Fish and Chips

In Olympic news yesterday, the USA women’s relay team took the 4x100m relay gold medal, setting a new world record of 40.82 seconds.  The Russian synchronized swimming team held onto their title, winning gold in that event.  The US men’s basketball team will face Spain for the gold medal round, having defeated Argentina yesterday.  Columbia’s Maria Pajon took gold in women’s BMX racing, Columbia’s second gold medal ever.

Today’s post in the 2012 Summer Olympics series features this year’s London Summer Games.  At current count, the US is leading the overall medal count with 102 medals, forty-four of them are gold.  By the time the Closing Ceremonies happen tomorrow, over 10,000 athletes from 204 countries will have competed in these Games.  Women’s boxing was a new event added this year, and mixed doubles tennis returned as an event.  The Closing Ceremonies, scheduled for tomorrow night, are promising a mixture of British musical acts and even greater use of the “pixel” lights that were used at the Opening Ceremonies.  London will hand off the Olympic flag to the organizers of the Rio 2016 Summer Games and the Olympic flame will be extinguished.

For the London Games, there was really no dish I considered making other than fish and chips.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this, especially considering that various food sites I follow started posting recipes for fish and chips as soon as the Opening Ceremonies started.  Overdone or not, you can’t beat good fish and chips.  If you’ve mastered a few basics of frying (like getting and keeping the oil hot), they’re not complicated to make at all.  I did receive a fryer from my step-father, and it did make this a little easier.  If you don’t have a fryer, use a heavy pot and a frying thermometer.  Frying the chips twice did initially seem like overkill to me, but it really made all the difference.  When they were done, I had steak fries that were crispy outside and mealy inside, perfect!  The batter for the fish is three ingredients, I’m not sure it gets much simpler than this.  A word about the batter- as with all other recipes that call for alcohol of any kind, use something you would drink on its own.  You do taste the beer in this slightly, so this is the place for a good quality beer.

Fish and Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. fresh cod fillets, cut into approximately 4 oz. portions
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 C. flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. baking powder
  • 8-12 oz. good cold beer
  • 4 medium Russet or baking potato, washed and skins left on
  • vegetable or canola oil, for frying

Directions:

In a fryer or heavy bottomed pot, heat about 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees.

While the oil is heating, cut the potatoes into 3/4 inch wedges by cutting the potato in half lengthwise, cutting each half in half lengthwise again (leaving you with 4 wedges), and then cutting each wedge into 3/4 inch slices.

Dry the potato wedges with a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, and then add them to the hot oil.

The oil will lose temperature once the potatoes are added, this is okay.

Fry the potatoes for ten minutes, and then remove from the hot oil to drain on paper towels.

Let the potatoes rest for ten minutes and return the oil to 350 degrees.

Once potatoes have rested, add them back into the oil for 5-10 minutes, until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.

Remove the fries to drain on paper towels for a few minutes.

Turn the oven to “warm,” or 200 degrees.

Place the fries on a baking sheet, sprinkle with some kosher salt if desired, and place the baking sheet into the oven to keep the fries warm while you make the fish.

Return the oil to a temperature of 350 degrees.

To make the fish, sprinkle the fish with the kosher salt and ground pepper.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and beer in a large bowl, whisking until the mixture resembles semi-whipped cream and coats the whisk.

Dredge both sides of the fish in flour, shaking off excess flour.

Dip the fish pieces into the batter, and hold the fish over the bowl for a few seconds to allow the excess batter to drip off.

Carefully drop the fish into the hot oil.  Depending on the size of your fryer or pot, you may have to make the fish in batches (I put 2 pieces at a time into my fryer).

Fry for four minutes, until the batter is golden or crisp.  Repeat until all fish pieces have been fried.

Remove from the hot oil and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Serve hot, with malt vinegar (if desired).

Serves 4.

Source: fish, Jamie Oliver;  chips,  Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

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