This is a recipe for a classic beer batter and fried potatoes. I typically make this with leopard shark, halibut, walleye, cod or catfish, but you can also use seafood like shrimp, calamari, oysters or clams. I use waxy potatoes like Yukon gold for the chips; I find they hold together better in the hot oil. Make sure your fish is fresh, your batter is cold, and your oil is hot. Make the chips first and keep them in a warm oven. Oh, and make more than you think you need. People love well-made fish and chips more than they think.
2poundsYukon gold potatoes,sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds
About 1/2 bottle beer
Salt the fish and set it aside at room temperature. Get your oil going: You want it to be 350-360 degrees. Turn the oven to the "warm" setting, and put a cookie sheet inside. Place a wire rack on top of the cookie sheet.
Mix the flour, vegetable oil, salt and beer together, stirring all the while. You want enough beer in the batter to give it the consistency of house paint, or melted ice cream. Put in the fridge to rest for 20 minutes.
While the batter is resting, slice the potatoes and put them into a large bowl of cold water. When you are done slicing, remove the potatoes and pat them dry with a paper towel.
The oil should be hot by now. Fry the potatoes, a few at time, for 3-5 minutes, or until they start to brown at the edges. Don't cook them until they are uniformly brown or you will overcook them; they will continue to brown a little out of the fryer. Salt each batch the moment it comes out of the fryer. Store each batch on the wire rack in the warm oven.
When the potatoes are done, take the batter out of the fridge. Dredge the fish in the batter and let the excess drip off for a second or two. Lay each piece gently into the hot oil. Do this by letting the bottom end of the piece of fish fry for a second or so in the oil before you let the whole piece get a bath. This helps prevent the fish from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Keep a chopstick or something similar around to dislodge any pieces that do get stuck.
Fry in batches until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes depending on how large the pieces are. Keep each batch in the warm oven while you finish the rest. Serve at once when you're done.
Serve with lemon, beer and a sauce of your choice. Tartar sauce is a good idea, but remoulade is also good, as are aioli and the traditionals -- malt vinegar and Tabasco.