Category Archives: beer

Broo Lager, Soerrento, Victoria – Salt and Pepper Beer Batter Seafood Basket made with Sorrento’s Broo Lager with Guacamole

I tried out Sorrento’s craft brew Broo Lager last night. It was on special at the local bottle-o and I’d heard good things. I spent the rest of the night chilling out, streaming episodes of Ugly Americans and 2 Broke Girls, (a guilty pleasure) on YouTube and drinking said brew. You know when you have something that just epitomizes what it’s supposed to be? This beer does this. You drink it and and you think, ‘I don’t know how, in words, to pin down what beer is, but this is what beer is’. Craft beers at the moment seem to be becoming increasingly more complicated, experimental and brewers are crossing over styles, sometimes multiple times. While I applaud this, think this expansion of beer and its palate is truly wonderful and some stellar beers have been created as a result, it’s also refreshing to know that true classics are still valued, appreciated and are being made. Their website, Broo Beer (click on that if you want to find out more) proudly states that this beer is Australian owned, which  I think is pretty good, especially on the back of the recent announcement that yet another Australian brew – Mountain Goat – has just been sold to an international company, in this case, Asahi Breweries. But enough of this ramble. I woke up to find I’d fallen asleep with three quarters of a beer left. Rather than let good beer go to waste I decided to make a beer batter seafood basket (also to procrastinate and put off doing planning for work next term…). So here’s the recipe.

You need:

The Batter

  • 3/4 bottle of Broo Lager (or any good quality beer, about 280-285mL)
  • a good handful or two of plain flour in a bowl seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper (I used Lauke Crusty White Bread Flour, but all purpose plain flour will do)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard

Using  a whisk, gradually add beer to flour until you have a batter the consistency of a pancake batter. Beat in mustard and leave to rest.

The Seafood

  • 1 clean squid tube cut into rings
  • 1 fillet of Trevalley fish or any other firm white fish (e.g. Flake, Whiting e.c.t.) cut into roughly 5 by 3cm chunks.

Cook

  • Heat 2 cm depth of vegetable oil in a deep pan until a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds or a wooden skewer bubbles when dipped in.
  • dredge the squid and fish in batter, shake off excess and fry in batches, turning over after each side goes golden and crisp. (Squid takes maybe 2 minutes, fish about 3 – 4 minutes – I didn’t really time it, but keep a careful eye as the hot oil will cook the pieces through very quickly. 2- 3 minutes will leave you with lovely, tender fish)
  • drain on paper towel and place on a bed of fresh bok choy leaves.

Serve with Guacamole

  • Season a mashed avocado with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard, lime juice, 1/2 chili pounded together with a garlic clove and a pinch of salt, sweet chili sauce and some chopped coriander

Happy eating!

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Ginger chili pork crackling with sweet chili sauce

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The beer pictured is Western Australian brew ‘Little Creatures Bright Ale.’ We are now lucky enough to have a new Creatures Brewery right here in Geelong, Victoria. A decent drop.

My friend and I were sitting around last night,  having a few beers when it hit that point in the night where we suddenly got the nibblies. I had a strip of pork rind that I’d cut off a roast, sitting in the fridge. I cut up a bit, fried it, whacked a bit of salt,  pepper and paprika on,  thinking that would sufficiently sooth the pangs. We got halfway through eating and realized we were so wrong! At this point, I saw the bottle of sweet chili sauce sitting in the cupboard. My only thought was ‘that would be wicked on crackling!’ I promptly cut up the rest of the rind,  made a ginger,  chili, garlic paste to go on top, and doused those pork strips in hot,  sweet,  sticky,  sour goodness!!!

You need;

Pork shoulder rind,  cut into strips, about 1cm thick

Plain oil for frying (e.g. vegetable, canola, peanut/ground nut e.c.t.)

Mix together a small chunk of ginger,  peeled and grated,  a garlic clove,  grated,  1 small chili,  finely chopped, 1/2 tsp salt,  1 tsp sugar (pound in mortar and pestle if you’ve got one. Not critical though).

Method:

Heat a layer (1/2cm or so) in a pan over medium heat until a piece of bread browns in 30 seconds. Carefully drop pork strips in,  fry for 5 minutes on one side,  then turn pieces over,  fry for another 5 or so,  until pork has just about stopped sizzling (means the moisture has fried out of it and equals crispy!). Drain pork on a brown paper bag,  whack ginger chili paste on and smother in sweet chili sauce. Happy drinking!!!