Foods of the World Forum Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Europe > The British Isles
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Fish and Chips
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

This site is completely supported by donations; there are no corporate sponsors. We would be honoured if you would consider a small donation, to be used exclusively for forum expenses.



Thank you, from the Foods of the World Forums!

Fish and Chips

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8957
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Fish and Chips
    Posted: 14 July 2010 at 13:47
this is, of course, quintessential street and pub dining throughout the united kingdom.
 
wiki had quite a bit to say about fish and chips, but i selected this passage as the most indicative of the origins and traditions behnd the meal:
 
Quote In the United Kingdom, fish and chips became a cheap food popular among the working classes with the rapid development of trawl fishing in the North Sea in the second half of the nineteenth century.[2] In 1860, the first fish and chip shop was opened in London by Jewish proprietor Joseph Malin[3] who married together "fish fried in the Jewish fashion"[4] with chips.

Deep-fried "chips" (slices or pieces of potato) as a dish, may have first appeared in Britain in about the same period: the OED notes as its earliest usage of "chips" in this sense the mention in Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (published in 1859): "Husky chips of potatoes, fried with some reluctant drops of oil". (Note that Belgian tradition, as recorded in a manuscript of 1781, dates the frying of potatoes carved into the shape of fish back at least as far as 1680.)[5]

The modern fish-and-chip shop ("chippy" or "chipper" in modern British slang[6][7]) originated in the United Kingdom, although outlets selling fried food occurred commonly throughout Europe. According to one story, fried-potato shops spreading south from Scotland merged with fried-fish shops spreading from southern England.[citation needed] Early fish-and-chip shops had only very basic facilities. Usually these consisted principally of a large cauldron of cooking-fat, heated by a coal fire. Insanitary by modern[update] standards, such establishments also emitted a smell associated with frying, which led to the authorities classifying fish-and-chip supply as an "offensive trade",[citation needed] a stigma retained until the interwar period. The industry overcame this reputation because during World War II fish and chips remained one of the few foods in the United Kingdom not subject to rationing.[8]

 
here's a recipe and acouple ofphotos from time-life's: foods of the world - the cooking of the british isles, 1969:
 
Quote
 
resting on the usual fish-and-chips wrapping, fried haddock and potatoes will be seasoned with salt and vinegar.
 
fish and chips
deep-fried fish and potatoes
 
to serve 4
 
batter:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 tbsp beer
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp milk combined with 6 tbsp cold water
chips:
  • vegetable oil or shortening for deep-fat frying
  • 2 lbs baking potatoes, sliced lengthwise into strips 1/2-inch thick and 1/2-inch wide
fish:
  • 2 lbs fresh, firm white fish fillets such as haddock, sole, flounder or cod, skinned and cut into 3-by-5-inch serving pieces
to prepare the batter, pour the flour intil a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center and add the egg yolk, beer and salt. stir the ingredients together until they are well-mixed, then gradually pour in the combined milk and water, and continue to stir until the batter is smooth.
 
for a light texture, let the batter rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, although if necessary it may be used at once. in either case, beat the egg whites until they form unwavering peaks on the beater when it is lifted from the bowl. then gently but firmly fold them into the batter.
 
to cook the chips and fish, heat 4 to 5 inches of oil or shortening in a deep-fat fryer to a temperature of 375 degrees on a deep-fat frying thermometer. preheat the oven to 250 degrees, and line a large, shallow roasting pan with paper towels.
 
dry the potatoes thoroughly and deep-fry them in three or four batches until they are crisp and light brown. transfer them to the lined pan to drain and place them in the oven to keep warm.
 
wash the pieces of fish under cold running water and pat them completely dry with paper towels. drop two or three pieces of fish at a time into the batter and, when they are well-coated, plunge them into the hot fat. fry for four or five minutes, or until golden brown, turning the pieces occasionally with a spoon to prevent them from sticking together or to the pan.
 
to serve, heap the fish in the center of a large heated platter and arrange the chips around them. traditionally, fish and chips are served sprinkled with malt vinegar and salt.
 
