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Feeling Fishy – Try These Classic Fish and Chips

Fish and chips is one of those meals that you probably have at certain restaurants or pubs but never really think about making yourself. The problem with fish and chips is that you may get some that taste really good when you are out and you feel like you can never duplicate that at home or that you get some that are really bad and it can turn you off from them altogether. Add on to the problems by knowing that make fish and chips can be a bit laborious and messy, leading to a big clean up and a whole lot of oil that you need to try to get rid of. We like fish and chips in our house but I do not make them often quite simply because it is a lot of work and a lot of cleanup, even if I use the deep fryer to make them. However, with Michelle away on business, Sean asking me about them and me finding some really nice looking cod on my visit to Hudson Valley Seafood, it all led up to me taking out the deep fryer and trying this Craig Claiborne recipe from the New York Times for fish and chips.

Classic Fish and Chips

For the Beer Batter:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon corn, peanut or vegetable oil

1 large egg, separated

¾ cup beer at room temperature

¼ cup warm water

Salt to taste, if desired

For the Chips:

12 to 16 Idaho potatoes, about 4 pounds

Fat or oil for deep-frying

For the Fish:

4 skinless, firm-fleshed white fish fillets (such as cod), about 1 1/2 pounds 

Tartar Sauce, for serving

Lemon wedges, for serving

Put the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Put the oil and egg yolk in the well. Add the beer, stirring with a wire whisk. Stir in the warm water and the salt. Cover the bowl and let the batter stand for an hour or longer in a warm place.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into sticks that resemble french fries. Each stick should measure about half an inch thick, half an inch wide and two inches long. As the potatoes are cut, drop the sticks into cold running water. There should be about eight cups of potato sticks.

Meanwhile, cut the fish crosswise into pieces about five inches long and set them aside.

When you are ready to cook, drain the potatoes well and pat them dry.

Heat the oil to 325 degrees in a deep fryer; this heat is for preliminary cooking. Add the potato sticks and let them cook for about four minutes or slightly less. The sticks will not yet be browned and crisp. Lift them from the fat and drain them on paper towels.

Heat the oil to 375 degrees. Return the potatoes to the deep fryer and cook them until they are crisp and golden brown, about two to three minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oil and drain them on paper towels.

Beat the egg white until it is stiff and fold it into the batter.

Reduce the heat of the fat in the deep fryer to 360 degrees.

Dip one piece of fish fillet at a time in the batter, then drop it into the oil. Cook two or three pieces at a time but don’t crowd the cooker. Cook the fish until one batch is crisp and golden brown, about three minutes, then remove the pieces of fish and drain them on paper towels. Continue the cooking process until you have cooked all the fish and the pieces are done.

Serve the hot fish with the potatoes. In England, fish and chips are traditionally served with a bottle of vinegar – preferably malt vinegar – and salt to be sprinkled on both the fish and potatoes. You can also serve them with tartar sauce (homemade or store-bought) and lemon wedges, if desired.

I chose to try this recipe because it seemed to be the most basic to follow and looked like it would turn out good results. I cut the recipe in half since I was making this for just two of us and it was plenty of fish and chips for two. I used a basic lager for the beer but you could use any type of beer you want. Just remember certain flavors and stronger beers will leave a stronger taste to the batter so you want to consider what you are using. The chips came out perfectly, nicely browned with good flavor and bite to them. The fish was also great and Sean and I really liked the batter. It was perfectly crisp and had good flavor and he fish was cooked well, nice and moist and flavorful. I’m not going to lie – the clean up was a bit of a pain, but it was worth the effort to do this once in a while to make a really nice meal that you may not have that often.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2016 in Potatoes, Seafood

 

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Recipe Roundup: British Favorites

Recipe Roundup: British Favorites.

For everyone who will be watching the Olympics in London starting tonight, Williams-Sonoma offers up some classic British recipes. I’ve tried several of them and they taste pretty good so they are worth a look (especially the Black & Tan!). Check them out and try a few.

I’ve had a number of doctor appointments lately so I haven’t had much time for blogging, but I hope to add a few of my own recipes this weekend. Stay tuned!

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Cooking, Cooking Websites

 

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Fantastic Friday Fish & Chips

It’s Friday, the weekend is upon us, and so is February for that matter. Spring is not too far off now, even if the weather here has made it seem like spring already. Today’s dinner was picked by Sean, which surprised me and made me glad. Since we started the meal plan, he has been very open to trying new things and picking out some things we have never made before, including today’s dinner. I have had fish and chips and various places, and have been disappointed many times by it. A lot of the time there is too much breading or the fish tastes too much like the oil it was cooked in and the fries are underwhelming. This recipe, from America’s Test Kitchen’s website, seems like it will be a good balance. It doesn’t have a lot of ingredients to it and seems easy to make. I’ll be using the deep fryer again for this one, but a large Dutch oven and a candy thermometer will serve you just as well.

