Recipe of the Week: Beer Batter Fried Fish and Chips
George Beyer, Correspondent
4 medium russet potatoes
4 medium fish fillets cod, haddock, ling
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pint very cold dark beer (Guinness)
oil for frying
Wash and cut potatoes into finger size sticks, about ¼ inch thick. Store cut potatoes in cool water to prevent browning.
In a heavy bottomed pot, heat about 2 inches of oil for frying to 330F. Line two wire racks with paper towels.
Blanching the potatoes: remove potato sticks from water, pat dry on paper towel. Place a small amount of the potatoes in the hot oil 330F. Cook until the potatoes are tender and place on wire rack. Repeat until all potatoes are blanched tender. On this step the potatoes will not be browned, they should be tender.
Mix the paprika, flour, salt and cornstarch in a medium bowl until well combined. Pat fish dry with paper towel and dredge with the flour mixture.
Add the baking powder to the flour mixture and combine; add the cold beer to the flour mixture and lightly whisk together. Do not over mix the batter or it will become very dense and the finished product will not be crispy and light. The batter will have a few lumps — that's fine.
Blanching the fish: this step should be done in batches to prevent over crowding the oil. Dip the dredged fish fillets in the batter and gently place in hot preheated oil 330F. Turn the fish over with tongs when the edges start to turn light brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the prepared wire rack. The fish is going to be fried twice, so it is okay if the fish is undercooked the first fry.
After all fish has been blanched increase the heat of the oil to 375F. Add blanched potatoes to the preheated oil. Fry potatoes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oil and season with salt. Keep warm in the oven, uncovered. Fry the fish a second time until golden brown and completely cooked. Drain on a rack.
Serve the fish with lemon wedges or malted vinegar.