Set aside any fears of frying and have fun with this one. The batter is a quick blend of sparkling lemonade, lemon zest and seasoned flour. If young eaters are around, get them to do the mixing and dipping.
You’ll need an instant-read thermometer. Serve with a lightly dressed salad of apples or Asian pears, grapes and walnuts.
Crispy Lemon Fish
Adapted from a recipe by Shaun Rankin, chef-owner of Ormer restaurant in Jersey, in the Channel Islands.
Safflower or vegetable oil, for frying
3/4 cup flour
Pinch fine sea salt, plus more as needed
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup sparkling lemonade, such as Trader Joe’s brand
1-pound piece cod fillet
Tartar sauce, for serving
Heat about 3 inches of oil in a deep, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 365 degrees. Seat a wire cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet.
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon over the bowl; wrap and reserve the zested lemon for another use. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges.
Stir the sparkling lemonade into the flour mixture to form a thick, lump-free batter.
Cut the fish into 1/2-inch-wide slices.
Once the oil is ready, dip 3 or 4 pieces of cod into the batter; shake off any excess batter, then carefully drop the coated fish into the oil. Fry for 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning the pieces over as needed. Transfer them to the rack to drain; season lightly with salt right away.
Repeat to batter and fry all the fish. Discard any remaining batter. Serve warm, with tartar sauce and the lemon wedges.
Yield: 4 servings.