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Here's a really good beer batter for fish --- and other things

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I'd never made beer-battered anything until the other day. I found this in The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook, p. 317. Couldn't find a link for the recipe but here are the ingredients and a paraphrase:

3/4 C AP flour
3/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 C milk
3/4 c beer
1 egg
1 T melted butter

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk the beer and egg into the milk in another bowl until smooth. Whisk the wet into the dry. Rest for an hour (you and the batter!) To cook, dry the fish well, salt, and lightly flour (this will help keep the batter on but you probably already knew that. A friend also suggested corn starch.). Dip in the batter and let excess drip off. Fry in 360 vegetable oil til golden brown.

This was so good. I'll be doing it again VERY soon.

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  1. Funny how they have the simplest of batters for squid: http://www.deandeluca.com/recipes/rec...
    I did a straightforward beer batter a few days ago that I was happy with (and I did not rest it or me); I used cake flour (and Long Trail Ale), and I used the batter right away. Does your recipe create a thick coating? I like thin and I like crisp too, so I have used some or all rice flour in the past.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Scargod

      Hey. I'm not enough of a cook to know why one has egg and milk and one doesn't but I'll definitely try it esp. since I'm of the less is better school. I like your idea of rice flour also. I just asked Bob if he would consider the cooked crust "thick." It has a lot of "poof" but I wouldn't say thick. And I do kinda shake off batter after dipping. I have a small deep fat fryer and I use 375 so it cooks really fast and its amazingly crispy I also cut the fish into "nuggets so there's MORE crust. If I overcrowd the fryer it still cooks fine but some of the pieces tend to stick together. Did I mention that I also made onion rings (with red onion) with the batter? Fried fish is rather addictive :) or is that :( ???

      1. re: Scargod

        I followed your example last night when I just had two very thin cod fillets. I mixed a half cup AP flour (I don't bake so no cake flour) with a half cup beer and some cayenne. Dried the fish very well, dipped in dry flour, shook off the excess, dipped in the batter and put into about 1/4" (?) oil. Cooked about a minute a side and it was lovely. Next time I might do an extra 30 seconds but it was fine after the two minutes. And easier and less messy than the deep fryer for that particular preparation. Thanks for the tip, Scargod. Hurry back.

      2. Thank you for posting that, c. I *love* beer batter. I don't deep-fry at home, though. I can shallow fry things in a tempura batter; I wonder if this would cook in a smaller amount of oil?

        I was thinking of having fish tonight so this is timely.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Normandie

          I don't have enough frying experience to answer you in an absolute manner. This makes a "bubbling cauldron" so I'd think you would want a pretty deep cooking vessel even if there wasn't a tremendous amount of oil. Some people use a Dutch oven for frying. That's the safety issue. Re would it work, I think as long as the oil was deep enough to get the sides cooked, I don't know why it wouldn't be okay. But, again, I'm a complete beginner here. Good luck and that reminds me to pick up more cod filets at TJs today.

          1. re: c oliver

            That's a good idea. Lord knows I've got enough DOs (FOs) lying around. One of them ought to work for this.

          2. re: Normandie

            I mentioned to a friend of mine and this is what he wrote me:

            "I do quite a bit of fried grouper and shrimp. Often I add chipotle powder to the batter, and then make a tartar sauce with sweet pickles. I do several small batches because the oil gets better with every batch as it retains the fish/shrimp flavor from previous batches. An inch of oil in a skillet will do to concentrate flavor and minimize oil use, just turn the items a couple times."

            1. re: c oliver

              i deep fry in a saucepan. a smallish one only needs an inch or two of oil and the high sides prevent a lot of spatter.

            2. re: Normandie

              I fried cod fillets and they turned out perfectly with only an 1/8" of oil in the saute pan. A couple of pieces were thick and I left them in a few minutes longer and turned the heat down after both sides had browned. All good!

            3. Sounds great! I've never made beer batter before, and would LOVE to make fish & chips sometime.... would have to buy a fryer first, tho. That would help '-)

              I find that, for calamari, all one needs is cornflour and s&p. Plus, you can make them in a saucepot. Batter would be overkill imo. But for fish n chips... mmmmm must try soon.

              1. Thanks for sharing -- I bet this would be really good to coat green beans or zucchini sticks in before frying.