By Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – Best Of The Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 114). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

Boxed pancake mix and beer is probably the most reliable recipe for preparing a good batter, whether you’re frying fish or any other foods. The only trick is to, first, moisten the food and then dredge it lightly in flour before coating it lightly, but evenly, in the wet batter. It works with cauliflower buds (as in my Secret Shrimp recipe – see Index), mushrooms, onion rings, apple slices (which can be used for fritters), etc. The list of possibilities is endless. Be inventive! Make your cooking experience interesting!

Because the element of yeast is already in the beer, the coating produced with the pancake mix and beer, is almost equal to that of the patiently prepared Oriental Tempura, using perhaps a dozen ingredients and 3 times the effort! The alcohol content of the beer evaporates with the cooking process, so you are left with only the remaining ingredients compatibly working together to create a light, crisp and flaky crust over the food you are batter-frying.

The moistening and flouring of the foods before dipping into the batter, acts as an adhesive, keeping the coating from breaking apart during frying. If you can possibly flour the moistened foods in “rice flour” – all the better!

The end-product will be much improved with that one substitute! One other reminder – when frying battered foods – keep the oil mixture hot enough! Not too hot that the coating browns before the food inside is cooked, but not too low that the food inside cooks to slowly while the coating becomes greasy!



2 cups boxed biscuit mix

1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups beer


Mix boxed biscuit mix with beer, or just enough that the batter is the consistency of buttermilk.



2 cups boxed biscuit mix

2/3 cup beer


Add something to a bubbling stew or thick soup [with these dumplings]. Combine boxed biscuit mix with beer, or enough that you have a stiff dough that you can spoon into the bubbling broth. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid for gentle simmering, 12 to 15 minutes, to produce an interesting and different dinner!


See also…

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Family Bonding

By TheRecipeDetective

Hi! I'm Laura Emerich and Gloria Pitzer, the ORIGINAL Secret Recipe Detective, is my mom. This website is lovingly dedicated to her memory and legacy.

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