 
the reason why fish and chips shops thrive can be read in the faces of these young patrons in richmond, surrey
 
instead of the fotw recipe, i decided to try this one from well-known english chef, jamie oliver:
 
Quote Fish and Chips

Ingredients

For the chips:

  • 3 3/4 pints (2 liters) vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds (950 grams) floury potatoes, like russets, peeled and cut into large chips

For the batter:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup beer
  • 2 egg whites, whipped to soft peaks
  • Salt
  • 4 (9 ounce/250 gram) fillets haddock or cod, skin on, and pin boned

Directions

Pour all the vegetable oil into a deep pan or deep fat fryer, and heat to 300 degrees F (160 degrees C.) Blanch the cut potatoes in the oil until soft, but not colored, about 4 minutes. Remove and drain.

Mix together the flour and the beer, then fold in the egg whites. Turn up the heat of the oil to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Dip the fish in the batter and fry for a few minutes with the chips until golden brown.

Drain on kitchen paper and serve with bread and butter, wally's (battered, deep fried pickles served with ranch dressing), and pickled eggs.

we don't have any pickled eggs handy, but i did make an attempt at the wally's - here's how it went.....
 
around 10 one morning, i began preparing this, thinking that it would make a great lunch. here's a shot of the goods and it is evident that there isn't too much needed:
 
 
we got to thinking that local fresh-caught, freshwater fish such as perch, northern pike, crappie, smallmouth bass or walleye would be just as good, and catfish, if any were available, would be even better. all of these fish (with the exception of catfish) can be caught just a few short miles from home. for catfish, we've got to travel at least 40 miles or so....
 
we were doubling jamie oliver's recipe, so i put 2 cups of beer into 2 cups of flour, then mixed it well and let it sit in the fridge to stay cold while the flavours got to know one another:
 
 
i was cooking this for six people, so we peeled and cut two potatoes per person into chips (otherwise known as french fries) about half an inch on a side. these were rinsed well in cold water and then soaked in another batch of cold water to work some of the starch out; then, prior to getting their bath in hot oil, a batch at a time was set to dry off a bit in a colander:
 
 
for the wallys, i cut one pickle per person into four spears, after cutting the ends off (don't know why, but pickle ends bother the heck out of me):
 
 
i fried the chips in canola oil in batches of a large handful at a time so as to keep the oil hot and cook them well. coming out of the fryer they were crisp outside and fluffy inside. the recipe above mentions a two-stage cooking process, but since i didn't have any oil-temperature measuring equipment handy today, i simply cooked them in one stage and they came out fine.
 
 
as each batch of chips finished, i put them in a pan lined with paper towels to stay warm in an oven heated at about 170 degrees:
 
 
once the chips were done, i folded the beaten/whipped/peaked egg whites into the beer batter, which was smelling very, very good:
 
 
and then prepared to fry the cod fillets. previously, we had rinsed off the fillets in cold water and patted them dry between layers of paper towels:
 
 
i cut the fillets in half, dipped them in the batter, and dropped them in the fryer four or so at a time:
 
 
as they finished, i put them in my trusty paella pan, also lined with paper towels, and into the oven to stay warm.
 
 
when the fish fillets were done, it was time to do the wallys. i was starting to get fryer fatigue, so i simply dropped all the pickle spears into the batter:
 
 
and fished them out 5 or 6 at a time and dropped them into the fryer:
 
 
they cooked up well and in short order, and as each batch finished i....you guessed it!
 
 
finally, everything was done - i unplugged the fryer and plated out lunch. i had intended to place everything on a layer or two of unprinted newsprint paper that i use to start my charcoal chimney for barbecue, but everyone was hungry and said they could live without the experience, so i simply plated up:
 
 
fine sea salt and malt vinegar for the fish and chips, with ranch dressing for the wallys.
 
everything was really good - the beer batter had a great flavour that worked well with the subtle flavours of the cod fillets. the chips were done just right and the wallys were a really good flavour contrast. i had never heard of deep-frying pickles before this week, but i must say it was a good treat.
 
