12 – Beer-Battered Halibut

I absolutely love fish and chips. When visiting my in-laws in England, I simply can’t get enough. Honestly, when I order it over there, I can’t even wait for it to cool down, as evidenced from the pic below:

Patience is a virtue, and apparently a self-defence mechanism I’m in need of.

When living in Nova Scotia, I had near-British levels of access to the battery goodness. This was thanks in part to both a sketchy-yet-tasty food truck offering (it wasn’t one of those trendy, hipster-looking food trucks by any stretch) and a seasonal hut on the boardwalk appropriately named “The Battered Fish”.

Being without the wife tonight (she’s out with friends as I was supposed to be working late on report cards instead of cooking and blogging), I decided on an easy meal: mashed potatoes and frozen fish fillets. Then, remembering that I rarely venture into the frozen foods section anymore, I was hit with a fit of inspiration. Oh a whim, I picked up some cheapish halibut (cheap compared with restaurant prices, at least), nearly prayed aloud that I wouldn’t ruin it, and headed for home.

Upon returning home, I rushed to find an easy beer-battered recipe, then I got to work. I wanted to prove to myself that preparing fish by hand was tastier and faster than simply heating up the frozen, pre-battered offerings. That being said, I really should have taken more time to read the recipe…

In the most complicated terms, the recipe I used requires a 12:1 ratio of flour to baking powder, and one full egg for every 1/4 cup of flour. I’m expressing it like this to avoid needing to quote – and grant undeserved credit to – the recipe I used, which I found confusing in my rushed state. That confusion comes from the fact that a full can of beer was in it’s ingredient list, but then in the instructions there’s mention of only using enough beer to gain a proper consistency for the batter (after which the rest of the beer is left to simply enjoy). I skimmed the recipe, added too much beer to the flour/baking powder/egg mixture, and spent a good deal of time and extra flour/baking powder/egg desperately attempting to right that wrong.

With a batter still too runny, I dipped in chunks of fish flesh, then dropped them in a pan with sizzling oil. After mere minutes (approximately 4-6) and a flip or two, I had something nearing on actual beer-battered halibut. In all honesty, I cheated at one point and drizzled extra batter on the half-submerged fish as it cooked away, attempting to make up for such a thin coating.

The finished product, sans tartar sauce. I figured a coil of the white condiment wouldn’t really add much to the picture.

Though not as crispy as it had the potential to be, as well as being a little over-cooked by my picky standards, it was pretty good. I added some smashed golden nuggets mixed with jalapeno Monterey jack and some buttermilk, and a healthy dose of tartar sauce on the side. After my Seahawks suffered such a frustrating defeat last night at the hands of the New England Patriots, I had to opt for Western Family’s version out of bitterness towards anything Kraft (Robert Kraft being their owner).

Anyways, I have to wake up super early tomorrow to make up for the fact that I just blogged instead of writing report cards. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s crush to get everything done before the deadline is as successful as this dish!


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