How to make: Beer-battered fish

03 October 2011 - 03:29 By HILLARY BILLER
There's nothing to beat a good beer-battered fillet of fish served with tartare sauce and homemade chips
There's nothing to beat a good beer-battered fillet of fish served with tartare sauce and homemade chips

Don't worry, you won't get tipsy, it's just light, golden and crispy

It's curious how beer has remained relatively unexplored in cooking while wine, synonymous with food, is pivotal in so many dishes.

Yet, the handful of ingredients - barley, hops, water and yeast - make for a good food match.

The hops add an interesting bitterness with a hint of acidity, the malt a subtle sweetness, and the yeast a lightness and crispness.

Some of the better-known beer/food combinations, include festive gammon, made superbly succulent cooked in beer, or Guinness added to a Christmas pudding or cake for that dark colour and indulgent flavour.

Beer can be used in place of wine to deglaze a pan or can even be added to gravies or marinades.

As with wine, don't use a beer for cooking that you would not choose to drink. Light beers work with lighter foods and heavy beers suit dishes like stews and casseroles.

Select a sweeter beer for desserts and salty dishes.

Perhaps the finest combination is beer added to a batter for lightness and crispness - and yes, there's nothing to beat a good beer-battered fillet of fish.

BEER-BATTERED FISH

Serves 4

Ingredients:

100g cake flour

100g cornflour

10ml (2 tsp) baking powder

2.5ml (tsp) turmeric

Salt and pepper

300ml beer

Oil, for deep-frying

About 800g firm white fish, such as hake

Method:

Sift the dry ingredients together.Add the beer and stir until smooth. Preheat the oil in a deep pan. Cut the fish into 4 pieces. Dip each piece into the batter to coat well. When the oil is hot enough so that a cube of bread browns in seconds, fry the fish, 2 pieces at a time, until cooked and crispy.Serve immediately with potato wedges, salt and vinegar - and the traditional tartare sauce.

You can also make goujons by cutting the fish fillet into thin strips before dipping into batter and frying.

TARTARE SAUCE

Ingredients:

150ml good quality mayonnaise

15ml (1 tbsp) fresh chives, chopped

15ml (1 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

10ml (2 tsp) capers, chopped

15ml (1 tbsp) gherkins, chopped

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Method:

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine well. Allow to stand for an hour before serving, so that the flavours mingle and intensify.

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