25 March 2009

Soused Chef: Beer Battered Tilapia - Cooking with Coors

If you've been to a beer event in Indianapolis, chances are you've seen Tamre Schemine. Despite her diminutive size, her enthusiasm for craft beer is gargantuan. Tamre recently moved to the Chicago area, but she still stops in from time to time to enjoy beer with her old Indy friends.

Today we present the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series of articles in the use of beer in cooking. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Tamre Schemine, our Soused Chef.

There's nothing I love more than a fish fry during Lent - a parish hall full of screaming kids running around, cheap beer, and hanging out with my family. It's loud, crowded and awesome. This past Friday we decided to cook fish at home, so I found a recipe for a beer batter. We used individually wrapped frozen Tilapia, but any whitefish would do.

The fun part was trying to find a beer to use. Searching through what we had available I realized that I would get into trouble using Founder's KBS, Bell's Hopslam, Port Brewing Co. Hop 15, or Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout. Oddly enough, we had a few cans of Coors Light in our fridge. Coors Light is perfect for beer batter. It's light and the carbonation provides the flakiness needed for the batter.

* 2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
* 8 (4 ounce) fillets cod
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle beer

1. Heat oil in a deep fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Rinse fish, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper.
2. Combine flour, garlic powder, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons pepper. Stir egg into dry ingredients. Gradually mix in beer until a thin batter is formed. You should be able to see the fish through the batter after it has been dipped.
3. Dip fish fillets into the batter, then drop one at a time into hot oil. Fry fish, turning once, until both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels, and serve warm.

Notes: If you have a deep fryer, definitely use it. We filled our kitchen with smoke from the pan of oil. The fish cooks pretty fast, so make sure as soon as it turns golden brown, flip it and the fish will cook maybe a minute on the second side before it's ready to come out. I made cajun oven fries to go with our fish and no fish fry is complete without deli pickles (at least in my house.) My significant other can't cook a meal without some sort of canned vegetable. Don't mind the corn.

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com


  1. That is an awesome picture of Tamre.

  2. Yeah, it's pretty lucky that we caught her while she was wearing her chef's hat and carrying her spatula.