Was browsing around the Internet when I stumbled on across this excellent guide for making AUTHENTIC English Fish and Chips. And here’s the thing, folks, it’s really difficult to find anything in America that tastes even close to the wonderment of the real thing. Fish and Chips from a proper English chippy!
That taste of freshly made, lightly battered fresh fish and soft hot fries is pure heaven. Even better on a rainy English day when you’re at home in front of the fire. Ahhhh.
So where do the Americans go wrong?
Either the batter is incorrect on the fish (wrong texture, too thick, tastes like grease) or the chips (which are a bit like thick fries in America, not potato chips) are dreadful. Chips should be thick and slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Not string fries. Or steak fries. Or weirdly cut and burnt fries.
I’m going to give this a try this weekend myself….and if anyone finds a decent Fish and Chip shop in America, please let me know…..
Mr Howard’s Fish and Chip Supper.
A Traditional English Fish and Chip Recipe.
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 fillets of good quality fish. (Cod, Haddock or Walleye)
5 medium potatoes
1 2/3 cups (220g) of plain flour
1 bottle of ale (proper ale not your watered-down, beer-flavoured pop)
1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda
1lb (450g) of good quality peas. (Marrowfat are the best)
Fresh mint, black pepper, sea salt, malt vinegar and a lemon for seasoning later.
Extra flour for coating the fish.
You will also need a deep fryer like this one.
1 – Peel your potatoes and roughly chop into thick fries called “chips”.
2 – Soak in a bowl of cold salt water for 6 hours.
3 – Set the fryer to 400F or around 200C.
4 – Set your oven to a warming temperature, around 150F or 65C.
Preparing the Mushy Peas
5 – Bring a pan of water to the boil.
6 – Add a good pinch of salt.
7 – Add the peas and boil for 15mins.
8 – Remove from the boil, drain the peas and then blend them with a hand blender or mash them roughly.
9 – Add a splash of lemon juice and some freshly chopped mint and stir.
10 – Leave the mushy peas on a low heat until you’re ready to serve.
Making the batter.
11 – Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. This will aerate the flour helping the batter crisp during cooking.
12 – Add the bottle of ale and the bicarbonate of soda. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
13 – Whisk the mixture well to make sure all the flour is mixed. You don’t want any lumps.
The cooking bit.
14 – Drain your chips from the salt water and fry in the deep fryer until they begin to turn a slight yellow colour. Then remove them and set them aside.
15 – Take your fish fillets. Dip them in flour and then dip them in your beer batter. (The flour ensures that the batter sticks to the fish and doesn’t slide off.) Then place them in the deep fryer. Tip: Don’t drop the fillets in the deep fryer. Slowly lower them in being careful not to burn your fingers.
16 – Fry the fillets for around 4-6mins. You’re looking for the batter to turn a deep golden brown colour.
17 – When your fillets are done, remove them and place on a baking tray in the oven to stay warm.
18 – Return your chips to the fryer to continue frying until they are a deep yellow colour.
19 – Remove from the fryer and allow to drain before serving.
Bringing it all together.
20 – Serve together with cracked sea salt, a splash of malt vinegar and a wedge of fresh lemon.
Source: Whiney Limey blog