 5 months pregnant. I would just balloon up. Or if I tried to stay and we would walk home afterwards, I could barely keep up since my stomach hurt so much.

When I would go golfing, our golf carts had coolers attached to them so we would fill them with beer and I always felt awful.

I could drink 1 beer and feel fine. Phew. Beer was safe! It was not to be though. As soon as there were a couple beers, the same things would happen.

We went looking for Gluten Free Beer and found only 1 kind in our small tourist town. Le Messagere. So pale and I didn't really enjoy it. Returning home on vacation, I tried New Grist. Not bad although after 2, I still felt a little tickle in my stomach. I wouldn't drink more than that anyway but still...

During my road trip through the US, we ended up one night in Flagstaff, Arizona. Completely on purpose so that I could go to Picazzo's for the pizza I had read about months earlier. There I tried my first Bard's Tale.
Just like a microbrew it seemed. An excellent beer.

Coming home, I do a lot of shopping in the USA because of their labelling laws and one of the last times I went over, I brought back some Redbridge. Another great beer.

I think the Redbridge and the Bard's Tale are my two favourites for drinking.
This leaves me with a bunch of bottles to use for my fish and chips.

As soon as I can't have something, I want it. So I started looking for a fish and chip batter. Sometimes it's all about the pictures. The picture can captivate you or make you pass by the recipe to keep on looking for another. When you find that picture that helps you to see the outcome, it helps the less imaginative person like myself.

I found that recipe.

Real English Fish and Chips with Yorkshire Beer Batter
Adapted from - Enjoy the recipe as is on if you are not eating Gluten Free

4 servings

  • 4 cod  fillets or 4 haddock fillets
  • 1 cup Gluten Free Flour *my flour mix below
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4  to 1 bottle Gluten Free Beer - you'll need a few sips for taste-testing or to thin out your batter
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • salt & pepper
  • extra GF flour
2-4 Yukon gold or yellow fleshed potatoes
Canola Oil for Fryer

Heat oil up in automatic deep fat fryer  to approx 325F.
Peel the potatoes and cut into chunky sized chips. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
Fry chips for about 3-5 minutes until soft but NOT coloured. Drain and shake well and set to one side so they cool.
Put some flour onto a plate. Dredge the fish fillets in the flour thoroughly - this is VERY important, it stops the batter sliding off when fried! Leave the fish fillets in the flour whilst you make the batter.

Put flour, baking soda, salt and pepper into a large roomy bowl. Add the beer gradually, stop when you have a thick coating type of batter. Drink any beer that is left! Whisk thoroughly until it is smooth and there are no lumps.

Add the lemon juice  Mix thoroughly again.
Turn up the heat to 375F.
You can cook either the chips or the fish next now.
After the chips have cooled, they are ready for the second cooking. They will only take about 4-7 minutes for this second cooking depending on how long your first batch cooked for. You want them to still be on the paler, golden side while being cooked through. Once they are cooked, toss with salt and serve or hold in a warm oven.
Take one fillet of fish at a time and holding it by the tail or thin end (!) swirl it around the batter until well coated - plunge into hot oil immediately. As soon as it has crisped up and set, add your other fillets one at a time, taking out the first ones as they cook - about 5 to 8 minutes depending on the thickness.
I like to thin out the batter a little after this and throw in some onion rings as well.
It's generally a fantastic beer batter recipe whether you follow the GF modifications or not.

*Gluten Free Flour Mix
2 parts brown rice flour
2/3 part potato starch
1/3 part tapioca starch

Crisp batter, golden fries. What more could you ask for?


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