Being in a hurry yesterday, I pulled from the freezer a parcel of what I thought was frozen chicken fillets.
When Miss Fish returned from work yesterday, she had been to the races. The local races are on this week. She wandered out to the kitchen, then came back and asked me why did I say we were having chicken when there is fish on the sink, now not running on all cylinders yesterday she had to repeat it 2 or 3 times before it dawned on me she was talking about the "chicken" that I had defrosting dah!
So what was going to be roast chicken, an easy meal cooked on one tray in the oven, turned into home made fish, chips and tartare sauce.
Peel and cut potatoes into chips. I always cut what I think is enough the add another large potato.
As Mr CLI doesn't really eat bought chips, but home made ones he gets quite miffed if he doesn't have lots.
Now the secret of crisp chips is the double fry, like they do in the fish shops. You don't need a deep fryer for this, but a larger amount of oil (I used vegetable oil) about 1 litre and a deep pot or I used my wok which has a wide opening to allow you to drop/place things in the oil with less chance of burning yourself.
The first fry the oil should be about 150-160C.. If you don't have a thermometer, heat the oil until a chip placed in the oil starts to sizzle, not a fierce sizzle. You may need to lower the heat to keep the oil at a lower temperature. Now cook you chips in batches until cooked through, but still pale, remove and drain on kitchen paper. This will take about 5 minutes, for each batch.
After you have finished frying the fish, return half of the chips to the now hotter oil fry until crisp, this will only take about 2 minutes, remove and drain on fresh paper towel, sprinkle with sea salt, then repeat with remaining chips. Serve with fish and tartare sauce, and a lemon wedge.
The Fish - Batter
Next preheat the oven to 120.c, just enough warmth to keep the fish warm while you give the chips their second fry.
Now I use a mixture of half plain flour and half cornflour, whisk it with enough water to make a thin batter, like thickened cream. You can use beer if you want beer batter.
For my 15 pieces of fish I used 1/2 of each flour and about 3/4 cup water, just add you water slowly until the batter is the right consistency.
I then cooked the fish which I cut into small pieces about 2-3 cm wide and 10 cm long. If the fish is to large it takes a long time to cook through and the batter maybe a bit overdone.
Bring the oil up to the hotter level 180 - 190C. Dip the fish it into the batter and fry in batches, I cooked 5 at a time. Turn over half way, when they are nice and brown and crispy, remove to a kitchen paper lined tray and place in the oven. Repeat with the other pieces of fish.
NOTE I just dump all the fish pieces in the batter at once then just drain a bit of before placing in the oil, this makes it quicker.
Now you can make more of less of this sauce depending on the amount of people you need to feed. As I love this sauce I have quite a bit but Miss Fish probably only eats about 2 tsps of it.
3/4 cup mayo, 2 tsps chopped fresh parsley. juice 1/2 lemon, 1 gherkin finely chopped, 12 capers finely chopped
Mix all together, taste it you may wish to add more of any of the ingredients.
It seems a lot of trouble but if you make the sauce first, it can sit while you are doing the rest, which is really a matter of placing things in oil, moving them about, draining them, then serving.
The most important thing is to have everybody at the table when you are finishing up so they can get their fish and chips while hot and crispy !!