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Fish and Chips

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: Europe
Forum Name: The British Isles
Forum Discription: A lot more than just boiled beef!
URL: http://foodsoftheworld.ActiveBoards.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=688
Printed Date: 09 July 2020 at 11:01


Topic: Fish and Chips
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: Fish and Chips
Date Posted: 14 July 2010 at 13:47
this is, of course, quintessential street and pub dining throughout the united kingdom.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips" rel="nofollow - 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_class" rel="nofollow - - trawl fishing in the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Sea" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips#cite_note-1" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips#cite_note-2" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips#cite_note-3" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford_English_Dictionary" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Dickens" rel="nofollow - - 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.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips#cite_note-4" rel="nofollow - http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chippy" rel="nofollow - http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chipper" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips#cite_note-5" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips#cite_note-Hegarty_2009_17-6" rel="nofollow - [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed" rel="nofollow - - cauldron of cooking- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat" rel="nofollow - http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fish_and_chips&action=edit" rel="nofollow - [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed" rel="nofollow - - interwar period . The industry overcame this reputation because during http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II" rel="nofollow - - rationing . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_and_chips#cite_note-7" rel="nofollow -
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!


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Replies:
Posted By: Guests
Date 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.


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Posted By: kiwi
Date Posted: 14 July 2010 at 16:24
tip - for a lighter, airy-er batter, replace half the beer with soda water Wink

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kai time!


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 14 July 2010 at 19:09
kiwi - that sounds like a good tip ~ thanks!Thumbs Up

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Posted By: kiwi
Date 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.

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kai time!


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date 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.

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

 


Posted By: Boilermaker
Date 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


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date 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!

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Posted By: Boilermaker
Date Posted: 26 July 2010 at 15:21
It all looks delicious!


Posted By: GarethM
Date 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 - 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


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Gareth


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date 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!

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Posted By: Hoser
Date 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

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Go ahead...play with your food!


Posted By: GarethM
Date 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


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Gareth


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 29 July 2010 at 07:06

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



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Posted By: wannago
Date 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.


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date 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!


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Posted By: solaryellow
Date 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!


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date 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.


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Posted By: solaryellow
Date 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?


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 30 October 2010 at 22:03

normally i would say to use the stoutest beer you can find, but guinness should be exactly the thing to take care of that, so i don't know for sure! i think doubling the beer wouldn't accomplish anything because you would have to double the dry ingredients as well, and then you'd be back where you started. only other thing i can think of is maybe "marinate" the fish fillets in beer for a few hours prior to battering and frying?

perhaps some beer batter experts out there may have a suggestion?


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Posted By: kiwi
Date Posted: 30 October 2010 at 23:09
I'd go a porter or a red over a stout, actually. Other than that, just increase the ratio of beer to other wets, but this will make a 'heavier' batter, not as light and bubbly.

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kai time!


Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 08 April 2011 at 09:12
hey, hey - i thought this might make a good footnote for this thread:
 
my #3 son, billy, is in the school choir, and for their festival this year they are singing The Codfish Shanty; here are the lyrics:
 
Quote Glo'ster girls they have no combs,
Heave away, heave away!
They comb their hair with codfish bones,
We're bound for South Australia.

Heave away, my bully bully boys,
Heave away, heave away!
Heave away, why don't you make a noise?
We're bound for South Australia.


Glo'ster boys they have no sleds,
Heave away, heave away!
They slide down hill on codfish heads.
We're bound for South Australia.
 
Heave away, heave away! Heave away boys!

from there, the lyrics can go in a lot of directions...

and here's a video - it's not of my son's ensemble, but it will give you an idea of how it sounds.
 
http://youtu.be/SYJ3N57fYxY - http://youtu.be/SYJ3N57fYxY


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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 06 December 2014 at 11:45
Marcus Samuelsson's take on Fish and Chips:

Quote Fish and Chips with Fried Pickles

(Photo by Paul Brissman

In 1860, Joseph Malin, a Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe, started the first fish and chips shop in London’s East End. There are now well over 8,000 fish and chips shops in Britain. I think fish and chips taste better when you’re eating them near a body of water – on the beach with a beer it’s the perfect snack. Most dishes don’t need that backdrop. Otherwise, the only other place where I want fish and chips is in a British pub watching a football game. In the U.K., fish and chips are usually served with salt and vinegar. Here, I serve them with a tarragon malt vinegar mayonnaise and fried pickles. When you’re grocery shopping for this recipe, if you can’t find halibut, or would prefer to use some other fish, you can substitute cod, haddock, or whiting for delicious results.

Recipe:

http://www.marcussamuelsson.com/recipe/fish-and-chips-with-fried-pickles

Marcus Samuelsson's new book, Marcus Off Duty, is available here:

http://www.marcussamuelsson.com/chef-2/marcus-off-duty-the-recipes-i-cook-at-home


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Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 21 November 2018 at 15:13
Here's a good article from BBC on the 150th anniversary of Fish and Chips in the UK in 2009:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8419026.stm

And here is a listing of recipes for Fish and Chips, also from the BBC:

https://www.bbc.com/food/fish_and_chips


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Posted By: thejellyfishbar
Date Posted: 27 March 2020 at 06:52
Wow! fish and chips. Great recipe. I will going to add this recipe on my seafood restaurant menu. Thanku.

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https://www.thejellyfishbar.com/ - best sushi in orange beach
https://www.thejellyfishbar.com/about-us/ - fish steak restaurant



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