Classic Fish and Chips
If someone asked what I missed most about British food, it would be Friday night Fish & Chips from the chip shop up the street with some mushy peas and a heavenly tartar sauce. And despite many American's telling me to try different places for their fish and chips, it's just never the same. So I have to make my own to satisfy my cravings. And this goes down a treat with clients too. It's a little stressful simply because it all has to be timed perfectly or your fish batter will go soft and also the oil has to be the correct temperature so your batter isn't oily and greasy. But once you perfect the timing and the knack for it, it's so worth it and perfect for a Sunday lunch in your back yard.
You will need (feeds two):
For the fish:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups chilled beer (I prefer an ale)
1lb wild-caught cod, or halibut
Oil for frying (vegetable, peanut, or grapeseed oil)
For the chips:
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and thick-cut (put into cold water until ready to fry)
Oil for frying
For the tartar sauce:
6-8 Dill pickles (finely diced)
1/2 cup Mayo
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp Mustard
2 tbsp Dill, finely diced
1 tbsp Capers
1 shallot, finely diced
Zest and juice of one Lemon
Heat the oil in a deep fryer or a large heavy pan or Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 325 degrees F
Thoroughly drain the sliced potatoes and blot them with paper towels to remove excess water. Once the oil is 325 F carefully fry the potatoes in small batches to avoid overcrowding and fry for 2-3 minutes until pale and softened. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the oil and let them cool to room temperature.
Increase the temperature to 375 degrees F. Carefully add the fries again, frying in small batches, until they are golden brown and crispy, another 2-3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, place them on a baking sheet or roasting rack, sprinkle with salt while they're still very hot, and place them in the warmed oven while you're frying the fish.
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large flat bowl. Pour in the very cold beer and whisk until smooth, (use the batter immediately). Blot the fish with paper towels to remove any moisture. Dip the fish into the beer batter to thoroughly coat all sides, allowing some of the excess batter to drip off.
Heat the oil to between 350 F and 375 F. Carefully lower the fish into the oil. I do this by placing half in first and holding it for a moment while it starts to fry and float and then gently lowering the rest in so it doesn't drop to the bottom and stick.
Fry the fish for 5-6 minutes or until nicely golden. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon, letting the oil drop off, then place the fried fish on paper towels for a few seconds and serve immediately. (If you wait too long to serve the batter will lose its crispiness.)
Serve with the chips, a sprinkling of malt vinegar, and your tatar sauce with a big wedge of lemon for the fish. Enjoy this British classic!