Friday, March 11, 2011

Fish and Chips

This week, the dinners that have been set on the table have been less than stellar.  Like I said yesterday - we do what we have to do to stay sane.  Today, I continue to stand behind that statement.  Anyway, I feel like I'm in a better place so I decided to tackle dinner once again.  This was on the docket for last week, but it didn't happen - so last night I tried it.

Two pieces of information that I'd like you to beware of:
- this produces 4 servings.  I doubled the recipe, because our family has large appetites, but that was a mistake.  We had TONS of leftovers - it's actually quite filling.  Delicious, but filling.
- this might be a messy process.  Keep in mind you're frying food - and that in itself can be messy.  The Dutch oven I used was too small, so I ended up frying the fish in several batches, which I was not crazy about.  I could have used my 10 quart Dutch oven, but then I think I would use 5 gallons of oil, which I wanted to avoid.  But, if you have the right sized Dutch oven, then you'll be fine. 

The end result was delicious, but I felt that I needed to be up front about what to expect with this recipe.  Also, I didn't make home-made "chips".  I bought good old Ore-Ida french fries, and I'll tell you, it was just fine :-)

Next Thursday is St. Patty's Day - this will make a good dinner that everyone is sure to love! 

Fish and Chips
Original Recipe by Williams Sonoma
Makes 4 servings

1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 C beer
4 large russet potatoes, about 1/2 lb. each
Canola or corn oil, for frying
4 pieces cod fillet, each 3/4" thick, about 1 1/2 lb. total weight, pin bones removed
1 C mayonnaise
1 tsp. minced garlic or snipped fresh chives
1 T Dijon mustard
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
4 fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, for garnish
Ketchup, for serving (optional)
Malt vinegar, for serving (optional)

To start the batter, in a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  Pour the beer into another bowl and whisk in the egg yolk.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.  Gradually whisk in the beer mixture into the flour mixture until a smooth batter forms.  Set aside.

To make the chips, peel and cut the potatoes into slices 1/3" thick and then into sticks 1/3" wide.  Spread on paper towels.  Do not rinse. 

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Pour the oil to a depth of 3" into a Dutch oven or deep fryer and heat over high heat to 365 degrees F.  Add the potatoes in batches and fry until they begin to turn golden, about 5 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.  Turn off the heat under the oil.  In a baking pan, spread the potatoes in a single layer.  Bake on the top rack of the oven until crisp, about 5 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees.

Meanwhile, pat the fillets dry and season with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until soft peaks form; fold into the batter.  Over high heat, bring the oil back to 365 degrees.  Dip 2 fillets into the batter, allowing the excess to drip off.  Lower them into the oil.  Fry, turning occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the fish to an ovenproof platter and place on the lower oven rack.  Repeat to fry the remaining fish.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, garlic, and mustard together.  Remove the potatoes and fish from the oven.  Sprinkle the potatoes with salt and pile them on the platter with the fish.  Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.  Serve with the flavored mayonnaise and ketchup and/or malt vinegar, if you like.

Enjoy and live with gusto!


  1. Yum! I love fish and chips but have never made it at home. Thanks for sharing this recipe Carina, it looks deliciously tempting! :-)

  2. YEAH Fish & Chips! Dinner of CHAMPIONS & BRITS!!