For this, the maiden voyage of Culinary Adventures, I visited Rowan MacNiven at one of my favorite seafood bodegas in San Francisco, The Woodhouse Fish Company. I wanted to surprise my wife Kendra with a little culinary treat from the sea, so Rowan taught me his special fish and chips recipe and technique. Boy, these were crunchy, flaky, and a double dose of delicious! With a splash of Four Monks vinegar, I could just picture myself in a Scottish pub with a roaring fire, old napping sheepdog, and men in dashing kilts decompressing after a hard day on the moor!
On the recipe front, a couple things I thought were especially important were the kind of oil they used (Rice Bran Fryer oil) and the fact that you have to adjust your batter if you think it needs more or less liquid – so the recipe below should be adjusted if the consistency seems too runny or thick. That’s your game time decision as cook! On the technique front, when you add your fish to the frying oil, dangle half of a piece in with your tongs until the batter sets and cooks a bit before dropping the rest of the fish in to cook. This keeps all the batter from coming off the fish when you add it to the oil!
Ok, without further bloggie chit chat, here’s the video:
Hope you give making battered fish a try! You can serve these with any kinds of fries you like. I happen to enjoy making some hunky baked cottage fries in the oven, a trick I learned from my drumming circle friend, Thelonius.
The official Beer Battered Fish and chips recipe:
2 Cups of All Purpose Flour (add more if batter seems thin)
1 Tbsp of baking powder
1 Tsp Kosher Salt
1 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp White Pepper
10 ounces Anchor Steam Beer
10 ounces Soda Water
1/3 Cup 75/25 Canola/Olive oil blend
Get some nice flaky fish (Alaskan cod, pacific halibut)
Coat with 50/50 mixture of corn flour and all purpose flour
Dip coated fish into the beer batter
Cook in 375 degree rice bran fryer oil (using the dipping technique describe in the video) until nice and golden brown
Sprinkle with a pinch of salt when the fish is done, drained and out of the oil.