McGee: Crisp fish batter with Beer and Vodka
Since I recently posted about fooling around with batter for fish and chips (part of a discussion of David Rosengarten's newsletter), I was happy to see that others also recognize the problem, and experiment (fool around) looking for solutions. In this case McGee is discussing Heston Blumenthal's recipe from the Fat Duck, and providing a home-use version that he says bats pretty close to 1000 in terms of keeping crisp for 20 minutes and longer. It's interesting that both he and Rosengarten have settled on Rice Flour for the dusting. But McGee goes into the purpose of the alcohol - mainly to dissolve the glutens to keep the crust from becoming too tough, but also to reduce the amount of water, keeping the crust crispy.
At the Fat Duck, Blumenthal actually also puts the batter in a siphon, stores it until cold then carbonates it before using. Hmmm... I wonder if my sodaclub.com setup is equal to that task. But McGee's adaptation does not require this process, relying on the carbonation of the beer (it is a beer & vodka batter), instead.
The article was published in the NYTimes on 3/7, so it's now archived. It will cost you $4.95 as a one-time fee unless you're a NYT subscriber. Here's the link for that:
McGee's site where he has some commentary on the article and process is at:
If you want a rundown of the recipe, please email me at the link in my profile, and I will email you back with some info.
The site is still at curiouscook.com but the news part doesn't work anymore. Here's a link to the commentary on this article:
And the article itself, near as I can tell: http://www.curiouscook.com/site/2007/...