Home made fish and chips had been high on my list of foods to try to make at home for a while, so when a friend invited me over the other day and asked me if I had a food in mind that we could cook together I suggested fish and chips. I never really felt like embarking on the fish and chips adventure only for 2, so the fact that there would be 4 people that night motivated me a bit more. In the end making fish and chips proved a very entertaining task that kept us busy for a while. Cooking with beer can be real fun.
So fish and chips it was. For the beer batter we tried a recipe taken from the net, but changed it a bit, as the result came out a bit too thick and we didn’t follow it thoroughly anyway. It came out delicious, so I will share here our variation.
Fish & chips with beer batter (serves 4):
- 2 cups flour
- 300 ml beer
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 fish fillets (about 100-150 g each)
- 4-5 medium sized potatoes
In a large bowl, sift flour and salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour mound and crack the egg in it. Pour half of the beer and start whisking by hand. I used Carlsberg, but any light beer will do fine. Add more beer as you keep whisking and the mixture gets smooth and lump-free. The desired batter is thick, so that you can generously coat the fish with it, but still runny enough to be fairly easy to whisk by hand. Do not add all the beer if the right consistency is reached earlier (drink it, instead). Let batter sit for at least half an hour.
In the meantime, warm up the oil and cut the potatoes (we didn’t peel them, I like them better like that). Set the oven on 120°C and turn it on. When the oil is hot, fry the potatoes in batches. Confession time: this was the first time I have ever tried deep frying at home. I never owned a fryer and I usually pan-fry food. But real fish and chips calls for deep frying, so we deep fried. We used about half a litre of canola oil and the tallest pot I own. Take fries out of the oil as soon as they get golden brown. Set them on some paper towel to absorb part of the oil, then place them in preheated oven, so that they will stay warm and crispy.
When all the potatoes are done, it’s time to fry the fish! Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper, then coat them individually in flour. Give the batter a quick whisk and dip flour-coated fish in it. Transfer immediately into hot oil. Depending on the size of the pot, also the fish will have to be fried in batches – we made two fillets at a time. Fry the fish for about 10-15 minutes, turning it a couple of times. Take out when golden brown. As for the potatoes, transfer fried fish fillets into the oven after a couple of minutes on paper towel. When the last pieces of fish are made, take the rest of the food out of the oven and serve.
We ate our fish and chips with curry mayo. My drink of choice for fish and chips is stout beer, so yesterday I enjoyed a nice bottle of Guinness with it. That stout beer is a wonderful drink to fish dishes is something I learned from an old friend many years ago. I used to believe that only white wine can go well with fish, but after I tried Guinness I changed my mind completely.
Since we had some extra batter, in the end we fried that alone, and ate those crispy dough treats with Nutella for dessert. I felt very guilty, and I think that next week I should do 6 days of military diet to repent for that huge sin, but man was it worth it!