Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Fish Fry

Friday Fish fry is a big deal in the American Midwest, and not just at Lent. Every church, Legion hall, and charity has one to raise money, and they are often "all you can eat", making them attractive to families with teenaged boys. I grew up with Friday fish fry, but as allergies keep us dining at home, I'm the one doing the frying these days.
I don't eat fish, or most fried food for that matter, but that hasn't impacted my ability to prepare it. I do however rely on a good deep-frying thermometer. I use a Cruset Dutch oven to fry in, and I don't crowd it. Chill your fish and batter well ahead, and the results will be better. Sometimes I pitch everything in the freezer five minutes before frying just so it is really cold when it hits the hot fat. That's my only secret technique I have to pass along.
Do your chips first, and keep them warm on a baking sheet in the oven while you fry the fish.

Here's my batter recipe:
1 cup plain flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon mustard powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup beer

Combine the dry ingredients. Beat the egg into the beer, then slowly whisk the mixture into the dry ingredients. Cover and chill a few hours before using. Make sure it is really cold.

I've used the batter on chips (really). After an initial dip in the oil at a lower temperature for a few minutes, drain the chips, then increase the oil temperature to high, and dip the potatoes in the batter. I use a slotted spoon for this, and then plunk them into the hot oil for a few minutes longer. It sounds so wrong, until you do it, and then you wonder why no one else is. I could make a million dollars selling these at the football around here. I should reconsider my career path. *shrug*

Let me know if you try it.


Witchcrafted Life said...

Sounds fantastic, thank you for sharing another wonderful recipe with us. As much as I do associate it F&C with the UK, the number one spot that it reminds me of actually is Stanley Park in Vancouver, as that's usually what we'd eat on the rare and wonderful trips there when I was a child.

♥ Jessica

Propagatrix said...

Turner Hall in Milwaukee!

Goody said...

@ Jessica
I don't know about the fish, but the Canadian "Chip Wagon" is one of the greatest achievements of Western civilisation. Yeah, I know, Homer...Shakespeare... moon landing...blah, blah, blah...oh hey look, the Chip Wagon!

I was trying to remember what fish was used in the 60's and 70's in Illinois and I thought it might have been perch. Do you recall what the fish was in Milwaukee?

Propagatrix said...

Perch is what I remember, and sometimes haddock. Smaller towns on lakes usually had bluegill.