Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fish n' Chips

I warn you, what you are about to read is going to inspire you, and the results just may not be too healthy. There. You've been warned. I made this for the first time a few weeks ago, Cara took the photos, and now guilt compels me to write this up, since we had it again tonight. I just can't continue to allow myself to deprive humanity from the crispiest fish ever eaten. The fries are most excellent too. All in all, this is one of the best monochromatic plates of food you've ever eaten.

The first thing you gotta do, is get yourself some fish. I used some Orange Roughy that was on sale at our local grocery store (Publix- a name I still can't seem to get used to). It's a nice white fish that comes in fairly thick fillets. Cod or any other white fish would work too. Step one- cut your fish into the perfect sized fryable pieces. That's right- "fryable." Observe:Step two- cut four taters into French fry shapes. I made mine into slightly less than 1/2 inch planks of love. No need for a picture. Cause we didn't take one. It does make it easier to cut the sides flat so that you have a rectangular shaped cubey thing. I'm sure there's a geometry term for it, but I'm too lazy to check. Once you have the afore mentioned shape, cut it into fries.

The secret to the perfect homemade fries is the "double fry." DFing ensures a perfect inner texture with a crispy exterior. Trust me. But before you fry them even once, you've got to pre-cook them just a touch. Just coat them in oil, then cover them and microwave them for five minutes. They'll look like this:In the meantime, start heating your oil. Go for about 350 degrees, or so I'm told. To be honest, I can tell by looking at it when it's hot enough. I have a deep cast iron frying vessel, which is perfect for this recipe for the two of us, but if I were having a fish n' chips party I'd break out my Dutch oven. It's what Bobby Flay does, and that dude can cook. Fry your fries the first time for about six minutes.

I used peanut oil, which is also what Bobby Flay uses. Please review the warning at the top of this post.

Once Fry-Down Part One is complete, mix up your batter for the fish. You'll need a cup and a half of flour; a half a cup of corn starch; a couple of big pinches of salt; a teaspoon each of cayenne pepper, paprika and, baking powder; and a few grinds of black pepper. And a beer.

Whisk everything but the baking powder and beer together, and reserve 3/4 cups on a pie plate (or a regular plate or whatever- you're going to dredge the fish through it twice before you're done). After you have your reserve set aside add the baking powder and then the beer. Stir it up until it's just incorporated. There will be some lumps, but that's cool. The batter will be very thin- when you pull your stirring device out, it will run off in rivulets. So now you have a wet beer batter, and a pile of heart healthy flour and cornstarch. Dredge (cookin' term for "drag") the fish in the dry pile, then dip it into the wet, and take it for one last romp through the dry. set each piece aside until you've got your fish piled up like gold bricks in Fort Knox. Delicious gold bricks that go great with malt vinegar that is:

Next step: fry 'em. Golden brown, please.
Oh yeah.

Now refry the fries until they too are golden brown.
Get yourself a bowl of malt vinegar, a pile of ketchup, and go to town. London town, that is.

I hope this post makes up for my absence of late- neuroanatomy is hard. I have a few ideas for other food related posts, as well as a general status of our days in Florida post, but for now, eat yourself some delicious fish. And check back soon.