Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just in time for Lent

British style fish and chips.  Beer battered Lake Erie perch and french fries with a homemade tartar sauce.

I love fried fish, but generally shy away from frying things dipped in batter.  Usually it's just a dredge in flour or cornstarch, a dip in egg wash, and another dip in flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, or some mixture of those things.  Safe, tasty, and consistent.  With batters I'm always fearing looking down at bubbling oil with big clumps of floating wet flour and naked fish or whatever sadly drowning and burning away under the surface.  But it had a been a while, and St. Patrick's Day is coming up, so why not?

For the recipe I googled around and checked out the usual go-to sites.  More helpful, at least for peace of mind, was watching YouTube.  After viewing lots of videos--this one was key--I figured it was time to give it a shot.  I also realized I really like British cooking videos on YouTube.

For batter I wound up going with 2 cups flour, 1 tbs baking powder, salt, pepper, 1 bottle Sapporo, and some seltzer to thin things to a lump free pancake batter like consistency (the seltzer wouldn't have been necessary if less flour was used).  I left the batter to chill in the fridge while I made a sort of tartar sauce and cooked off the fries.  Double fried, always.  The oil temp hovered between 325-350 for both the fish and potatoes.  When the fries were done I kept them warm in the oven (note to self: no sense trying to keep cooked fries hot, it's a waste of good fries--better just to make good skillet potatoes or suck it up and get two fryers going, or to just eat the fries while the fish is cooking).

Once the fries were done the fish went into the batter and then into the oil (peanut--so clean) to fry.  No need to dredge.  And nearly no stray batter floating in the oil.  A true Lenten miracle.

Great pub style fish and chips with local fish from Kate's.  Super simple.  And invented by my people.


DianeS said...

Both the fish and fries look awesome!

I am visiting my sister in Switzerland right now and almost every time I visit I make a dinner with perch from the Lac Leman. The fillets are super tiny, like a half to a third the size of out lake perch thus are a pita to prepare (I skip the first dredging and just do egg wash then bread crumbs) but so good. Next time I will try the batter.

The CFT said...

I love little fish Diane. Sounds like those guys out there would be nice scaled, gutted, and pan fried whole too.

Hope you're enjoying the trip.

Anonymous said...

where's the newspaper cone for the chips?

The CFT said...

neg on the kitsch

Jasmine said...

This looks absolutely fantastic! Thanks for sharing!