Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Most people in our part of Alaska have halibut in the freezer. Whether they caught it themselves, or (like us) they have a generous neighbor who is an avid fisherman...it is a delightful mid-winter staple. Fish & Chips is one of Hubbies all time favorites and it is very quick to make.

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.

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.


Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

we don't eat fish as a family (they don't like it), but I love fish and chips! I just made fish tacos the other night with a beer batter, and made them all eat it for dinner, haha!

Lara said...

It is my husband's dream to one day go fishing in Alaska! this looks like something the whole family would love!

the domestic mama said...

Mmmm, I love halibut. We get more mahi and tuna here though.... and snapper and kingfish. But there's always the store! :)

Anncoo said...

Never tried halibut before but looks delicious.
I always twice fried not only fries also other deep fried food.

Debbie said...

I will love this, I know. Fish and chips with malt vinegar...YUM! I hope to see you over at Crock Pot Wednesday this week.

Cristine said...

What a delicious looking meal!

Debbie said...

I love fish and chips and that batter looks just divine! Thanks for the tip on cooking french fries.

Angela said...

Hey Coleen!

Your recipe looks yummy! I don't like fish but I'm wondering if it would be good with chicken?

teresa said...

mmmm, i love this! you can't beat anything beer battered!

Sonya said...

I love fish and chips but have never made my own. Im not a fan of deep frying..only because the smell lingers in our house. Im so wishing we were neighbors though..lol

Kathleen said...

This is my favorite way to eat halibut! Yum Yum!

Katy ~ said...

Coleen, this looks better than most of the fresh seafood served at restaurants I've seen. Perfect!

D said...

Looks so good!

Josie said...

My favorite fish is halibut. I have had halibut from Alaska and there is no comparison, you are lucky to live there Colleen. Thanks for the recipe, I will go down to Point Loma Seafoods and pay $40.00 a pound for some Alaskan halibut ;-)