08 July 2009

Deep Fry It. Deep Fry It ALL!

Alex's boss just got back from Alaska and brought us some halibut. My sister told me she just had some fabulous beer battered halibut and sweet potato fries, so I thought I'd try her recipe. She gave me a can of beer, so we tried it with ginger ale and with beer to see if we could tell a difference.

1 c. Flour
1/2 teas. Paprika
1/4 teas. Salt
1/8 teas. Pepper
3/4 c. Beer (My sister used a 12 oz. can and said "It's perfect!")

Mix until smooth and deep fry. Smother in chocolate. Just kidding. We did throw some malt vinegar over the fish and loved it. The batter also did well with the sweet potatoes. If you look closely, you can see that in my experimental state I also deep fried some beets. Deep fried beets are not as exciting as one might think.

Alex and I could taste almost no difference, though I thought I could taste a hint of ginger-ale-ness on the fish, which I preferred because I love ginger ale. I think it would be interesting to try a grapefruit soda or sprite.

Can I get kicked out of Mormon Mommy Blogs for this? I have no ethical qualms about using alchohol in cooking, though in this instance it wasn't worth the excitement of denying Grace the "soda" while she asked for it all day. Maybe I should have given her some, because it really was that kind of day.

You are welcome to disagree politely with me in the comments, but at some point I'll probably still buy that rum I've been thinking about to make bananas foster and homemade vanilla.


Marie Loves Ben said...

this is a topic of discussion in my home. ben once heard bobby flay say that all the alcohol doesn't cook out. my granny used it like it was going out of style. i say: go for it! and if you get a little tipsy, so much the better.

The Rookie said...

My mom once went out to eat and then onto the temple with some friends. Their pasta sauce was wine-based. When one of her friends found out she sat in naive haunting guilt during the entire session. It was a great family joke for a while.

What I'm saying is, I hold no qualms about cooking with alcohol--even if the alcohol doesn't "cook out." But then, I hold no qualms about drinking fully caffeinated Diet Coke on a pretty regular basis.

Oh, and Alex has a kind boss, indeed. Though I'm not a seafood fan, fresh Alaskan halibut can be delicioso! Especially when deep fried.

The Lemmon's said...

I'm impressed you are always so willing to try new things. I should be as bold -- only after experimenting do you find the great recipes!

msjvd said...

Jen, do you have more halibut? That was what I used in my fish tacos, and if you wish (and still have some halibut) I will get out that recipe immediately for you. They were actually the best fish tacos I've ever had, and I've made quite a habit of trying fish tacos everywhere.

msjvd said...

(PS: I think homemade vanilla requires bourbon, not rum.)

Lori said...

I had a hard internal struggle at some point about cooking with alcohol, but I have overcome it. If the recipe calls for it then I use it. I have bought rice wine, and white cooking wine so far. I might be a little embarrassed to buy beer though. I haven't had anything that requires beer yet.
For the most part I think it comes down to flavor. In some instances I suppose they want the alcohol content instead, so if you prefer a non-alcoholic flavor fine.

msjvd said...

I don't like beer in fried foods or in bread because it comes back on me: I burp a beer-y taste. Blech!

But I do have a great and amazing recipe for pulled pork that utilizes beer. Here it is:

Crockpot Pulled Pork:

1 crockpot
1 sizable (4-5 pound) pork butt roast
1 bottle beer (Budweiser seems to work)

Put the pork butt in the crockpot. Turn it on high. Pour the entire beer over the meat. Add some spices, if you wish, but I never do.

Slow cook for 6-7-8 hours until very tender. Drain off excess fat. Use two forks to pull the meat apart. Pour a bottle of whatever barbecue sauce you like over the pulled pork and mix a little. Be careful not to pull the pieces into pure thready-ness, because a little of the muscle texture of meat will produce better mouth-feel.

Serve on your favorite buns.

Yeppers, it's just that difficult.

angela michelle said...

last fall i went to the texas state fair where everything is deep-fried. i don't think cooking with a bit o alcohol is any problem--buying at the neighborhood grocery could be more problematic.

Dansie Family said...

sounds great. i just say use whatever is cheaper. i have no prob with it now, but maybe when my kids are teens i may be more hesitant to have the real stuff in the house. no reason to tempt.

Hey It's Di said...

I say we should drink to that! As long as it's not "a drink for me, a drop in the mixture...two drinks for me, a drop in the mixture;)"

Jesse said...

I've also heard that all of the alcohol doesn't cook out, but apparently (and I can't site a source for you) some flavors only dissolve in alcohol (maybe I heard it at work) which makes sense in using alcohol in cooking. I still am unsure of my exact feelings about it in general, though I definitely have had some sauces that alcohol was used in cooking them, and vanilla is one of my favorite flavors and it is generally combined with alcohol. Also, I've made something very similar to Bananas Fosters using just vanilla and I think one of the times I used strawberry extract/flavoring, and I may have used orange zest or something the other time. I think that when I have small kids in my home I won't keep anything that could easily be tied to alcoholic beverages because I don't want my kids getting the wrong ideas because I don't believe in drinking alcohol, and for impressionable kids they may get the wrong idea when they aren't yet able to understand possible differences. Those are my thoughts :)