Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic Fish and Chips!

In honor of the Olympic games, I must talk about Britain's most iconic meal, Fish and Chips! The story goes that fish and chips were first sold by John Lees in 1863. He even hung a sign in the shop window proclaiming, "This is the First Fish and Chip Shop in the world." However, some say the first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Joseph Malin in 1860. In addition, with references in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, referring to "fried fish warehouses," and commented on in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, dates them back even further! Either way, they are delicious and one of my favorite indulgences!

Traditionally, fish and chips are wrapped in newspaper, served with malt vinegar, lemon wedges, and mushy peas. To make mushy peas, just cook a bag of frozen peas in boiling water until very tender, about 5-10 minutes, drain them, then blend them up in a food processor with a tablespoon of butter and enough cream to make them "mushy," season with salt and pepper. If you prefer tartar sauce, check out my previously posted recipe for Homemade Tartar Sauce! It's really good!

Fish and Chips

Serves 4


Vegetable oil, for frying
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
2 cups rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
14 ounces of beer or soda water
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2, 8-ounce cod or haddock fillets, cut in 1/2 on an angle
1/2 cup rice flour, for dredging
Malt vinegar and lemon wedges, for serving

Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer (or heavy skillet) to 325 degrees.

Put the potatoes in a fryer basket (or use a fry strainer) and lower into the oil. Fry the chips for 2 to 3 minutes, they should not be crisp or fully cooked at this point. Remove the chips to paper towels to drain.

Turn the temperature up to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Combine the beer and egg and pour into the flour mixture. Whisk to a smooth batter. Spread the rice flour on a plate. Dredge the fish pieces in the rice flour, tap off any excess, and then dip them into the batter.

Carefully lower the battered fish into the hot oil. Be careful! Fry the fish for about 4-5 minutes, or until crispy and brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Now add the par-cooked fries to the oil and cook until crispy, about 4-5 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. When the fish and chips are done, season with salt. Serve with lemon wedges and malt vinegar.

This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence, and was the best out of all I tried, even better than Jamie Oliver's.