This all began with a sampling of gluten-free beers from our local liquor store, and a post from Jon Madsen over on Google+. Jon is an amazing home cook, turning out made-from-scratch versions of literally everything he and his family eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and I mean literally everything!). This particular evening, he had made some beer battered fish n chips which got Jeff musing about how he would like some fish ‘n chips!
I set about coming up with something similar, but gluten-free. There are lots of GF batter recipes out there, but all of the traditional British style recipes call for eggs. Because I’m stubborn! and because I don’t think old school beer batter should have eggs in it, I set about combining a few flours with some gluten-free beer.
Turns out, using the gluten-free flours produces an exceptionally crispy yeasted batter! I’ve used my bread flour blend to give this a bit of body, but added cornstarch and sweet rice flour for some lightness and crispness. We’ve tried a couple of different gluten-free beers for this – my preference of the brands we can get locally, is the Green’s Dubel Dark Ale, but Bard’s made a very nice batter too!
When you are frying these up, keep a couple of things in mind:
- make sure your oil is sufficiently hot – 350 F is ideal, and if you are frying multiple pieces of fish, you may need to increase the heat slightly.
- Drop part of the fish in the hot batter and swish back and forth gently to get the batter cooking and bubbling before dropping all the way in the oil (always away from you!)
- Don’t cut your fish into huge pieces or they take forever to cook! 4 ounces (or approx 120 grams) is a good size
- Drain your cooked pieces of fish on multiple layers of paper towel or newspaper, and keep warm in the oven while the remaining pieces finish cooking.
- You can use leftover batter for onion rings