Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fish and Chips

A couple of weeks ago Chad and I had a casual dinner with some friends at a local restaurant/bar that was English pub themed. On the menu they had fish and chips, which Chad ordered. I forgot how much Chad liked this dish. I forget because Chad isn't a big seafood lover but he really likes cod fish, which is the typical fish used for fish & chips. I guess he likes this English dish because he had lived in England for a few years when he was younger. Or he just likes fried things. : - P

On my usual weekend trip to Trader Joe's I saw that they had some frozen cod fish for a resonable price. I decided to pick it up and make my husband happy with fish and chips at home.
I wanted to make this without any worries, so I looked for a recipe on Cook's Illustrated, a site I trust because I know their recipes have been tested. They haven't failed me yet, and their recipe for fish and chips was wonderful. I probably would add a little more of the spices to the batter only because I like spicy, but other than that this recipe is solid.

Fish & Chips
3 pounds russet potatoes(about 4 large potatoes), peeled, ends and sides squared off, and cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch by 1/2-inch fries
3 quarts peanut oil (or canola oil), plus 1/4 additional cup
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 pounds 1-inch-thick cod fillet (or other thick white fish, such as hake or haddock) cut into eight 3-ounce pieces

1 1/2 cups beer (12 ounces), cold

1. Place cut fries in large microwaveable bowl, toss with 1/4 cup oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high power until potatoes are partially translucent and pliable but still offer some resistance when pierced with tip of paring knife, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing them with rubber spatula halfway through cooking time. Carefully pull back plastic wrap from side farthest from you and drain potatoes into large mesh strainer set over sink. Rinse well under cold running water. Spread potatoes onto kitchen towels and pat dry. Let rest until room temperature, at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour.

2. While fries cool, whisk flour, cornstarch, cayenne, paprika, pepper, and 2 teaspoons salt in large mixing bowl; transfer 3/4 cup of mixture to rimmed baking sheet. Add baking powder to bowl and whisk to combine.

3. In heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat 2 quarts oil over medium heat to 350 degrees. Add fries to hot oil and increase heat to high. Fry, stirring with mesh spider or slotted metal spoon, until potatoes turn light golden and just begin to brown at corners, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer fries to thick paper bag or paper towels to drain.

4. Reduce heat to medium-high, add remaining quart of oil, and heat oil to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, thoroughly dry fish with paper towels and dredge each piece in flour mixture on baking sheet; transfer pieces to wire rack, shaking off excess flour. Add 1 1/4 cups beer to flour mixture in mixing bowl and stir until mixture is just combined (batter will be lumpy). Add remaining beer as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition, until batter falls from whisk in thin, steady stream and leaves faint trail across surface of batter. Using tongs, dip 1 piece fish in batter and let excess run off, shaking gently. Place battered fish back onto baking sheet with flour mixture and turn to coat both sides. Repeat with remaining fish, keeping pieces in single layer on baking sheet.

5. When oil reaches 375 degrees, increase heat to high and add battered fish to oil with tongs, gently shaking off excess flour. Fry, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer fish to thick paper bag or paper towels to drain. Allow oil to return to 375 degrees.

6. Add all fries back to oil and fry until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to fresh paper bag or paper towels to drain. Season fries with salt to taste and serve immediately with fish.


Maryanna said...

This makes me want to go back to London. I love fish and chips.

Anonymous said...

I have never seen such perfect looking fish! It totally tops my fave fried fish from a restaurant we go to during lent!! You rock!

Elizabeth said...

Your second pic of the fish is amazing. It is making my mouth water! I love, love, love fried fish.

Kayte said...

this looks seriously amazing. you make some of the best looking food i have ever seen, ally. i would pay big money to come and eat at your house :-)

Unknown said...

Yum! This looks awesome. I'll definitely be trying this soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, Ally! These look AMAZING! Like straight out of a resturant good! The batter is perfect! I'm really impressed. Even more than usual. :)

Jan said...

Yum yum!!! That's a nice bit of fish you've done there!
In the chip shops over here (UK) they sell pickled onions to go with your fish and chips too!

That Girl said...

My husband would be drooling right about now...

Lindsay said...

Wow, This looks delicious!!! Can I come over ?

Erin said...

This looks like what you'd really get at a pub. The fish looks really tasty!

Rachel said...

Sounds so delicious! Even at 10:30 in the morning!

Anonymous said...

I saw this episode of America's Test Kitchen and totally wanted to try it but just haven't gotten around to it yet. I'm glad it was a success. Now I have even more reason to try it.

Jaime said...

i'd never think to make fish and chips at home, but this look delicious!