Best Beer Batter

I got this out of a Cooks Illustrated Cookbook a while back. It’s the best Beer Batter I’ve tried. I like a flavorful lager, like Brooklyn Brewing Company’s Brooklyn Lager, or a good Mexican lager, like Pacifico in this batter. Here is the recipe:

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  • .5 cup cornstarch
  • .5 tsp paprika
  • .5 tsp cayenne (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black papper (freshly ground is best)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 bottle of your favorite beer

Mix thoroughly in bowl, take out .75 cup and put in a rimmed baking pan. To the rest add 1 tsp baking powder. Stir in 1.25 cups of beer till mixed (it will be lumpy). It needs to run off the fish or chicken, so watch for long stream coming off spoon that leaves slight impression on top of batter (thin but not too thin). Add the other 1/4 cup of beer a Tbl at a time if needed.

Dredge fish in flour mixture on baking pan, then put into beer batter, shaking off, or dragging on side of bowl to remove excess batter. Drop fish back in flour mixture on baking pan, coat both sides, then drop into 375°F (191°C) oil in deep fryer. Cook until golden, drain on wire rack or paper towels. Don’t crowd fish.

You can use Cajun Seasoning for salt and omit some of the cayenne if you like.

Make a tarter sauce with about 1/3 cup mayo, 1 Tbs dill relish, 1 Tbs finely chopped onions, about 1/4 tsp dill pickle juice (or to taste), and about a half tsp of horseradish. Stir well, keep cold until use. You can omit the horseradish if you like. Try it both ways to see which one you prefer.

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