I’ve inundated you with desserts lately, so it’s about time for something a little different. How about some Old Bay Beer Battered Fish and Chips? It may not be the healthiest entree, but at least it’s not a dessert, right?
Since moving to the DMV–that’s the DC-Maryland-Virginia area for those who are not in the know–I’ve become a fan of Old Bay. I’d had Old Bay before, of course. But here, it’s part of life. It’s a way of life. Ubiquitous in any seafood dish, it also finds its way onto chicken, tater tots, fries, onion rings, cocktails…It was developed here in Maryland, and needless to say, people are loyal. And with good reason. Delicious reason.
So I decided when creating my fish and chips recipe that it would adhere to my adopted home’s favorite flavor. Old Bay is both in the batter and then sprinkled on to taste after: pretty much at every point in the recipe, add Old Bay. Same with the chips: roasted with olive oil and Old Bay, then plenty at the table to sprinkle on at will. Oh, and there’s beer, so you know it’s good.
Preference tip: I like to cut my fish into smaller pieces. Not only are they easier to handle when frying,, but then you get more of that crispy batter to go around. Yum.
Old Bay Beer Battered Fish and Chips with Lagered Mushy Peas
2-4 russet potatoes
2 cups flour
3 teaspoons Old Bay, plus more for seasoning and table
1 12 oz. bottle beer
1 1/2 lbs cod (or similar fish), boneless and skinless
16 oz. frozen peas
1/4 cup beer
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a mandoline to thinly slice potatoes. Toss potatoes, olive oil and Old Bay together on a baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes. Alternately, you can slice up the potatoes in whatever shape you prefer and roast for 45-50 minutes.
Depending upon the size of pan you are using, the amount of oil you will need to fry the fish could vary. Heat enough vegetable oil over medium-high heat to cover the fish in the pan that you are using. The oil is ready for frying when the handle of a wooden spoon inserted into the oil produced tiny bubbles.
In a shallow dish combine 1/2 cup flour and 1 teaspoon Old Bay and set aside. Aerate 1 1/2 cups flour and 2 teaspoons Old Bay in a large bowl (whisk by itself-essentially the same as sifting). Whisk in the beer until just combined. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Old Bay. Dredge the fish in the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Coat the fish in the beer mixture and once again shake off any excess. Place gently in the hot oil. The same can be done with a few more pieces of fish. Do not overcrowd the pan though, because the oil’s temperature will drop too much.
Once the fish is golden brown all over, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or a clean dish towel. Immediately season with salt, pepper and Old Bay. Continue with the remaining fish in batches.
Lagered Mushy Peas
Heat a small amount of oil in a pan, chop the scallions and add to the pan when oil is hot. Add the frozen peas and cover. Let the peas steam for a few minutes. Add beer and let cook for a minute more and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a food processor, use an immersion blender, or mash the peas with a potato masher. You can always add more beer if needed.