What goes well with World Cup Soccer? Gluten-Free Fish & Chips and of course New Planet Beer’s Tread Lightly Ale. I’ve been wanting to experiment with making gluten-free beer battered fish ever since learning that Udi’s Café in Grandview serves a Fish & Chips made with Tread Lightly Ale (as well as fantastic gluten-free pizza, and sandwiches).
So after searching around a bit I decided to use this adapted recipe from COOKS.COM.
GLUTEN–FREE BEER BATTER FISH
Adapted From COOKS.COM
- 2 lbs fish fillet (any white fish, but cod is more authentic)
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp dill weed
- ¾ cup New Planet’s Tread Lightly Ale
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Gently wash the fish in cold water, make sure to pat the fillets dry with plenty of paper towels. For large fillets, you may want to cut the fish into smaller pieces.
- Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix beer and eggs separately then stir into dry ingredients, mix until smooth. Place fish fillets in batter mixture; coat well, and let stand for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat oil to 350°F; gently place small batches of fish in oil to avoid dropping the oil temperature. Fry until golden brown, about 5 to 8 minutes, turning the fillets regularly to prevent scorching the batter. Remove fish to paper towels to drain excess oil. Keep warm in oven until all the fish are cooked.
- For a more authentic fish, use cod and skip all the seasoning except the salt. However, spices give the batter a little more flavor than the beer alone would. This batter works well with all kinds of fish and shrimp. If you want to eliminate the beer, try using milk.
It took a while to fry each of the pieces individually so it helps to have a low heat oven to keep the fish warm. We used Grapeseed Oil as it has a high flash point and good fats. We served it with red potato “chips” and some over cooked broccoli (appropriately British). The taste was subtle but enjoyable. Pedro commented he hadn’t had breaded fish in probably 10 years. We did use Atlantic Cod which turned out to be quite expensive (over $14.00/lb) but amazingly light and flaky. Most interesting was the fish tasted even better the next day cold!
Which brought up a question of why use beer in batter in the first place? We guessed that it might have to do with the British traveling to their colonies and using beer for cooking because it was safer than water. A search on Wikipedia instructs:
UK chippies traditionally use a simple water and flour batter, adding a little bicarb soda (baking soda) and a little vinegar to create lightness as they create bubbles in the batter. Other recipes may use beer or milk batter, where these liquids substitute for water. The carbon dioxide in the beer lends a lighter texture to the batter, and also an orange color. A simple beer batter might consist of a 2:3 ratio of flour to beer by volume. The type of beer makes the batter taste different: some prefer lager whereas others use stout and bitter. In all cases, the alcohol itself is cooked off, so little or none remains in the finished product.
Given that Tread Lightly Ale is a light tasting beer, that is probably the reason for our subtle tasting beer batter. Next time we hopefully will have our hoppier beer available and I will give it a try. Have you tried a gluten-free beer batter recipe? What is your favorite recipe to cook with using beer?
By Seneca Murley, co-founder of New Planet Gluten-free Beer Company