Beer Batter Fish Fry Recipe
Who doesn't like the crunchy, rich flavor of deep-fried fish? In this recipe, the beer batter puts a light, crisp coating over the moist fish. Try it with any firm, white-fleshed fish. Freshly caught lake trout are nice, too. In the field, a coffee can over a campfire works fine (see Fundamental Shorelunch).
To serve four . . .
11„2 lbs. firm white-fish fillets
3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. each salt and pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. milk
2 tbsp. beer
6 c. oil for frying
2 tbsp. dark sesame oil (optional)
» Rinse the fillets, pat them dry, and cut them into finger shape, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Keep them cold until ready to fry.
» Whisk together all the ingredients for the batter until smooth. Allow the batter to rest for about 15 minutes.
» Combine the flour with the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Lightly dust a fish finger in flour, immediately submerge it in the batter, shake off the excess, and lower it into the hot oil. Fry each batch 3 or 4 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate and let drain on paper towels.
» Serve this classic dish with tartar sauce along with fat wedges of lemon, or with malt vinegar.
Tartar Sauce (makes about 13„4 c.) . . .
11„2 c. mayonnaise
1 dill pickle, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 tbsp. capers, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp. lemon juice
lemon wedges for garnish
Orange Rum Marinade . . .
2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice; zest of 2 oranges; 2 tbsp. chopped mint; 2 tbsp. Grand Marnier liqueur; 1/2 c. Myers' Rum; 1/4 c. soy sauce; 1 tbsp. chopped garlic.
Cook's Tip: A nice variation on this, especially for strongly flavored fish like white bass and sheepshead, is to marinate the fingers before deep-frying. Combine the marinade ingredients, pour over the fish portions, then let sit for an hour in the refrigerator. Drain off the marinade, pat the fish dry with a paper towel, dip in flour then batter, and deep-fry, as above. Substitute water or 7-Up instead of beer in the batter mix, as the taste of beer clashes with the marinade. This also is a fine marinade for grilling.