a few lessons learned:
 
a) prep is key! you want to have everything ready, things cut up, oil hot, pans lined with paper towels, oven warm etc. before you you begin the actual cooking!
 
b) cooking all the chips, then all the fish, then all the wallys seemed like a good idea at the time, but in practice, the holding time in the oven resulted in food that was a bit limp and soggy; it tasted great but didn't quite rise to the level i was hoping for where textures are concerned. the moisture from the food or perhaps the oil (or both) seemed to contribute to the problem, along with the time in the pan in the oven - in spite of being on paper towles, everything was simply soggy. it all seemed cooked well and nothing was undercooked, but perhaps doing a "serving" at a time (cooking a batch of chips fish and wallys to order for each person at a time) would have been a better way to go rather than having chips and fish sitting in the oven for so long. the disadvantage, of course, is that we all would have been eating at different times rather than together.
 
c) this is pretty basic, but i did forget this one: only fill the fryer half full of oil (i filled it maybe two-thirds full) and do small batches at a time! i put too many chip in one batch and the oil did boil over for a moment, making quite a mess.
 
other than that, i would count this as a success, with the caveat that i would probably do an order at a time instead of everything in batches the next time we do this. everyone agreed that, sogginess aside, the food tasted great, although each had his or her own favourite condiments. ketchup seemed to be the choice among many, while others forsook the vinegar and simply used ranch dressing for everything. either way, we certainly had a great lunch on a summer day!
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2010 at 14:23

Hey that looked like a fine meal you prepped there, Ron. Good lord that looks just about perfect! Real nice looking fish and chips. Got to have the beer for a true "proper" batter as I've been told and your recipes sounds delicious. Nothing better than fresh, hot, just-made fish and chips! Nice history you got there too, didn't know all that. Definitely adds to the enjoyment of the post! Thumbs Up

 
You didn't say at what heat you put the food in to keep warm- on something like this it has to be a HOT oven, and as you learned, you have to cook fast. Make batches for a couple, three then serve and keep going, but no worries, it looked fine and darn tasty~ Good to see you found some malt vinegar too.
Back to Top
kiwi View Drop Down
Chef's Apprentice
Chef's Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: 16 February 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 402
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2010 at 16:24
tip - for a lighter, airy-er batter, replace half the beer with soda water Wink
kai time!
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8957
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2010 at 19:09
kiwi - that sounds like a good tip ~ thanks!Thumbs Up
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
kiwi View Drop Down
Chef's Apprentice
Chef's Apprentice
Avatar

Joined: 16 February 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 402
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2010 at 19:15
the other thing is to make sure the water, beer, milk, anything liquid going into the batter is COLD. not sure on the reasoning, but it sure works well.
kai time!
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8957
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 July 2010 at 19:36
i remember reading that bit somewhere. it seems to work well with other applications such as pie crusts, etc.
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
Boilermaker View Drop Down
Chef
Chef
Avatar

Joined: 23 July 2010
Location: Marietta, GA
Status: Offline
Points: 680
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2010 at 15:02
I found an excellent malt vinegar at the market yesterday and brought it home.  Sarson's, it is imported from England.  A Canadian friend who's father is from the UK turned me onto malt vinegar on fish and chips years ago and I've been a fan ever since.




http://www.premierfoods.co.uk/premierfoods/our-brands/grocery/sarsons/en/sarsons_home.cfm

 
Back to Top
Boilermaker View Drop Down
Chef
Chef
Avatar

Joined: 23 July 2010
Location: Marietta, GA
Status: Offline
Points: 680
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2010 at 14:17
Ron,
 
One thing I always do when frying chips it to fry them twice.  I soak them in a bowl of cold water then fry them for few minutes at at about 325 degrees until they are sort of limp and soggy then I take them out of the oil and let them cool completely, sometimes even overnight, in the fridge on a cookie sheet then I give them the final frying at 375 degrees until they are golden brown.  Another method which works well is to parboil them for a minute or two then cool and fry a second time in the same manner, parboiling is also much less messy.
 
