I have reached the stage of lockdown cooking boredom where I will forgo a takeaway and instead try to re-create an even better version at home.
I hate minted peas so instead roasted peas with a good nob of butter in the oven alongside some smashed garlic and OH MY DAYS why have I never eaten peas like this before, really elevating the taste of the humble pea here.
And of course no proper fish and chips offering is completed without a good tartare sauce, more of an assembly than cooking job, packed full of herbs, cornichons and capers, and a wonderful tangy and creamy final element that to dunk your chips and fish in.
Quite possibly the best fish and chips I have ever had were it not for the fact I had them at my dining room table, not a pebbly, windy British beach, but for the time being it as quite the fine dinner with a side of day dreaming of future seaside adventures.
- 1 cup / 220g mayonnaise (Note 1)
- 1 tbsp gherkin/cornichon, very finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp capers, drained and finely chopped
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice, fresh
- 1/2 tsp white sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Place ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine.
- Adjust salt to taste
ROAST PEAS WITH BUTTER & GARLIC
- Small bag of frozen peas, slightly thawed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
- Put the peas on a baking tray
- Add the garlic cloves and dot the butter around
- Roast for 20 minutes, tossing once between cooking. Remove from the oven, toss once more and then serve immediately.
- 4 potatoes peeled and sliced into chips
- 750ml sunflower oil for deep frying
- Salt to taste
- Boil the potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes or until they just start to soften.
- Drain and allow to dry on a wire rack for 10-30 minutes.
- Heat a large pot of vegetable/canola oil until hot.
- Carefully add the potatoes in batches and fry until golden brown and crisp.
- Drain with a slotted spoon and place back onto the wire rack.
- Keep the chips in a warm oven while you fry the fish.
BEER BATTERED HADDOCK
- 2 large haddock fillets
- ¼ cup rice flour
CRISPY FISH BATTER:
- ¾ cup plain/all purpose flour
- ¼ cup rice flour (makes it super crispy, Note 2)
- 1¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup very cold ale
- Use the same sunflower oil as for your chis
- Dry fillets well, especially if using thawed frozen fish because it will leech water while defrosting. This is key to crispy fish, so don’t shortcut this!
- Start heating oil – Heat oil to 190°C/375° or there abouts.
- Hot oil is key to ensure the fish doesn’t end up soggy and greasy.
- Use a large, heavy-based pot for safety purposes, for even heating of oil and better heat retention.
- Dust fish with rice flour, shaking off excess.
- This is an additional crispiness insurance policy, which will soak up any residual moisture on the flesh of the fish.
- Just before cooking, whisk together the flour, rice flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add very cold beer into the batter and whisk just until incorporated evenly into the flour.
- Do not over-mix, do not worry about flour lumps.
- It should be a fairly thin batter but fully coat the back of a spoon.
- If too thick, add beer 1 tsp at a time.
- Dunk a piece of fish in the batter, the let the excess drip off very briefly.
- Carefully lower into oil, dropping it in away from you, one piece at a time.
- Don't crowd the pot; fry in batches.
- Fry for 3 minutes, flipping after about 2 minutes, until deep golden.
- Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining fish.
- Serve hot!