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Fish N Chips: Northern Pike, Take II

02.21.08

What does one do with oil that has been dirtied with deep fried fish? Make more deep fried fish. That, and store it outside in the meantime, as there are far more pleasant odors to have lingering in your kitchen.

For the potato debaters in yesterday’s comments: today’s were red norlands. I liked them better. Maybe it was the oil temp, maybe not. Didn’t have russets, as we didn’t grow any last year.

Yesterday I was maintaining my oil temperature at a 4-5 setting on my electric range. I normally deep fry on gas outdoors, so this is new to me. Today I held my oil at 7-7.5. Notice the golden crispiness? I knew yesterday’s execution was weak at the time, and figured I knew why, so it was satisfying to step it up many notches tonight.

It was also superior because of the Tuborg and Pilsner Urquell. What a fine pairing, greasy food and beer. They helped with the batter, which I eyeballed rather than following a recipe. Here’s roughly what it was:

Beer Batter
About 2/3 of a 1/2 liter can of Tuborg that I dropped on the floor, open, which proceeded to foam all over our kitchen floor, requiring significant cleanup, and making my socks stick to the floor afterwards.
Tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
I added flour a little at a time until the consistency was like a heavy crepe or loose pancake batter. I figure maybe 1/3-1/2 cup. I mixed with a fork just enough to blend, and to try to preserve some of my drop-on-the-floor-foam-achievement. Bubbles in the batter are good.

It is worth noting that my wife and I found the Northern Pike a little too soft for deep frying, relative to say cod or even pickerel. So it won’t go very high on the list of ‘favorite fish for deep frying’. And yes, we’ve done halibut, and for the record, in my opinion, halibut is too firm. [I really don't get why people freak out about it, to be honest]

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