My kitchen has been nicknamed ‘Bistro Dave’. When friends or relatives want to get together for dinner, then often ask, “You’re a foodie. Where do you want to eat? Where do you recommend?” My answer is almost always, “I think your best choice is Bistro Dave.”
It’s Friday, and Sweet Lady Wife has been working hard cleaning the house. I decided that I would take a bit of the load off her and fix dinner. She’s a Wisconsin girl, so what better to make on a Friday night than deep-fried fish? (I still remember the happy look on her face when I bought the deep fryer and mentioned that we could now make deep-fried fish.)
There is only one problem: In Wisconsin a fish fry usually involves lake perch or walleye. Try going to even a premium grocer here in Arizona and asking for perch. He’ll just look at you funny. I know. I’ve tried. Fortunately, Whole Foods sells frozen catfish fillets that are actually pretty good.
The batter is my own recipe. Yes, it uses Foster’s Premium Ale, but the real secret is the Spanish sweet smoked paprika. My introduction to it was when I started making paella and went ‘wow!’ Some paprikas are spicy (meaning hot). Spanish sweet smoked paprika is not. I love it for the smokiness it adds to a dish. Spanish farmers harvest and dry the chiles over wood fires. Look for Spanish paprika labeled “Dulce” (sweet and mild) as opposed to “agridulce” (bittersweet and medium hot) or “picante” (hot).
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Spanish sweet smoked paprika
- 16 oz Foster's Premium Lager
- 2 eggs
- Beat the eggs lightly until the yolks and whites are thoroughly combined.
- Whisk together the ingredients.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Add the required amount of oil to the deep fryer and turn it on to 375F
- Salt and pepper the fillets
- When the deep fryer is up to temperature dip a fillet into the batter and drop it into the deep fryer. (Whisk or stir the batter between dipping fillets, as it tends to separate)
- When the batter has turned golden brown (about 2-3 minutes) take the fish out and let it drain.