Nearly everybody loves Fish & Chips and it can be a very hard thing to do at home.
Chips should be cooked twice to get them right, the first cooking we call blanching, and the chips are cooked at 130º for 10 minutes until soft but not browned.
Then when you need them you cook them at a higher temperature 190º for about 5 minutes until crisp and golden.
For the batter for the fish I use a bottle of ale to wet it, you can use milk or water the latter giving a lighter batter than the milk.
I fry small quantities of fish at a time maybe only 2 fillets and keep them warm while frying the rest.
Then you can’t have fried fish without Tartar Sauce, it’s easy to make mayonnaise with the addition of capers, lemon, gherkins and parsley.
You can use bought mayonnaise and add in the rest of the ingredients, it will taste quite good, I don’t know of any commercial tartar sauce out there that has a good taste.
You can add other things to the mayonnaise to suit your own taste like garlic or pesto or tomato ketchup. So next time you feel like fish & chips get battering.
3oz/84g Corn Flour
6oz/168g Plain Flour
1 small Bottle of Ale (330mls)
1tbsp Cider or White Wine Vinegar
4 x 6oz - 8oz/168g – 224g Thick Fillets of Cod or Haddock or Whitening
4tbsp Plain Flour seasoned with ½tsp Salt
About 4pts/2 litres Sunflower Oil for frying
Make the batter by mixing the cornflour, flour and salt in a large bowl, then make a well in the centre and add in the ale and vinegar to make a smooth batter the consistency of thick cream. Place the oil in a large saucepan or electric fryer and bring up to 180º, use a cooking thermometer to get the right temperature. Coat the fish in the seasoned flour and dip in the batter until well coated, lift out the fish out of the batter and drop into the oil, just do two fillets at a time it will take about 6 to 8 minutes to cook the fish , you want it golden and crisp (temperature is very important). Transfer the cooked fish to a plate or tray lined with kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil then cook the other two fillets.
4 Large Floury Potatoes
Wash & peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm thick chips, wash well under cold water to remove the starch, and then dry them in a kitchen towel. Heat the oil to 130º and drop in the chips cook for about 10 minutes until cooked through but not browned, when you are ready to serve the chips increase the temperature to 190º and drop in the chips to the oil, cook for 4 to 5 minutes until nicely crisp and golden.
2 Egg Yolks
1 Full Egg
2tsp English Mustard
½tsp White Pepper
Juice ½ Lemon in 1tbsp Cider Vinegar
400ml approx Sunflower Oil
Place everything in the food processor except the oil and give a good blitz then very slowly drizzle in the sunflower oil. You will have real mayonnaise in a few seconds.
1tbsp Chopped Capers
1tbsp Chopped Parsley
4 to 6 Chopped Gherkins
Rind of ½ Lemon
Add all this to a few tablespoons of Real Mayonnaise for a perfect Tartar Sauce.