So I made “Fish and Chips” with peas tonight and it was really amazing! Our friend Tom joined us for dinner and it became an occasion. All three components of this dinner are posted separately – Fish, Chips, Peas (each one could easily work in a different menu, or stand alone). The thing about battered fish is that you have to have the No Fear factor. You have to get the pan hot and you have to be comfortable with its manic sizzle. If you want to be a star – cook this!
You need this: 2 lbs (1 kg) Cod fillets, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 1/4 cups water, 1 tsp salt, grind black pepper, vegetable oil for frying.
Wash and dry fish thoroughly (the more moisture you have, the more likely you will have trouble with the fish sticking to the pan). Cut into pieces with a knife or scissors (about 3″ wide – 3 or 4 pieces per lb or 1/2 kg).
Grab a mixing bowl and combine 2 cups of flour with 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1 1/4 cups of cold water. Mix together until you have a thick batter. Let it rest for a 1/2 hour. If you are making the “chips” this is the time to start (find recipe in search at right of my blog ). When batter is rested turn a 12″ pan onto med/high heat on stove-top. Let it heat up dry for 2 minutes before adding about 4 tbs of vegetable oil.
Let the oil continue to heat for another 2 minutes and then get ready for the action…Dip fish in batter until it is totally covered and thick. Place it carefully on pan and add about 3 more pieces to pan as quickly as you can (don’t splash yourself!). Cook for about 2 1/2 minutes before turning. Resist the temptation to push or lift the fish ( the fish really needs the time to cook the batter and release from the oil by itself). Turn and repeat the same process. Please adjust the heat if it is too high or too low. Too low: batter stays white for too long, too high: browns in way less than 2 minutes.
When cooked it is best to plan to serve as soon as possible, as at this point the batter is nice and crisp. If you have to keep warm….leave on a plate in a warm oven until ready to serve. I like to smother my fish is malt vinegar (traditional) but do what you want…salt, ketchup, hot
sauce. This is great with Chips (fries) or in a sandwich with greens and dressing. Actually, there is nothing like it!