Sunday, July 24, 2011

Beer-battered Cod with Tartar Sauce... I give it an A.

Since posting my cooking attempts is a lot less work, that's what I shall do. I made these in concert with hamburgers for a barbecue type of Sunday (today). There was also corn and coleslaw. It seems natural to stick to the part I actually made. Since I've always been a bit bored, by cooked fish, I've tried to amass a collection of recipes that add to the flavor. Beer, of course, makes everything taste better. Try boiling hot dogs in beer - it's delicious! Of course, cheap beers work just as well for that. I used Samuel Smith's pale ale. There was plenty left over to drink with our meal. I was supposed to use 3 inches of oil (I tend to always use olive oil, it is healthier), but I had nowhere near that much. I used enough to almost cover the pieces of fish, and it was more than fine. Everyone at our meal liked my fish, and especially liked the tartar sauce. I think the beer added a sweetness to the fried fish I don't usually get. I made home-made mayonnaise for the tartar sauce. It makes a huge difference and is actually relatively easy. The mayonnaise was from a recipe on a health website I get emails from, but it's really easy and really doesn't require a recipe. I have edited the recipes below to reflect the way I made everything. To sum up, this was a delicious fishy meal and I highly recommend it for a hot Sunday!

Organic Mayonnaise

1 large egg yolk, raw
3/4 Cups of oil (I used olive. Walnut oil leads to a more buttery flavor, hazelnut oil to a nutty flavor, and truffle oil to a nice earthy taste but... $$)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon lemon juice, you can get this from half a lemon
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (You may also use ground mustard seed. The woman I asked at Central Market says Dijon mustard in recipes refers to the liquid form, but I'm used to using ground mustard seed when I make mayonnaise.)
Makes about 3/4 cups of mayonnaise. I doubled the recipe.

You will either use a hand mixer (electric beater) or a blender. If using a hand mixer, start by pulling out a medium glass bowl. Boil water in a pot and place the bowl over the boiling water. Just making the bowl a little warm makes a big difference. Mayonnaise is an emulsion and the formation of an emulsion is much easier when the molecules are moving quickly (a.k.a. heat). 

[To get the egg yolk: crack an egg in the middle over a bowl and hold the egg vertically. Remove the top half of the shell and transfer the egg yolk from one shell to the other until all of the white has dropped into the bowl.] Set up your hand mixer or blender. Place the egg yolk and salt in the blender or bowl. Add the mustard and lemon juice, and blend on pulse. Keep the blender running as you add oil very slowly. This will take a few minutes. Don’t rush the process. When all the oil has been added, you have mayonnaise (not the "mayo" Hellmann's sells, this is real mayonnaise)! The mayonnaise may be refrigerated for up to five days. 

Mayonnaise is also a fun word to spell..
Beer-battered Cod with Tartar Sauce

1 Cup mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (Actually I forgot this part but it still tasted fine!)
1 scallion including green top, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice, from half a lemon
2 Tablespoons gherkins (sweet pickles), chopped - this was the equivalent of about 4 of those tiny slices.
1 Tablespoon chopped capers
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh  parsley
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Oil, for frying
1 Cup flour
1 egg, beaten in a bowl with a fork or whisk
1 Cup of beer
2 pounds cod (may substitute Atlantic pollack/haddock/hake/scrod a.k.a baby cod), cut into 1 1/2 by 3 inch pieces

In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, scallion, lemon juice, gherkins, capers, and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Preheat the oven to 200°. 
Cover a baking sheet with paper towels, and top with a rack. Place to the side, near the stove-top. 

In a medium bowl, combine the flour with 1/2 a teaspoon of salt. Whisk in the egg. Slowly add the beer, continuing to whisk.

Pour enough oil to at least halfway cover the fish in a medium pot. Bring the oil to approximately 365° (mine came to just under 200). Alternatively, if you don't have thermometer, you really just need to heat the oil till it's smoking and then turn down the heat to medium.

Dip the pieces of cod, a few a time, into the batter. Make sure to thickly coat each side. Otherwise, a few pieces may only be fried on one side, as happened with my fish. I had a good amount of batter left over. Of course, if you want a lighter meal, you could lightly dip the fish. Drop the pieces into the oil and cook until the crust is light brown, about 4 minutes for 3/4-inch thick fillets. Remove the fish with tongs and put the pieces on the rack to drain. 

Sprinkle salt over the hot fish and put the baking sheet in the oven. Repeat in batches with the remaining fish. Serve with the tartar sauce.  


1 comment:

  1. Looks like a swell place. Can I get a reservation?