So Bigs post of some disgusting fish and chips has motivated me to share with you a fish and chip recipe that will hand any chip shop it's soggy ass.
Fish and Chips
When I went to England/Ireland in the mid 90's, I was super stoked to be having the legendary "Fish and Chips" at the takeaways. Ah, the crispy batter surrounding a sweet white fish, doused in malt vinegar and salt. Well, the vinegar and salt part was there, but the batter was oily and the fish...barely warm and tasteless....I thought it just had to be some bad luck with my choice in takeaway, however, I tried them in at least three corners of your country. Wales, Bury St. Edmunds and of course London. All......even the one I was told was good, was crap.
When Bigs posted this pic, it was like a Dejavu.....they looked just like this....
A culinary nightmare from the past rushed my senses....the pasty, oily, flavorless taste. The CHIPS were plump with oil...these soggy creatures could have been picked up with both fists and wrung out like a dirty dish rag. Sorry to say boys.....my British brothers....I have seen more appetising things vomited forth from a Turkey Vulture's gullet.
So.....I am here to help. Make your own fish and chips....or take this recipe and start your own stand and KILL your competition. So here we go....The Beer Batter
First off...if you are not using beer for your wet....just stop right now. You are wasting your fucking time. I like Boddingtons or New Castle, but a good cheap American Lager (Oly, Pabst, Coors, Bud, etc.) are good substitutes for us Yanks.
1 cup Flour
7/8 cup Cornstarch
2 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/4 tsp. Sugar
2 Tblspn Seasoning Salt (use your favorite)
3/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Mustard Powder
I can/bottle Beer (at least 12 oz.) You defiantly can use a little more if you like....just don't let the batter get runny.
This makes quite a bit of batter so you should be good for at least a good solid pound of fish. Speaking of which....The Fish
MMateri....you cannot use salmon for fish and chips....just too oily. Now that is out of the way....
The best fish I have used, believe it or not, is Sturgeon....I swear, it is like lobster bites. I do understand though that Sturgeon is not readily available to anybody, but I swear it is the best. Use Halibut if you can, but Halibut is expensive. Shark would be good, but most people don't eat Shark....and of course, our good old friend, Cod. Basically any hefty whitefish will work great. (Something like Talapia is too delicate for fish and chips)
I like thick "cubes" of fish for the cut if I can, but all you really have to worry about is just making your cuts as uniform as you can. You don't want to cook your fish as a whole fillet....it cools the oil down too fast which allows the batter too soak up some of the oil...this is bad. So lets move on to the actual frying....The Fryer
Whether it is an industrial fryer or a small Fry-Daddy, the game of deep-fat frying is the same. To many in the pool......the more oil the food will absorb. DO NOT ever dump all of your fish in at once...a few at a time...patience grasshopper....watch your temp. Which should read.....HOT AS FUCK!! Hot oil is your friend...hot oil repels from the cool batter cooking the outside, therefore making a nice crust to keep the rest of the oil out while the rest of the cooking happens.The Oil
Thats right....you are looking at it. Good balance of flavor and high smoke point. The pig is a magical animal. Then there is peanut oil. It has the highest smoke point...so you can get that thing raging hot, which of course means less oil in the batter as it cooks. You can use your oil over and over, but it seems after a few times it starts to burn at hotter temps, which sux. Always filter and store you oil for next use. Cooking The Fish
I use skewers to pick up and dip my fish in the batter...it isn't as messy. Cook you fish a few at a time....your fryer's element light will come on as the oil cools down...so don't go too crazy. It is pretty easy to tell when your fish is done when it turns an even deep golden brown. Have a dredging rack or paper towel or newspaper nest handy to put your cooked product...then salt....then tent with foil as you cook the rest.The Chips
I just use frozen shit....because I are lazy.....Again though, just make sure your oil is as rocket hot as possible. Also if you have batter left over...batter those fries..I MEAN CHIPS....chips.....it is fuggin' good. Of course, if you want to make your own CHIPS just parboil your potatoes and cut into steak CHIPS.
MaMaximus's "Tartar" Sauce
1 to 1 ratio of Chili Sauce(or Ketchup) and Mayo
Sweet Pickle Relish to taste
A bit of Garlic Powder
A bit of Hot Sauce....I use Tuong Ot Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce
Finely Chopped Onion (optional)
.................so when you are all done your fish should look something like this....minus the fancy slaw....and wrapped in newspaper.