Nothing, I tell you.
So when I saw the recipe for beer-battered fish in this cookbook, I dove straight in. Fish and chips will always be a winner in this house.
Like the fried chicken, I did this properly by using my candy thermometer to get the oil to exactly the right temperature. This truly is no-fooling-around-with-the-frying for the average home cook. So this was great, but unfortunately, I won’t be recommending this recipe for anyone who wants to make fish and chips at home.
The problem, in a nutshell, was the inclusion of 275ml of vodka in the batter. The recipe is a variation of this one by Heston Blumenthal, where you use equal amounts of vodka and beer for the batter. The “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” recipe uses 275ml of vodka to about 350ml of beer. I struggled with this though, not because the results were delicious (which they were) but the cost of putting that much vodka into the recipe. I could have gotten the super-cheap own-brand supermarket vodka that was available, but what was I going to do with the rest of the bottle? Better to have some decent vodka on hand and then you can use the rest to make cocktails or whatnot, rather than the bottle gathering dust.
So while this was good, and again, like all the recipes in this cookbook, the instructions were clear and helpful, I won’t be making it again. If I want to make beer-battered fish and chips, I’ll probably find a recipe that just uses beer, which will make the batter perhaps slightly less airy, but just as good.