Fish and Chips

3 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes) peeled, ends and sides squared off, and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch fries

3 quarts canola oil, plus 1/4 additional cup

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Table salt

1 teaspoon baking powder 1 1/2 pounds 1-inch thick cod fillet (or other thick white fish, like haddock) cut into 8 pieces

1 1/2 cups beer (12 ounces), cold (you can use any beer here, with the exception of dark stouts and ales)

Place cut fries in a large microwaveable bowl, toss with 1/4 cup oil and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until the potatoes are partially translucent and pliable but still offer some resistance when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing them with a rubber spatula halfway through the cooking time. Carefully pull back the plastic wrap from the side farthest from you and drain the potatoes into a large mesh strainer over the sink. Rinse well under cold running water. Spread the potatoes on kitchen towels and pat dry. Let rest until room temperature, at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.

While the fries cool, whisk flour, cornstarch, cayenne, paprika, pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large mixing bowl; transfer 3.4 cup of mixture to a rimmed baking sheet. Add baking powder to the bowl and whisk to combine.

In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat 2 quarts of oil over medium heat to 350 degrees. Add the fries to the hot oil and increase the heat to high. Fry, stirring with a mesh spider or slotted metal spoon, until the potatoes turn light golden and just begin to brown at the corners, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the fries to a thick paper bag or paper towels to drain.

Reduce heat to medium-high, add the remaining quart of oil, and heat the oil to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, thoroughly dry the fish with paper towels and dredge each piece in the flour mixture on the baking sheet; transfer the pieces to a wire rack, shaking off the excess flour. Add 1 1/4 cups of the beer to the flour mixture in the mixing bowl and stir until the mixture is just combined (the batter will be lumpy). Add the remaining beer as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition, until the batter falls from the whisk in a thin, steady stream and leaves a faint trail across the surface of the batter. Using tongs, dip 1 piece of fish in the batter and let the excess run off, shaking gently. Place the battered fish back onto the baking sheet with the flour mixture and turn to coat both sides. Repeat with the remaining fish, keeping the pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet.

When the oil reaches 375 degrees, increase the heat to high and add the battered fish to the oil with tongs, gently shaking off any excess flour. Fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the fish to a thick paper bag or paper towels to drain. Allow the oil to return to 375 degrees.

Add all the fries back to the oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the fries to a fresh paper bag or paper towels to drain. Season the fries with salt to taste and serve immediately with the fish. Serve with your favorite malt vinegar and tartar sauce.

Granted, this is not the healthiest meal we have made, or the healthiest way to cook fish either, but once in a while as a treat it will be pretty good. There’s not much to cooking this one either once all the prep work is done. I think it will be a very tasty dish, just be careful deep-frying; you’ll want to use the largest Dutch oven you have for safety. Sean couldn’t really pick out a vegetable to go with this meal, but green beans were on sale at the store this morning, so that’s what were going with for tonight. I found a good recipe that braises them.

Skillet-Braised Green Beans

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed

3/4 cup chicken broth (I am using homemade, but low sodium store-bought is good)

1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or 1/8 teaspoon dried

Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallot and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and broth. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer,stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender but still offer some resistance to the bite, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste.

A simple, easy and a little different way to cook up your green beans, and you’re all set with your meal for the night. I think it will go over very well.

We laid out the meal plan for next week last night, so here it is. If you want to use the same meal planner we are using, here is a link to the print out to use:family_meal_planner. I decided to let Sean pick the whole menu for next week. He had taken a couple of cookbooks out of the school library and picked some recipes that he wanted me to try. Since he picked them out, he’ll be participating in the cooking all week as well. He read through a Chinese food cookbook and an Italian food cookbook, so this is what we came up with:

Monday: Chicken Stir Fry with White Rice

Tuesday: Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup (this is our meat free meal of the week)

Wednesday: Pork with Peppers and Pineapple and Fried Rice

Thursday: Shrimp with Hoisin Sauce and Rice

Friday and Saturday next week we will be in Saranac Lake to celebrate Winter Carnival, so they’ll be no meals to cook on those days. However, we are bringing up a Chicken Corn Chowder with us, so I will post that recipe next week. I think Sean made some interesting choices and it will be fun to cook with him. Tomorrow’s meal is a simple Roast Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Roasted Winter Vegetables so we can bake all in one pan and cut down on dishes for the day. Tune in tomorrow to check it out and I’ll let you know how the fish and chips went. As always, feel free to add a comment, recipe, question or just say hello! Have a great day and enjoy your Friday night.

 

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Potatoes, Seafood, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

a little bit naughty a little bit nice

Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

simple cooking recipes

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