News From the Test Kitchen: Gluten Free Fish & Chips
On Saturday, Rich and I found ourselves experimenting with something I have not tasted in 25 + years: fried fish. It is not just because I am gluten free that I have not indulged in fried fish for so long. Before I went gluten free, I was a vegetarian for 16 years. I was not a vegan, but a I was a very strict ova-lacto vegetarian. I ate nothing that once had a face.
The last time I remember eating fish and chips was at Arthur Treachers when I was a teenager. You would think that growing in a seafood-rich state like Florida I would have had fish & chips more than I had but my childhood was a bit different to say the least.
Which Gluten Free AP Flour to Use?
That was the big question! We knew we were using cod and deep frying in canola oil in the electric fryer. The two flours we tested were Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Flour and Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend. I contented that Pamela’s would be a better choice due to the sweet rice flour and guar gum in the mix. I thought Pamela’s would be make a more of thicker coating with a bit of a crispy chew to it. Bob’s does not have those two ingredients and because of that, I thought the coating would be thin and not very crunchy. Well, that was not the case. The two were so identical, we had a tough time telling between them.
We used a New Planet gluten free beer in the batter and Pamela’s seemed to soak it up and we had to use more. Also, the Pamela’s batter was not as thin as the batter with Bob’s in it. Because of those differences, we have to conduct further testing. We are also going to test the “dredge” flour we use too. For this experiment, we used rice flour. And, one final thing we will test is using a Tempura batter (just white rice flour and no blend). We have made delicious gluten free Tempura fried shrimp in the past and I am curious how that will work with fish.
The “Chips” Need No Further Testing, Or Do They?
Straight-up cooking answer, no, they were amazingly delicious! Hand-cut and double deep fried in canola oil, dressed only with kosher salt. AMAZING potato flavor and very little greasiness. We used organic russets and they tasted devine! But, one should be completely sure, right? I think we better do another test and the only rationale will most likely be that “I really want to test them again to so I can eat more of them”, and what’s the harm in that?
My love for Mayo Made Me do It!
Not only did we test fish and chips, we tested a couple tarter sauce recipes. I will NEVER pass up an opportunity to eat mayo! Of the two sauces I made, there was a clear winner. However, further testing is needed to create the “perfect” tarter sauce. Well, I guess I will need to eat more mayo for the sake of a great recipe, darn!!
But, Wait, There’s Even More!
So what does one serve with fish & chips? Since I have an obsession with having something green on every plate of food (well, maybe not breakfast plates, and no, chopped parsley does not count) I need to find a side that would not complement the heavy and calorie-laden, yet delicious fish and chips. Enter an acid, a long green vegetable and some arromatics. The cucumber salad I made actually took the place the usual malt-vinegar that is typically served with fish and chips. It was light and acid-y and just plain wonderful.
Stayed tuned! The Fish & Chips, tarter sauce and cucumber salad recipes will be coming to TGFE website soon.