English fish n’ chips recipe

One of my favourite lazy indulgences is traditional fish n’ chips. It reminds me of home and is perfect partnered with lashings of vinegar, salt, Heinz tomato ketchup and pickled onions! (If you go up north England you even get ‘scraps’!) You can’t beat the stuff from the local chippie and I haven’t found any home-made recipe that competes. (I think they have a secret ingredient for it to taste so uniquely amazing!) but after experimenting with eggs, with all kinds of flour quantities, with pancake batter etc. I decided Delia Smith’s online recipe was the best and closest match! So listen closely; especially you German lot who think our fish is deep fried in breadcrumbs and our chips are American french fries (!!!!!!) because they arn’t! So Irish Pubs of Germany who sell “English Fish and Chips” please correct your menus and start cooking the “English” way as you so advertise! Muchly appreciated! 😉

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What you need to know:
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Oven temp.: 50 degrees C

Ingredients for 2-3 portions:
400g white fish fresh or defrosted (we use Cod, Haddock, Plaice)
2 lbs old potatoes , peeled and cut into chunky sticks
oil (for frying)

220g gluten-free flour
300ml milk or beer/ale
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
sprinkle of cracked black pepper
Malt vinegar

Random Fact: Did you know that fish n’ chips used to be served wrapped in old newspapers and eaten with small wooden forks?

Method:
1. Turn on oven to 50 degrees C and place plates in to warm. Add a couple of plates extra for the fish and chips to keep warm whilst cooking the rest.

2. First we will make the chips because the fish doesn’t take long and we can do the fish while the chips are in the fryer. So peel and wash the potatoes (tatties if you want the English word) and cut into sticks or wedges about 1cm thick and 8cm long.

3. Leave the potatoes in cold water to remove some of the excess starch before frying and then drain and using a kitchen towel/roll dry off the majority of the water.

4. Heat the oil either in a deep pan or use a deep fat fryer. Using a wire basket pop some of the chips in (or all of them if they fit) and lower into the pan or fryer for about 12 minutes or until brown. Check on them as you go and pull them out when you have the chips to your liking. I love mine really golden brown. If you are doing your chips in batches, when one batch is done put kitchen towel onto a plate and place the chips on the plate and pop them in the oven to keep warm while you are doing the next batch and fish. The kitchen towel helps to soak up excess oil and fat.

5. While your chips are cooking nicely we’ll start the fish batter. So in a bowl mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, sprinkle of pepper and the milk or beer, whichever you are using, and stir until you get a creamy texture. Make sure there are no lumps and the batter is runny.

6. In a deep frying pan heat the oil until it is really hot. The trick to keeping the batter on the fish and making it go crispy golden is the oil. The hotter the better but be careful of splashes.

7. Pick up a piece of fish, using your hands coat the fish generously in the prepared batter and place into the frying pan with hot oil. Fry for about 5 mins each side or until it is golden brown.

8. Pull out when done, place on a plate and put in the oven to keep warm. Continue until all the fish is used up. Keep an eye on your chips as well.

9. When the chips are ready, pull them out of the fryer or take out of the oven and sprinkle onto pieces of kitchen towel/roll on the work surface and sprinkle with salt.

10. Distribute fish and chips onto warmed plates and serve either with salad or mushy peas or enjoy on their own with malt vinegar and Heinz tomato ketchup. Eat with fingers or if you don’t want to get greasy knife and fork and enjoy a little bit of England. 😀

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