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Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Fish, chips and mushy peas

Yummy fish and chips with mushy peas
From: Jamie's Dinners (page 21)

I've been craving for these for months and months. Actually i've never had fish and chips in England, but the first i ate were in Ottawa (Canada) in a local English pub.
As my boyfriend's family is English, i thought it was the good moment to try and make them.
I used Jamie Oliver recipe. I love Jammie's Dinners. I will always remember the day i bought this book; my boyfriend (who lives in Kingston) and I decided to spend one day in London to look for a cake stand (i can't find one in France, if anyone knows...). But at the end of the day, the rain started to fall and i still didn't have my cakestand; so as soon as i saw a Waterstone, i rushed into it. And guess what did i see on the shelf : Jamie's dinner at just 14£95... I had my treasure for the day. In the train back towards Kingston, i couldn't help thinking about this beautiful pink and green (my 2 favourites colours) book. Weither it was raining or not, weither i had my cakestand or not, i had this book and was so happy for it

Here is the beautiful story and here comes the recipe
serves 4

Good fish and chips are becoming harder to find these days, but there are still some good boys out there making the real deal. However, if you want to make your own at home, here's the recipe I use. Unless you've got a really big fryer I'd say it's not really worth trying to make fish and chips at home for more than 4 people - otherwise it becomes a struggle. Other things to have on the table are some crunchy sweet pickled gherkins, some pickled onions (if your other half isn't around!) - and pickled chillies are good too. Then you want to douse it all with some cheap malt vinegar and nothing other than Heitz tomato ketchup.

sunflower oil for deep-frying
1/2 tsp sea salt (fanny : i used 2 tsp)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper (fanny : i used 4 tsp)
225g nice white fish fillets, pinbonned (fanny : i thought 225g weren't enough for 4 so i bought 800g and there was nothing left on the table...I used cod fish.)
225 flour, plus extra for dusting (fanny : 420g were a little too much as i had loads of batter left, but i can make some onion rings tomorrow and who's gonna blame me for that?)
285ml good cold beer (fanny : i used 460ml of a french beer called 1664)
3 tsp baking powder
900g potatoes, peeled and cut into chips

for the mushy peas
a knob of butter
4 handful of podded peas
a small handful of fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
a squeeze of lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To make your mushy peas, put the butter in a pan with the peas and the chopped mint. Put a lid on top and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemo juice and season with salt and pepper. You can either mush the peas up in a food processor, or you can mash them by hand until thay are stodgy, thick and perfect for dipping your fish into. Keep them warm while you cook your fish and chips.
Pour the sunflower oil into your deep fat fryer or a large frying pan and heat it to 190°. Mix the salt and pepper together and season the fish fillets on both sides. This will help to remove any excess water, making the fish really meaty. Whisk the flour, beer and baking powder together until nice and shiny. The texture should be like semi-whipped double cream ( i.e it should stick to whatever you're coating). Dust each fillet in a little of the extra flour (fanny : i forgot to do this, but nothing went wrong), then dip into the batter and allow any excess to drip off. Holding one end, lower the fish into the oil one by one, carefully so you don't get splashed - it will depeend on the size of your fryer how many fish you can do at once ( fanny : mine is about 30cm diameter and i can do 3 fillets at once). Cook for 4 minutes or so, until the batter is gloden and crisp.
Meanwhile, parboil your chips in salted boiling water for about 4 or 5 minutes until softened but still retaining their shape, then drain them in a colander and leave to steam completely dry. When all the moisture has disappeared, fry them in the oil that the fish were cooked in at 180°C until golden and crisp (fanny : as you can see in the pic, i was so in a hurry to taste at this gorgeous fish and chips, that my first batch of chips wasn't cooked enough...). While the chips are frying, you can place the fish on a baking tray and put them in the oven for a few minutes at 180°C (fanny : mine stayed in the oven for about 30 minutes!) to finish cooking. When they are done, drain them on kitchenpaper, season with salt, and serve with the fish and mushy peas.

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6 sweets:
Blogger Banlieue Blog said something sweet:

Small world, Fanny! I just need to upload my photo of fish and chips and mushy peas...we just ate at the 'local chippie' last night and I wanted to do a short blog today!
Like minds, should stick together!

04 August, 2005 15:09 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:

Yeah that's quite funny. So were you're fish and chips good?
I'm gonna have a look at your blog...

04 August, 2005 18:41 

Blogger Jocelyn:McAuliflower said something sweet:

Your batter came out perfect looking- nice fry job!


05 August, 2005 03:17 

Blogger *fanny* said something sweet:

Thank you very much. But i think it would be way easier to have a professionnal fryer, because with my small pan filled with boiling oil and whithout any thermometer i can say it was not that easy...



05 August, 2005 11:43 

Blogger eat stuff said something sweet:

In Australia we have lots of good (and bad) Fish and chips too. We don't have mushy peas though, we save that for pies and call it a pie floater! ( hmmm I have never actually had it though...)

05 August, 2005 18:53 

Anonymous Anonymous said something sweet:

Thanks for this, it was an interesting read, and being English I enjoy seeing our beloved fish and chips being heralded!

If people reading this do go to England and want to try F&C, be warned they do vary. Personally i've noticed many chinese takeaways that also sell F&C, and these are best avoided as they aren't anything like what they should be.

You need to find a traditional F&C only restaurant, preferably english run. Ones to look out for in the south of England are "The Batter Place" in Exeter, "Darts farm Fish and chips" and most Harry Ramsdens by the coast.

21 July, 2006 17:29 

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