As I think I’ve mentioned before, Jeff and I get freshly caught fish out of Morro Bay with our CSA box every other week. We normally use the fish to make fish tacos but this week, I was really in the mood to try cooking something I never had before–fish and chips. Of course, any time Jeff gets to deep fry something he’s excited and throw beer into the mix and he’s one happy guy! He even told me that he was this was the first dinner he’d really been looking forward to making in awhile…is that a good thing?
When making something new, we always turn to food guru Alton Brown to get the basic steps mastered. His recipe called for brown ale, so we picked up some Sierra Nevada Tumbler to help us out–in more ways than one!
There are 3 recipes for this dinner–one for the fish, one for the fries, and one for the tartar sauce. Each one takes a bit of prep work but the overall skill level needed is pretty basic. The biggest thing to keep in mind is the oil temperatures. We heated the canola oil in our Le Creuset cast iron pot and used a thermometer to get an exact temperature. Also, we made our fries first and then kept them warm in the oven while we cooked the fish and made the tartar sauce which seemed to work well.
On a side note, while studying abroad in London 2 years ago, we learned the difference between chips and fries: chips are thick potato wedges while fries are thin strips like you would get at McDonalds. And what we would refer to as potato chips, they call crisps!
First up, the chips!
Beer Battered Chips Recipe
Makes 6 servings
10oz brown ale, cold
2 large russet potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1.5 cups flour
1/2 gallon canola oil (for frying)
Heat 1/2 gallon oil in cast iron pot to 325 degrees.
Cut potatoes into large wedges and place in ice bath for about 2 hours. (This helps remove the starch from the potatoes).
In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Slowly add the beer until the mixture forms a pancake-like batter. Refrigerate batter for 15 minutes.
Dip each fry into the batter and then place into oil for about 2-3 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature.
Raise temperature of oil to 375 degrees and fry the chips for a second time.
Sprinkle with a dash of salt and enjoy!
Now onto the fish!
Beer Battered Fish Recipe
Makes 4 generous servings
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bottle brown beer, cold
1.5 pounds white fish like tilapia or cod (we used red snapper)
Cornstarch, for dredging
Heat oil to 375 degrees (or maintain from frying the chips).
Combine dry ingredients, except the cornstarch, in a large bowl. Slowly add the beer until the mixture becomes a pancake-like batter. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
De-bone your fish, if necessary, and dredge in cornstarch.
Coat each piece of fish in the batter and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Serve with chips and lemon wedges and enjoy!
And finally, the tartar sauce!
Tartar Sauce Recipe
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons relish
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Serve with your beer battered fish and chips and enjoy!
All recipes adapted from Alton Brown: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/chips-and-fish-recipe/index.html