Thursday 1 July 2010

Day 17: Fish & Chips

Day 17
Germany 4 England 1
Argentina 3 Mexico 1

So England are out, but not without giving us one of their true classic dishes. Fish and Chips are enjoyed the length and breath of the country but as always whenever I take over a traditional dish I have a habit of tweaking it with other cuisines and using ingredients that you would not use traditionally.

Here I use a Beer batter that uses a Belgian dark beer (Trap Trip Dubbel). Also when making the batter I separate the egg and whisk up the egg white and fold this in just before you use the batter. This process makes the batter light and fluffy. 

Also when I am making my chips I do them the Belgian way, very simply half way thru the cooking process you want to remove the chips from the oil and dry them completely. You then place them back in to cook, the end result gives you the perfectly cooked chip that is crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked in the inside.

One big tip on this recipe is to make sure your oil is hot enough, especially with the fish. If your oil is not hot enough the batter will become soggy so you need to get your oil temperature to 180C.

225g plain flour
Freshly ground salt and pepper
300ml lager or brown ale
100ml of very cold water
1 egg
Sunflower oil
4 pieces fresh White fish, 175g each
Salt & Pepper
Oil to deep-fry
4 large potatoes
Oil for cooking 

Cooking Utensils:
2 Large Bowls
Weighing scales
Deep fat Fryer (180C) or frying pan
Kitchen Paper

- Separate egg yoke & egg white
- Peel potatoes and cut into even sized pieces


- Sieve the flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Make a well in the centre and add the beer and egg yolk. Gradually whisk together until you have a smooth batter. 
- Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

- Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Stir 100ml of very cold water into the batter and fold in the egg whites.

- Ensure the fish has all the bones removed and is dry. Dust with a little flour.

- Heat the oil until it reaches 180C. Hold the fish by the tail and dip into the batter. Drop into the hot oil and cook for 4-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish (you’ll need to cook them one at a time if using a small fryer). Remove and drain on kitchen paper. 
- Keep warm in a low oven while you fry the other fish. 
- Serve with your chips (see below)


- The only way to cook chips properly is in the middle of frying them remove them from the oil and dry completely. Then resubmerge in the oil and they will go golden brown but remain crisp and moist in the centre 


Tip: If you do not own a deep fat fryer you can use oil in a pan – to ensure the oil is the correct temp place a piece of peeled potato in the oil – when the potato turns brown and floats to the top the oil is at the correct temperature

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