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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fish and Chips

I need to thank my buddy who brought me to a cafe that serves fish and chips.  The server said it was "bomb" so I ordered it.  Unfortunately, it was not.  The next day, I decided to make fish and chips since I was not satisfied from the previous day's meal.

While at the market,   I found that almost all the fish fillets were previously frozen.  The only fresh, non-frozen white fish fillet were some fresh wild Dover Sole fillets.  I also picked up ingredients for fresh fries and tartar sauce.

Stuff for the sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 TBSP sweet relish (minced pickles will do just fine)
2 TBSP extra hot horse radish
½ Lemon (juiced)
Salt and pepper for taste (I didn’t use any)
Dill weed for garnish

Stuff for the fish and chips:
(8-10) filets of Sole filets (may be substituted with any white meat fish)
3 Russet potatoes (washed and peeled)
2 cups All purpose flour
1 tsp Bay seasoning
¾ bottle of Asahi Kuronama (Black Beer)
1 cup cornstarch for dredging
24 ounces Peanut Oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

I prepared the fries first since they would take the longest to prepare.  I chose to cut the potato into the size between steak and fast food fries.  After cutting them up, I washed the raw fries with lots of cold water until all the loose sugar and starch were all gone.  Rinsing them prevents the fries from sticking together while frying.  

After the rinse, I fully submersed the fries in ice water for about an hour.  This is to make sure the fries maintain their form while waiting to be fried.

Then I made the tartar sauce by combining the mayonnaise, relish, horse radish, and lemon together.  I gave it a taste initially, and it still sorta tasted like mayonnaise.  I read online that the tartar sauce is best when refrigerated for at least 30 mins.  So I placed the concoction into the fridge, hoping for the better results.

Next I dried the fish filets and marinated them with sea salt and black pepper.  

While marinating, I prepared the batter by combining the flour, Bay seasoning, and beer.  I chose Asahi Kuronama because, personally, it’s better than most dark beers out there including Guinness.

I heated then stove with the peanut oil to 375F.  While warming up, I poured out all the ice water from the fries and dried off all the fries.  If they weren’t dried off, the water on the fries would cause the oil to pop and splatter.  Once dried, I started frying the fries in small batches.  Each batch was fried for about 5-7 minutes until the proper color and crispiness.  They were then taken out and placed on a plate with paper towels to absorb the oil.  After they were cooled for a bit, they were all placed in the oven, preheated for 200F, where they stayed until they were ready to be served.

I first dredged each filet in the cornstarch.  This allows the batter to stick onto the filet better and prevents the batter from coming off the fish while being fried.  

The filet was then placed in the batter until fully coated.  Once evenly coated I fried the filets one at a time to prevent lowering oil temperatures when adding the filets.

They were fried for about 8 minutes, taken out, and dried on a plate with paper towels.

Finally when the filets were dried, I pulled the fries out of the oven and plated the dish.  To compliment the dish, there’s nothing better than a bottle of beer; Asahi Select to be exact.   The fish came out extremely juicy.   The batter was flavorful and crispy.  The tartar sauce came out great after all.  It was tart and spicy, perfect for with fish.  I still haven't had the classic English version, but I will one day.