Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

How to make fish and chips with Nathan Outlaw


Okay so today we’re going to make a classic traditional fish and chips with one of my favorite fish; cod. The first thing you need to do is to get the chips on, you want to simmer them for about 5 minutes, drain them and let them cool naturally in the air before we fry them. The best thing to do is to do that a couple of hours before, because I think it’s nicer to have a dry chip before you put it in the fryer, and you get a crispy finish. So put the potatoes in to the cold water, the reason for that, if you put them into hot boiling water, you end up with all the potatoes breaking and still raw in the center. We want them cooked right through. The next thing we’re going to do is make the tartar sauce, the first thing to do is make a classic mayonnaise. Now mayonnaise’s are emulsions, so you’re emulsifying egg yolk with acid and oil. You have to make sure you do it slowly at first otherwise you will split the ingredients. Firstly you split your eggs We’ve got 3 egg yolks and we need to take our english mustard a couple of dashes of white wine vinegar Now obviously whisking by hand is quite an arduous job, so to help you, the best thing to do is to get a wet tea towel and form a little circle and that’ll hold the bowl in place so it gives you a free hand to put your oil in. So slowly we add the oil a few drops at a time if you were to split it, basically you take the split ingredients, get a fresh egg yolk and put it into a new bowl with a little dash of vinegar and start the whole process again adding the split mixture and you’ll have success with a freshly emulsified mayonnaise. So that’s all the oil incorporated and what you’re looking for is the consistency of very thick custard. If you like it a little bit thicker you can add more oil if you like it a little bit looser you just add less oil. So once you’ve got your mayonnaise made to the consistency you like the next thing we need to do is chop the capers and the gherkins and get the herbs in there. Which is the tarragon, the chervil, the parsley and the chives and you’re going to add all of them into the mayonnaise. Sometimes when you add the ingredients to the mayonnaise the vinegar will let the mayonnaise down so you may have to add a little bit more oil to it. Ok, so at this point we need to add the salt and pepper. So, the most important part is to taste the tartar sauce. If you’re happy with it, get it in the fridge until we’ve finished cooking. So whist you’re making the tartar sauce keep an eye on your chips When you insert your knife it’s a little bit soft but still a little bit of firmness. When you get to that stage, it’s about 6 minutes, you’re going to take them off, drain them, and put them on to a tray to cool down. Next thing is the beer batter. So we’ve got some flour, sugar and some fresh yeast and also some Doom bar beer which is one of my favorites. You can use larger or any other beer but Doom bar is for me. So, firstly you add the flour and the sugar then we crumble in our fresh yeast and then gently we add the beer. What you’re after is nice smooth batter. If you added all the beer at once you wouldn’t get a chance to make paste
first. You’re after a paste first otherwise you end up with lumps Finally we add a little bit of salt and a touch of pepper. Then we cover that with a tea towel and leave it for 10 minutes before we cook with it. The reason why I like cod for fish and chips is because it has lovely, white, flaky, pearly, sort of flesh and it works very well with fish and chips. Ok so this is how you may get your fish from the fishmongers at this stage you may still have the skin on it and you’ll still have a few pin bones in there that you really want to remove, because they will get stuck in your throat so an easy way to do that without a struggle with pliers, but cut them out. With fish and chips that is perfectly acceptable. And to skin it, I’ll show you now the easiest way is to come along the center where the bones are, like so. As you can see you’ve still got the skin on there what you’ve got is something workable. So, knife in at the end to the skin, and there you have the skin at the bottom. All you need to do is firmly hold on to the bit where you’ve cut. Don’t move it, and use a sharp knife to come all the way along the fillet Like so. Then what you’ve got is a lovely loin of cod which you now can portion for your fish and chips. So the bottom side, which is the belly of the fillet, just remove all of this, it’s just like a sinew. It’s the actual inside of the belly, which is not very nice to eat, we’ll remove that. And then the bones are still in there, so we just need to find where the bones are, using your sharp knife come along the center again just cutting the bones out and then the same as we did before just cutting at the bottom, bring your knife along holding onto the skin. Let the knife do the work. You can get 4 nice pieces out of one fillet, for your fish and chips, all those trimmings that you’ve got left over don’t throw them away, stick them in your freezer, when you’ve got enough make yourself a lovely fish pie. Ok so I’ve got my fish ready. So the first thing you do is get your chips into the fryer, to get them coloured off first. Otherwise you’re going to be struggling for room in your fryer So the fryer is hot on 180 degrees now, we’ll seal them off for about 4 minutes so they can start to colour up before we take them out let them cool slightly while we put the fish in. So whilst the chips are cooking for 4 minutes we’ll get on with the cod. We take our batter which has been resting for about 10 minutes, and then we’ll get some flour with a little bit of salt in there and a touch of pepper. And then just pass your cod fillet through the flour, knock off any excess You don’t want any layers of raw flour in there and then into the batter. Ok so the chips have been colouring off now about 4 minutes so we’ll take them off to drain. And now you put the cod in Leave the cod in there for about 2 minutes, and then we’ll turn them over and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes before we add the chips back in and then hopefully we’ll come out with something nice and golden brown. The cod’s about 3 or 4 minutes away now so I’m going to add the chips back in just to finish them off If you don’t have a deep fat fryer you can simply breadcrumb the cod by putting it though flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then shallow fry it in a hot pan, and you’ll get roughly the same result but it is worth getting a deep fat fryer because fish and chips is all about the deep fat fryer First thing you do is add a little bit of salt Drain off our peas Wedge of lemon, our cod, beautiful crispy chips, our peas, then lovely thick tartar sauce and there you have it, that’s my cod and chips with tartar sauce and fresh peas.

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