For my birthday last year I got a deep fryer. It’s a scary thought, when you can imaging three meals a day being deep fried. But it’s turned out to be great, and is only brought out on special occasions. Most recently we’ve been frying a lot of local yellow perch in it. It’s nice to drive down to Port Dover and pick up fresh fillets and fry them up that very day.
I like to make a beer batter for the fish using a mild, not too hoppy beer. Even if you like weird beers, try to avoid using them in a batter since they’ll overpower the fish’s flavour. The batter I’ve been making is a 1.5 cups of spelt flour, one bottle of beer, and a bit of salt. This will coat around two pounds of perch.
Nothing goes better with fish, than chips. So we usually make up a batch of fries. They’re usually blanched earlier in the day and drained so they’re dry for frying. You can fry them all at once, but they taste better if they’re fried twice, Belgian-style–once at a lower temperature and then fried quickly at a higher temperature. We don’t have two fryers, and are too impatient to change temperature, so we just blanch them and then fry them hot. They taste great.
It’s a bit tricky not letting the batter fry itself around the basket. If they’re just dropped in, they’ll sink while they’re still soft. I have to slowly lower them until they start to float so they don’t have a chance to weld themselves to the mesh.
The fish cooks in a few minutes and we let them drain on paper towel. They’re great with our homemade ketchup, however we’re going to have to start making our own tarter sauce.