BEER BATTER HALIBUT
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt & ½ tsp. black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
pinch of Old Bay seasoning
12 ounce bottle of COLD beer
Whisk everything together until it is very smooth and free of any lumps; cover and let this sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (or up to an hour).
In a deep, heavy bottomed pan, preheat cooking oil to 350F. Cut the halibut into 1½ to 2" chunks and roll them in corn starch before dipping into batter. Fry in hot oil until the fish is golden brown. Drain well and keep warm in the oven.
(TWICE FRIED) FRENCH FRIES
For years, I made french fries that were limp, greasy and soggy. We still ate (and enjoyed) them, but they were never, what I would call, "company worthy". Then, this past year, I noticed that several of the shows on the food channel were frying their potatoes twice, so I thought I would give it a try. I was amazed at the difference this pre-cooking step made. If you haven't tried it yet, you will be very pleasantly surprised. As you can see in the above photo, my fries are now "company worthy".
Peel and slice 4 large Russet potatoes into ¼" thick french fries (Alaska potatoes do not work well for this because their water content is too high). Soak the cut potatoes in cold water for half hour (see note). Remove from water and pat dry.
Working in batches, so you don't overcrowd the pot, fry the potatoes in 325F cooking oil for two or three minutes, or just until they turn pale and a little limp. Remove from the oil and drain well on paper towels and cool the potatoes to room temperature. Make sure you let the oil heat back up to 325F between batches in this first-cook step.
For the second-fry, increase the cooking oil temperature to 375F and fry the potatoes again, this time for about 2-3 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on fresh paper towels and salt immediately.
NOTE: Most cooking shows call for frying in peanut oil, which I never seem to have. I fry in canola oil, but any good cooking oil would work well.NOTE: If you don't have the time to soak the cut, raw potatoes in cold water, don't worry about it. This step does help, but it is not absolutely necessary.