Colin Cromar has been using Middletons batter ever since his days running Tailend, an award-winning seafood restaurant and takeaway in St Andrews, in 2007. He’s since moved over to an own label batter that Middletons created to his own recipe several years ago and which guarantees the perfect result every time for his current shop, Fish Hoose in Thornton, Fife.
Colin explains: “In previous businesses, I had quite a few staff and as it got busier and I had days off, several different people were making the batter and it was never the same. To get it made to my exact recipe with everything in it so all anyone has to do is just measure the water, measure the batter, mix the two and it’s the same every time means I don’t have that worry now.”
Not only has a bespoke batter simplified the process for those making it, but it also means food coming out of the fryer is consistent too. Colin adds: “It’s fantastic, the batter is consistently the same, it always comes out crispy. What I particularly like about the batter mix is that it gives a crispy batter without having to fry at ridiculous temperatures. We fry at 180°C which means we’re not burning our oil – with the way prices are increasing at the moment that’s something nobody wants to be doing. To have a batter that fries consistently at a good temperature, you can’t ask for more than that.”
Despite giving customers the option of having their fish in breadcrumbs and panko coating, it’s battered fish that is by far the biggest seller. With the menu extending to battered Amity scampi – which Colin says flies out the door – sausages, black pudding, white pudding, half chicken, goujons and fish burgers, the Fish Hoose naturally uses a lot. Colin adds: “I don’t have to mix up two separate batters for my fish and other products, which I know some shops do. With this, one batter does everything.”
Letting other friers into a few of his batter making secrets, Colin says he gently rolls his sausages and puddings in the batter mix first to give them a light dusting before battering. “The batter sticks brilliantly,” he adds.
He also recommends friers measure the exact quantities of water and batter – Colin uses 3 litres of fridge temperature water to 1.8kg of batter mix – and that batter is kept in the fridge when not being used.
“I have a little batter trough next to the frying range and I just top it up from the fridge when needed. That way it stays nice and cool and we get a nice crispy batter.”
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