Cheers,
Andy
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8957
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2010 at 15:06
hey, andy - yep, i've heard of doing that and will give it a try sometime. the chips came out very well at first, as did the fish and the wallys, but after staying warm in the oven everything got limp and soggy fast. too bad, because the flavours were out of this world!
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
Boilermaker View Drop Down
Chef
Chef
Avatar

Joined: 23 July 2010
Location: Marietta, GA
Status: Offline
Points: 680
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2010 at 15:21
It all looks delicious!
Back to Top
GarethM View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant


Joined: 19 March 2010
Location: Newcastle
Status: Offline
Points: 83
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2010 at 01:52
Ron,
 
That was a brilliant article.  I nearly went home via the chippy(http://www.qype.co.uk/place/340601-Seashells-Monkseaton) Wink It is always easier to get someone else to worry about the timings!
 
"i had never heard of deep-frying pickles before this week, but i must say it was a good treat."  I have been having fish and chips for 40 years and I had never heard of them (but they do sound interesting).  Also I have never seen a sober person eating a pickled egg in my life.
 
If you go up to Scotland, they have a reputation for deep-frying anything (including mars bars and pizzas).
 
Gareth
Gareth
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8957
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 July 2010 at 10:03
the pickles did taste good - certainly something i wouldn't have thought of on my own. scotland and the US must have much in common. i was just hearing the other day about deep-frying marshmallows and twinkies!
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
Hoser View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 06 February 2010
Location: Cumberland, RI
Status: Offline
Points: 3391
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 July 2010 at 12:04
They can deep fry their haggis if they want to. but I still won't eat it! Wink
Go ahead...play with your food!
Back to Top
GarethM View Drop Down
Cook's Assistant
Cook's Assistant


Joined: 19 March 2010
Location: Newcastle
Status: Offline
Points: 83
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GarethM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 July 2010 at 02:16
Chip shop haggis is different from ordinary haggis.  It is quiet nice, more like a black pudding with barley added.

My wife suggested keeping them warm by putting them on a baking rack on the bottom shelf of a warm oven.  She also said that (non-fried) pickles were very popular at chip shops near fish quays, so I have learned something new Smile
Gareth
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8957
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 July 2010 at 07:06

my thanks to mrs. gareth! i will gve it a try!

If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
wannago View Drop Down
Scullery Servant
Scullery Servant


Joined: 06 October 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 1
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wannago Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 October 2010 at 05:10
I know that Alton Brown from "Good Eats" says to drain on a rack instead of on paper, and avoid holding in a gas oven to prevent food from being soggy.
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8957
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 October 2010 at 07:00
welcome, wannago!
 
those sound like good tips, and i'll be sure to try the rack next time. thanks for posting!
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
solaryellow View Drop Down
Scullery Servant
Scullery Servant
Avatar

Joined: 15 October 2010
Location: NC
Status: Offline
Points: 9
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote solaryellow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 October 2010 at 22:30
I made this recipe tonight and was very pleased with the final product. I used Guiness Draught for the beer and was a bit disappointed there wasn't more beer flavor but otherwise it was perfect. Thanks for posting it up!
Back to Top
TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: 25 January 2010
Location: Chinook, MT
Status: Offline
Points: 8957
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 October 2010 at 09:01

hey, solar -

glad that you tried it and liked it! i've noticed making beer breads and pizza dough with beer etc. that there isn't as much beer flavour as i would expect. i figure that it blends and gets lost in there a bit among the wheat in the flour, but i am not sure.
If you are a visitor and like what you see, please click here and join the discussions in our community!
Back to Top
solaryellow View Drop Down
Scullery Servant
Scullery Servant
Avatar

Joined: 15 October 2010
Location: NC
Status: Offline
Points: 9
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote solaryellow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 October 2010 at 21:54
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:

hey, solar -

glad that you tried it and liked it! i've noticed making beer breads and pizza dough with beer etc. that there isn't as much beer flavour as i would expect. i figure that it blends and gets lost in there a bit among the wheat in the flour, but i am not sure.

Any thoughts on how to increase the beer flavor? Would doubling the amount of beer do the trick?
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.094 seconds.