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Cooking with Beer: Beer Batter Extraordinaire Recipe

This beer batter can be used to crisp and coat meats, fish, vegetables — anything savory you’d like to deep fry. It’s best used immediately after being prepared, so be sure to have the food being battered fully assembled before you begin to heat the oil.

Prep time: About 10 min

Cook time: Depends on ingredients being fried, about 3–4 min

Yield: Depends on ingredients being fried

Oil for frying (preferably corn oil), enough to cover the food by at least 1 inch (2.5 centimeters), about 24–32 ounces

3/4 cup unbleached cake flour, plus additional flour for dusting

1/4 cup cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 large egg, beaten

2 to 3 drops liquid smoke

1 cup Kölsch or American Wheat Beer, ice cold

Suggestions for food to fry: 6 cups sliced onion rings; 8 cups whole cleaned mushroom caps; 6 cups sliced zucchini; 4 cups sliced sweet potato; or a combination of your favorites!

  1. Heat the oil to 365 degrees in a deep frying pan over medium-high to high heat.

  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

  3. In a separate, smaller bowl, stir together egg, liquid smoke, and beer. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture and whisk briefly, but don’t over mix.

  4. Pat dry the ingredients to be fried and dust them lightly with flour immediately before dipping into the batter.

  5. Using a long-handled slotted spoon or long tongs, fry until a uniform golden brown in color, turning if necessary — usually about 3 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels. Cool just enough to be able to eat, about 90 seconds.

Per serving: Calories 272 (From Fat 134); Fat 15g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 35mg; Sodium 531mg; Carbohydrate 29g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 4g.

Always heat oil from 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and always use fresh oil — no exceptions!

Vary It! This batter works best on firm foods: shrimp, onion rings, mushrooms, firm fish, and thin slices of firm veggies, such as sweet potato, eggplant, and zucchini. Also, if you can’t find unbleached cake flour, you can substitute unbleached all-purpose flour.

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