It’s a beautiful day in New York, finally! I can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the brisk 70-ish degree weather before the dead of summer sets in. I know that this is going to be short lived, so I want to make the most of it. That means, of course, that this weekend will be filled with brunches, Smorgasburg, and lots of al fresco dining! Is there anything better than that? I really don’t think that there is. We were even able to open our windows all day yesterday and last night, instead of running the air conditioning, and it was absolutely fantastic. It was also really nice walking to work and through the subways this morning without dying from heat exhaustion.
I know that fish and chips don’t necessarily bring spring or summer to mind, but I had some leftover fish a few weeks ago from when I made fish tacos and I really wanted to fry something up! I had a bunch of potatoes, so I figured that this was just the universe’s way of telling me to make fish and chips. The cod that I used was absolutely wonderful – it was fall apart tender after I cooked it, and believe me, battering it in beer didn’t hurt! I loved the thick crust and the bold flavor of the fried fish, thanks to the Smuttynose beer and ground mustard. The chips were on another plane of existence entirely. They were the crispiest fries that I’ve ever made – my husband and I ate almost all of them on our own! I may not be English, but I can definitely fry up some tasty fish and chips, if I don’t say so myself. These are perfect for a lazy Sunday evening, where you want to treat yourself to come classic pub food, and maybe even a pint. Eat and drink up, and enjoy your weekend!
Start by peeling your potatoes and cutting them into your desired shape. I went with about a 1-inch thick classic matchstick, but you can do them really thin or even go thicker, for more of a steak fry.
Blanch the cut potatoes in ice water for at least one hour. This will draw some of the starch out of the potatoes and allow them to fry up much crispier.
When you are ready to fry both the fish and the potatoes, get your oil heating up and cut your fish into fillets.
Start frying your potatoes – you are going to fry them twice to ensure maximum crispiness. The first fry dries them out a bit and blisters the skin. Remove from the oil after a few minutes and onto paper towels to dry.
Dip your fish into your flour mixture.
Then into your beer mixture.
Now, in two separate pots, fry both the fish and the chips for the final time (or only time, in the fish’s case). Fry until golden and cooked through, on both accounts.
Serve immediately with some tartar sauce and lemon wedges and dig in!
- 5-6 Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into your preferred shape (I did a thick matchstick cut)
- large bowl filled with ice water
- vegetable or canola oil, for frying (you'll want the oil to be at least 3 inches up around the sides of the pot)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- sea salt or fleur de sel, for sprinkling
- Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling (optional)
- scallions, sliced thinly, for sprinkling (optional)
- 1 to 1½ pounds flaky fish (cod, halibut, etc.), cut into 4-6 equal pieces (depending on how big your fish is - I had 1 pound and it cut into 4 good sized pieces and 2 teeny-tiny pieces that I couldn't have served but were good to test the heat of the oil)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard (optional, but I love the flavor it adds)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup good beer (I used a nice pale ale)
- ¼ cup 1% or 2% milk
- 1 egg
- 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (yes, again - this is for coating the fish, though)
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard (optional)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- vegetable or canola oil, for frying
- tartar sauce, for serving
- lemon wedges, for serving
- For your chips: Peel your potatoes and slice them into whatever shape you like - I went with a larger matchstick cut. Place your cut potatoes in a large bowl of ice water and soak them for at least an hour. This will help to remove some of the starch from the potatoes and make them extra crispy.
- After an hour (or however long you soaked your potatoes), begin to heat your oil over high heat in a heavy-bottomed pot - you want the oil to be about 3-4 inches up the side of the pot, and you want it to reach 345 degrees F for frying. Fry the chips in batches (no need to pat them dry or anything), being careful of any sputtering oil (wearing long sleeves is probably a good idea). After 4 minutes or so, the potatoes should be blistered looking and only slightly golden, but not browned. Remove from the oil and place on a cooling rack with lots of paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Continue until you have fried all of your fries, then turn the heat up on the stove a bit and bring your oil to 385 degrees F.
- When the oil is ready, toss the par-fried chips in a bit of cornstarch - this will help make your fries extra crispy. I put them all in a mesh sieve, poured the ¼ cup of cornstarch over them, and shook them until the cornstarch was evenly distributed. Fry the chips again, in batches, for about 3 minutes, and place on paper towels to drain. Immediately sprinkle with salt and/or Parmesan cheese, and serve as soon as possible, as the longer they sit, the less crisp they become! I also sprinkled mine with a few scallions, for color.
- For the fish: In a a small bowl, combine the first cup of flour, ½ teaspoon ground mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the beer, milk, egg, and melted butter. Whisk the flour mixture into the beer mixture, and allow to sit out for 30 minutes to 1 hour, for maximum beer deliciousness.
- When you're ready to fry your fish, heat another pot of oil with about 2 inches of oil to 365 degrees F. Pat your 4-6 pieces of fish dry with paper towels. Combine the remaining 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper in a shallow dish, like a pie tin. Dredge the fish in this flour mixture, then dredge it in the beer mixture. Fry the fish in batches (about 2 fillets at a time) for 5-6 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oil, place on a plate covered in paper towels to drain a bit, and serve immediately with some tartar sauce, lemon wedges, and your chips.