Fish and Chip – English Style

Having just returned from jolly olde England I wanted to share my recipe for fish and chips to start off lent.

Cheers Chef Pete

p.s. Do not forget your favorite lager to enjoy with your fish and chips!

Fish and Chips
1 LB All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 lagers (beer)
3 quarts Canola oil
4 four oz fish fillets (walleye)
Table salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tip the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Open one lager into a jug, stir, then add to the flour to create a batter mix. Open the other lager and stir it into the batter until just combined. It doesn’t matter if the consistency is a little lumpy.

3 In a large pan or casserole, put enough oil to cover the fish. Heat it to 425F, using a thermometer to check the temperature. (It’s best not to use a deep- fat fryer for this, because the temperature fluctuates too much and has trouble reaching 425F.

4 Rinse the fish fillets and dry them with paper towels. Season well, then dust with flour — this ensures the batter sticks to the fillets. Shake off any excess flour.

5 Dip the fillet into the foamy batter. When it is completely coated, lower the fillet head first into the oil holding it by the narrow tail end to avoid splashes.

6 As the fish fries, drizzle a little extra batter over it, to give a lovely crusty exterior. When it has turned a light-golden brown, which will take 1-2 minutes, turn the fillet over and drizzle more batter on that side.

7 Let the fish cook for another minute or so, until it has coloured to a deeper golden brown, then remove it from the oil.

8 Repeat the above process with the remaining fillets.

For the chips

3 Lbs russet potatoes
3 quarts Canola oil
Table salt and sea salt

1 Wash and peel the potatoes, then cut them into chips about 2 inches thick. (Don’t worry too much about making them all the same size: the variation will give a greater range of textures.) As soon as the chips are cut, place them in a bowl under cold running water for 2-3 minutes, to rinse off some of the starch, then drain.

2 Bring a large pan or casserole of salted water to the boil (adding 1 TBL salt per quart of water), add the chips, bring back to the boil and then simmer until the chips have almost broken up (it’s the fissures that form as the potato breaks up that trap the fat, creating a crunchy crust). It is important to make sure the simmer is gentle, so that the potatoes don’t start to fall apart before they have cooked through.

3 Using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the potatoes out of the water and place on a cake rack. Leave to cool, then put in the fridge until cold. (The dry air of the fridge makes a good environment in which to remove excess moisture from the chips via evaporation.)

4 Pour enough groundnut oil to cover the chips into a deep-fat fryer and heat it to 250F. Plunge in the chips and allow them to cook until they take on a dry appearance and are slightly coloured.

5 Remove the chips and drain off the excess fat. Place them on a cake rack and allow to cool, then return to the fridge until cold.

6 Reheat the oil to 375F. Plunge in the chips and cook until golden brown. This will take 8-10 minutes.

7 Drain the chips, season well with a mixture of table and sea salt, then pile next to the fish fillets.

TARTARE SAUCE

3-4 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 egg, hard boiled
3 tbsp gherkins, finely diced
3 tbsp capers, chopped
20 tarragon leaves, finely chopped
4 tbsp parsley leaves, finely chopped
4 tbsp chervil, finely chopped
4 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup whipped cream

Place the shallots in boiling water until translucent — this should take about 30 seconds. Remove from the boiling water and place immediately in a bowl of iced water. Remove from the iced water, then set aside.

Finely dice the egg white, then place in a bowl with the gherkins, capers and prepared shallots. Pass the egg yolk through a sieve, then add it to the bowl. Next, add the herbs and mayonnaise, then fold in the whipped cream.

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