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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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