Beer Battered Fish & Chips
I first fell in love with Edinburgh seventeen years ago when I stepped off the overnight bus from London, on a cold and rainy morning, and somehow instantly felt at home. I shared a flat with three Canadian friends and we settled into our neighborhood quickly. We found our “locals” – the local cafe, the local pub and the local “chippy”. Many nights at the pub ended in a visit to the chip shop around the corner for a greasy takeaway on our way home. Arriving back at the flat, I knew when my flatmate Sarah had arrived home before me: a trail of dropped chips lead the way around the winding staircase to our 3rd floor flat on McDonald Road.
A recent trip back to visit friends had me wandering through my old neighborhood on Leith Walk. I popped by the chippy on a beautiful October evening for a Fish & Chips takeaway. Traditionally served with salt and vinegar, sometimes with ketchup or brown sauce, maybe some mushy peas on the side… my favourite dipping sauce lately is curry mayo.
Back in Nova Scotia, I found myself craving this comfort food and decided to try making it at home. It's a fun meal to share with friends over a few pints of local lager. Everyone likes different sauces with fish & chips, so I headed to Pete's Fine Foods for some traditional sides I knew they would have in their Best of Britain section. Check out the recipe and and my favourite UK sides from Pete's below.
Beer Battered Fish & Chips
Ingredients (makes four servings)
4 fresh cod or haddock fillets, cut into 1 inch wide strips, about 4 inches long
6 large baking potatoes, scrubbed not peeled, cut into 1/4 inch thick strips
canola oil for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
12-ounces of lager (I used Spindrift Brewing Co. Coastal Lager)
In a large deep pan, using a thermometer, heat 3 inches of canola oil to 325°F. In small batches, carefully cook the chips for about 5 minutes until they begin to turn a golden brown. Remove from the oil with a metal slotted spoon and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towel. The chips will be cooked again to make them nice and crispy after you cook the fish.
Prepare the fish by patting it dry with paper towel and seasoning with salt and pepper. In a large bowl combine 1.5 cups of the flour (the rest will be used for dredging) with the baking powder, sea salt, pepper and beer. Stir thoroughly until the batter is smooth without any lumps.
Before frying the fish, increase the temperature of the oil to 375°F. Use the remaining flour in a wide bowl to dredge the fish pieces before dipping and coating them in the batter. Again working in batches, carefully place the fish into the oil and fry for about 6 minutes, turning frequently until they are a deep golden brown. Remove with a metal slotted spoon and place onto paper towel to drain.
To finish cooking the chips, place them back into the oil in batches to fry for another 2 minutes, or until crispy and golden brown. Drain on paper towel and season with sea salt.
Serve with your favourite sides and dipping sauces. I picked up all of these delicious sides and sauces at Pete's Fine Foods.
Curry Mayonnaise: I made this by mixing 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise with one teaspoon of Suneetra's Curry (a local business). I love this sauce on both the fish and the chips!
Malt Vinegar: Sarson's Malt Vinegar
Brown Sauce: Proper Brown Sauce, Great British Sauce Co.
Ketchup: Country Ketchup, Stonewall Kitchen (carried locally only by Pete's)
Tartar Sauce: Tartar Sauce with Lemon, Mrs. Bridges
Peas: Original Mushy Peas, Batchelors
What are your favourite sides and sauces? The next time you pick up some fish & chips from your local take-away, or make them home, try something new!
This post is sponsored by Pete's Fine Foods.