Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fish 'n Chips

Hello, everyone!  It's Thursday again, and I hope yours is treating you well!  Today we're covering another fish favorite in this house.  Fish 'n chips.  So easy to make, so easy to mess up.  Although, even the worst batch of fish 'n chips can be saved, for me, by malt vinegar.  
As a matter of fact, during our vacation to Alaska, we had fish 'n chips a few times, on varying scales of "goodness".  The ones that ranked lower for me, I bathed in malt vinegar, and went on my happy way.
My husband isn't sure how I can eat fish 'n chips swimming in malt vinegar, but I adore that stuff.
...I feel myself getting a little bit off topic here...
Like I said, fish 'n chips are pretty easy to put together, but there are a couple of tricks that make it go a lot easier, and some things that most people may not think about when making up this quick meal.  
This is a great street food, because of how easy it is to put together; I'm not going to argue with street vendors!  They know their business!
I think, if you wanted to be more authentic, you'd serve this with mushy peas, but..I'm not a mush pea gal, so steamed broccoli it is!
Here's your grocery list for this one!
1 Russet potato (for 2 servings)
Medium bowl filled with warm water
2 Tbs Kosher salt

1  1/4 C all purpose flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 C full flavored beer
Fillets of any firm, white fish (cod, haddock...)
Oil for frying (I usually use vegetable)

To start off with, in a medium bowl filled with warm water, dissolve the salt.  You can peel your potatoes if you want, but I like to wash mine really well, and just slice them up with the skin on, it's just a personal preference.  

I like to cut my chips into 1/4" sticks - I start off by cutting my potato in half horizontally, then slice each half in half again vertically, and cut each of those halves into the sticks.  As you cut your potatoes, place them in the water so they don't brown.   Let these soak for about 15 minutes in the water.  You'll see how cloudy the water gets, and that's just the starch from the potatoes - the more starch that comes off of these potatoes, will give you a crisper chip.
As you're waiting for your oil to heat up to fry the potatoes, dry the chips off all that you can.  Any water left on the potatoes will splatter in the hot oil, so get these as dry as you can.  You're going to do two fries for the chips; the first fry will be to just barely get color on the first round.




Some people will do the first fry with the oil at about 325*, but I don't normally use a thermometer when I fry, so I generally aim for 350* with both fries.  I fry at until there is just barely any color on the chips.  As they start to get color, I scoop them out and place them on a baking sheet lined with a cooling rack.  




I like to sprinkle them with a little bit of salt as they come out of the oil.  You can see that these chips don't have much color on them, and they're still pretty floppy.  I let these hang out while I get my fish ready.






While the chips are cooling on the cooling rack, place 1 cup of the flour into a medium size mixing bowl, mix in the salt, and create a well in the center.  Pour the beer into the center, and mix to combine.

This will be very thick, but that's what you want.  Set this aside, and go for round two with frying the chips.  This time around, you want them to fry until they are a nice golden brown.  Scoop them out as they reach the brown color you like, and salt them as they come out of the fryer.  Let these rest on the cooling rack lined baking sheet.
You can put these in a low temp oven, set to about 200* just to stay warm while you fry the fish.  





Place the remaining 1/4 cup in a zip top bag, and gently toss your fish fillets, just to lightly coat, and dip the dusted fish into the batter.




Like I said, this is a very thick batter, so you may have to smoosh it down into the batter with a spatula.  Be very careful when you lay it into the oil, because obviously, this is very hot oil.

              

This fish will fry for about 7 minutes, until golden brown and lovely.  The fish remains moist, and stays hot for a long time, so if you want to do your second fry for your chips after your fish, that will be just fine!  Like I may have mentioned earlier, I love to eat this with some malt vinegar, but if you want to serve this with some lemon wedges, that would be just fine, too!  Or just serve it as is, with a little extra sprinkle of salt!