Saturday, February 4, 2012

A beer with dinner

I have a hazy recollection of attempting beer batter (p112) some years ago, when I was living in a student flat with four hungry boys. This was done to the boys' specifications as opposed to the Edmonds recipe, and I don't recall that it turned out all that well.

Putting this failed attempt behind me, I had another go last night, dropping by the supermarket for a fillet of gurnard and a single stubby of Speights.

It's an extremely basic recipe - just flour, salt and beer. I found that the quantity of beer given in the recipe was not nearly enough, and added more...and then more...and more again. By the time my batter had reached the nice smooth consistency described in the recipe, I'd put in about double the amount shown in the recipe.

The batter was a bit lumpy, so I gave it a good whisk to smooth it out, before dipping my fish in the batter and and attempting to get it evenly coated. I had some oil heating in a frying pan, which sizzled satisfyingly as I placed the fish in. 

In the few minutes it took for the fish to cook, I threw together a salad, (including salad from my garden, and the first ripe tomato off my plant! You'll have to forgive my excitement; I've never had a garden before) And before long, I had a meal on the table, with most of a bottle of beer to go with it.

The beer batter was actually a bit surprising - I'd expected it to bubble up a bit, but actually it seemed to coat the fish in a smooth, golden layer, which was not just crispy, but actually crunchy in places: a pleasant contrast to the soft flesh of the fish. 

It's possible that this is not the desired result, but merely what happens when you add so much beer you thin it down considerably. I'm not sure, but I since I enjoyed the result I got, what does it matter?


  1. Lovin' the Speights! Good choice!

    Oh, the food looks good, too! :)

  2. I'm not calling you predictable or anything, but I intentionally got Speights because I knew you'd comment on it!


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