It may have started out a very British dish, but here at home, fish and chips is definitely one of our favourites – especially when it’s enjoyed with a sea view at sunset. And if it’s served in newspaper with a side of mushy peas, even better! No matter where you are this season – at home or on holiday – this easy recipe from Jamie Oliver via the Food Network will hit the spot! It takes less than 25 minutes to make and serves four people.
For the chips:
2 litres vegetable oil
950g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into large chips
For the batter:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup beer
2 egg whites, whipped to soft peaks
Salt (and pepper), to season
4 fillets (approx. 250g) fish fillets, such as cod, haddock or hake (from sustainable sources)
Pour all the vegetable oil into a deep pan or deep-fat fryer and heat to 160C. Blanch the potatoes in the oil until soft, but not coloured, about 4 minutes. Remove and drain. Mix together the flour and beer, then fold in the egg whites. Turn up the heat of the oil to about 180C. Dip the fish in the batter and fry for a few minutes with the chips until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve with your choice of sides…
TIP: For a lighter, more waistline-friendly version, oven-bake your fish and chips rather. Try this flour-free fish batter from BBC Good Food that comprises egg and seasoning only – you’ll need one large egg, separated, for every 2 fish fillets… Whisk the egg yolk with lemon zest, lemon thyme, salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white until soft peaks form. Fold the yolk into the white, then dip the fish into the mixture and bake at 200C for 15 to 20 minutes until brown.
M is for (moreish) mushy peas!
Yes, there are more sophisticated side dishes, but we’re not about to forego the chance to tuck into mushy peas with our fish and chips! This minty version from Jamie Oliver (him, again!) is a cinch to make and tastes delish…
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
1 handful fresh mint, leaves picked
500g frozen peas
2 large knobs butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a pan and add the chopped onions, mint and peas. Cover and leave for a few minutes to steam. Mash with a potato masher. You can do this with a food processor as well, just pulse it until smooth. When it’s done, add the butter and season very carefully, to taste.
Carb conscious chips OR Carb-conscious chip alternatives
Trying to keep your carb consumption in check? These potato-free chip alternatives are a tasty substitute that go well with fish…
Crispy courgette chips
Pic and recipe via Delicious Magazine.
1½ tbsp plain flour
vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 tbsp finely grated Grana Padano cheese
Skinny carrot fries
Pic and recipe via BBC Good Food
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp finely chopped tarragon
a little black pepper
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut carrots into ‘fries’, about 1cm thick, and mix with cornflour and a little black pepper. Toss with vegetable oil, spread in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment, and bake for 40-45 mins, turning halfway. Mix a little salt with tarragon and toss through the cooked fries.
Sweet Potato Chips
Pic and recipe via the Independent
3 large sweet potatoes
¼ cup coconut oil
1-2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
1-2 tbsp spice such as smoked paprika, or chilli flakes
Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges. Put in a bowl and toss with melted coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and spices. Place in a hot oven and bake for 20 minutes.
DIY newspaper cones
Forget plates. This summer we’re serving our fish and chips in DIY newspaper cones for a fun, laidback feel. Here’s to make your own… Cut a piece of non-stick baking paper into a 20 x 30cm rectangle. Repeat with a piece of newspaper or brown paper. Place the two on top of each other, loosely roll into a cone and seal with sticky tape. Fill the cone with fish and chips and a freshly cut lemon wedge for squeezing. Carry them out to guests on a wooden board and don’t forget to have salt, pepper, tartare sauce (for traditionalists) and serviettes handy!
Best wines to enjoy with fish and chips
When pairing wine with seafood, the general rule is the more delicate the fish, the lighter the wine. In the case of fish and chips however, when things like batter, tartare sauce and mushy peas come into play, you’d be wise to follow these tips from PlusWine (try their website for all kinds of fab food and wine advice)…
How to buy the best fish
Image via ChefSteps
Too shy to visit a fish deli because you don’t know how to tell delicious from dodgy? Read on…
Whole fresh fish
3 reasons to eat fish right now
Fish is often overlooked in favour of red meat and chicken, but it’s one of the best, nutrient-dense foods we can eat. Great for the body, great for the brain, here are three reasons to include it in your diet right now…
To reap the benefits, eat fish two to three times a week. Stick to local, sustainable varieties (see http://wwfsassi.co.za/) and avoid or minimise those with a high mercury content such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish.
Visit these Best of Bloem winners for great fish meals:
Fish & Chips – Fishaways
Seafood Restaurant – Ocean Basket
Bloemfontein is limitless when it comes to possibilities. There’s something to do, eat, drink or buy every day of the week.
The Best of Bloemfontein Readers’ Choice Awards celebrates all this and more but, it also gives you the chance to tell us what and who’s the best of the best.