Living in Wisconsin for my entire life, I grew up with traditional Friday night fish frys. As a child I remember going to or picking up fish dinners from a VFW Post in our neighborhood on a Friday night during my dad’s vacation week. As an adult and traveling to other states, I realized that Friday night fish frys are something pretty unique to Wisconsin. Not all states have them. Now, a few times a year we use a turkey fryer and have our own fish frys where we invite family and friends over and serve the fish my husband Bill and whoever has been fishing with him have caught. We filet all of the fish to get two good sized pieces from each fish. The recipe for the beer batter is actually from our brother-in-law Les, who is an avid fisherman. Even though there are fish fry mixes out there, the base he starts with is Don’s Chuck Wagon Onion Ring Mix and with Les’s added seasonings and beer, the fish tastes so good, we all prefer it to any restaurant fish fry that we have eaten.
As I mentioned in my post two weeks ago, our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren from Arizona are spending a few weeks with us. We spent some time at our cottage in northern Wisconsin with all of them. We not only created many memories together, but since some of our grandsons love to fish, they provided us with enough fish to have a wonderful family fish fry! Most of the fish caught were crappies; however, we also had an assortment of northerns, walleyes, crappies and perch.
My sister-in-law Sue (Les’s wife and Bill’s sister) makes her own tartar sauce which goes so well with the fish. I don’t care for the white tartar sauce in restaurants, so I usually just squeeze lemon over my fish. However, her recipe is similar to Thousand Island dressing and I forgo the lemon and love eating my fish with this version. I have included both the recipe for the beer batter for the fish as well as the tartar sauce in this post. If you make this recipe please let me know in the comment section. If you cannot find Don’s Onion Ring Mix at your local store I know it can be purchased on Amazon.
This really exemplifies what I recently read…what makes a recipe perfect are the memories that are served with it!
- Fresh or frozen and thawed fish fillets
- 1 12 oz. box Don's Chuck Wagon Onion Ring Mix
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 18 oz beer
- 1 and ½ gallons peanut oil
- In a large bowl mix the entire box of onion ring mix and the dry seasonings until blended
- Whisk in about 12 oz. of the beer
- Gradually add the remaining 6 oz. until the consistancy is of a thin pancake batter
- Heat the peanut oil in a turkey fryer until it's 350 degrees
- Drop about 5 fillets into the batter and remove with tongs, placing directly into the hot oil, being careful not to splash the oil as they are going in
- They will float near the top when golden and cooked
- Remove and place on paper towel lined baking pans
- Serve hot!
We usually figure on 4 pcs for women and 6-8 for men (and teenage grandsons!)
If batter is left over, we slice onions into ½ inch slices, batter and fry them after we have cooked all of the fish
If there are any leftovers, I reheat the fish the next day in the oven and serve on any leftover rye bread with tartar sauce
- 1 cup Hellmanns mayonaise
- 3 Tablespoons of Ketchup
- 1 and ½ Tablespoon of Sweet pickle relish
- Mix together and refrigerate until serving