Now that I’m living in the States, I have had the opportunity to sample dishes that I’d never heard of before, and I have to say it – American cuisine is fab! But that doesn’t stop me from dreaming about my fave fish and chips.I have to listen with envy as my family describe how they still have fish suppers every Friday. Yes, of course we can get fish and chips out here but no disrespect to our American cousins, this is a dish that us Brits definitely do best. I’ve tried fish and chips in many different countries, and even though all of them were very pleasant, no one does our national dish quite like we do.
Admittedly, fish and chips from a proper British chippie is impossible to beat and always to recreate at home. Almost everyone I know has said that there’s something about fish and chips from your local chip shop, with lashings of onion vinegar and wrapped in paper that is hugely satisfying and hits the spot every time. To me a proper fish and chip shop, is one where the fish is battered (never breaded) and the chips are chunky (never fries!) After my last day at the school where I worked, my colleagues and I could have gone anywhere for my leaving meal. But what did we choose to do? Grab fish and chips and eat them on the steps of the town hall, which incidentally also gave me flashbacks to grabbing munchies after a hard night’s clubbing! Yep, I clearly knew I was really going to miss good ol’ English fish and chip shops that much!
But as much as I love chips from the chippie, that doesn’t mean that the home-made version isn’t delicious. Which is a good thing as that’s now how I’m going to be able to get my fish and chip fix regularly! Here’s a recipe below for scrumptious beer-battered fish and chips. For those of you who don’t like the idea of frying everything, the chips can also be roasted in the oven at 200°c/Gas 6 for thirty minutes, turning over occasionally.
BEER-BATTERED FISH AND CHIPS
Prep time 15 mins
Rest time 30 mins resting
Cooking time 40 mins
50g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp turmeric
75 ml beer
75ml sparkling water
Vegetable or sunflower oil for deep frying
400g cod, hake or haddock, halved
Salt and Pepper
For the chips:
750g potatoes, peeled and sliced into thick chips
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp sunflower oil
Salt and pepper
1. Combine the flour, cornflour, baking powder, salt, pepper and turmeric in a large bowl, reserving about one and a half tbsps of the mixture and set aside.
2. Pour beer and water into the bowl and whisk until you have a smooth, lump-free batter. Leave to rest for 30 mins.
3. Meanwhile prepare the chips. Boil a large pan of water, add the cut potatoes and boil for 2-3 mins until the outsides are tender but not soft.
4. Drain potatoes then tip on to a large baking tray with flour, 2tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Toss until all the potatoes are evenly coated. Set aside.
5. Pat the fish dry with kitchen paper, then season with salt, pepper and lemon pepper for extra flavour. Then coat evenly in the remaining turmeric flour mix. Shake off excess then dip into the batter.
6. Heat 1 ltr oil in a deep saucepan. When hot enough, lower each fillet into the hot oil and fry until golden and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the fish and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with salt.
7. Fry the potatoes until crisp and lightly golden. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen towel. Sprinkle with salt and vinegar. Serve with fish and enjoy!