Drgrosboll's IsaBody Blog

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Long John Silvers, for the Gluten Intolerant January 3, 2011

Filed under: Going Gluten-Free — drgrosboll @ 1:06 pm

When I was a kid, my grandmother would make homemade fried fish every year for Christmas Eve.  Way back in the day, it was either a Polish thing or a Catholic thing or both to not eat meat on Christmas Eve.  I don’t remember which.  So we always had some sort of fish, usually fried.  Although I do remember having frog legs one year.  Not sure if they would be considered meat or not, but they were tasty! As I got older, or, rather, as my grandmother got older, we started having Long John Silvers make our fish for Christmas Eve.  My father couldn’t stand fish or seafood!  He would always try to sneak Christmas morning’s ham or kielbasa at dinner and drive my grandparents (my mother’s parents) absolutely crazy!!  I think he did it almost as much to antagonize them as anything.  So he started making the trek to Long John Silvers every year and would sneak in a few pieces of chicken for him with the fish.  Since they look almost the same, my grandparents were never the wiser.  When I was about 13, we moved from Pennsylvania to Florida and my mother continued the tradition of Long John Silvers.  As an adult, I have also continued that tradition and, having a husband and daughter who also don’t much care for fish or seafood, I get chicken for them.  So Christmas this year was going to be a bit of a challenge since Long John Silvers fish is coated in a flour batter.

Carol Fenster’s cookbook, 1000 Gluten Free Recipes, has a recipe for beer batter fish and chips.  I thought I would try those.  My daughter wasn’t too keen on the idea.  Not a big fan of beer batter either.  What to do?  What to do?  Well, did you know you can find just about anything on the internet???  I looked and found a copycat recipe for Long John Silvers batter!  So, again, I just replaced the flour with a gluten free blend and kept the rest of the recipe the same.  Here it is:

Gluten Free Copycat Long John Silvers Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups Sorghum Flour blend (1 1/2 parts Sorghum flour, 1 1/2 parts potato starch, 1 part tapioca starch)
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Blend together.  Dip pieces of fish or chicken to coat and deep fry in fryer or large pot until done – about 4-6 minutes for fish, 7-10 minutes for chicken.  Drain on plate covered with paper towels and serve.

Batter ready for fish and chicken

Finished product

It looks just like the real thing, and tasted just like the real thing.  My family loved it!!  The only thing you need to watch out for is this:  the batter is very sticky and will stick to the sides of the fryer basket if using a deep fryer.  My husband held the pieces in the fryer with tongs and shook the basket until the coating started to cook so it wouldn’t stick to the sides of the basket.  The first batch stuck and it was quite a mess.  So be careful.

Yes, I know this recipe isn’t exactly healthy, but it allowed us to continue our Christmas traditions and I believe in all things in moderation and, for a treat, it was awesome!!!!

Happy New Year and I’ll see you next time!

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