Fish and Chips

Fish and chips is the epitome of good pub food, whether you are perched on a stool in London’s Soho district or in the comfort of your own home. A combination of beer, flour, and baking powder creates the perfect puffed-up pocket for any white flaky fish. Pints are required - along with a dash of good malt vinegar and a tasty tartar sauce.
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Ingredients

  • 4 North Atlantic cod fillets
  • 6 Idaho Russet potatoes
  • 8 cups neutral oil for frying (such as canola)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

For the Tartar Sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 6 cornichons, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cornichon liquid

For the Beer Batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup pale lager
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Remove cod from packaging, place on a paper towel-lined plate or tray on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. Allow about 12 hours, and once thawed, give a good pat-down with paper towels to remove any remaining moisture before cooking.
  2. Peel potatoes then cut into strips about 3/8 “ thick (or preferred size). Immerse them in a bowl of water while you work in order to maintain their color.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients for the tartar sauce, refrigerate until ready to use (this can be done ahead of time).
  4. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven to 300 degrees F (use a candy thermometer to gauge the temperature). Prepare two sheet trays fitted with a wire rack next to the frying oil.
  5. Once the oil has come up to temperature, strain the cut potatoes from their soaking liquid, roll the cut potatoes in a kitchen towel to remove as much water as possible from them. Blanch the potatoes in the hot oil, working in batches not to overcrowd the pan, about three minutes for each batch. Remove from the oil with a spider or slotted spoon and transfer to one of the wire racks, set aside.
  6. Raise the heat of the oil to 350 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  7. Season the cod with salt and pepper on both sides.
  8. Combine batter ingredients and whisk to remove any clumps.
  9. Once the oil has come up to 350 degrees F, dredge the cod fillets one at a time in the batter, use a wooden skewer to immerse each fillet into the hot oil, swirl each piece for a few seconds before releasing it into the oil, this allows the beginning of a crust to form and prevents the fillet from falling to the bottom of the pot and sticking. Work in batches being sure not to overcrowd the fryer, cook each fillet until golden brown about 6-7 minutes. Remove using a large slotted spoon or a spider and place on the empty wire rack. Move the wire rack to the oven to keep the fillets warm as you finish the remainder of the fish. When the last batch is finished, return the french fries to the hot oil and keep the fish in the oven until ready to plate. The second fry will give the chips a golden-brown, crispy finish. This should take an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove fries from the oil using a spider or slotted spoon and transfer to a metal bowl, toss with salt and pepper, and finely chopped parsley (if desired).
  10. On each plate serve a piece of fried cod, plenty of chips, a big dollop of tartar sauce, and a wedge of lemon. Serve with malt vinegar on the side for an authentic note.