We very rarely eat out. This is a combination of the fact that (1) we’re homebodies; (2) we have 2 kids, one of whom does not sit still; (3) we don’t have a great selection of restaurants near us; and (4) I love to cook. So instead of piling everyone into the car and eating out, I cook whatever “restaurant” food we’re craving and we get to eat it in the peace of our own house. Don’t forget that we have both a keg-o-rator as well as a beer fridge, so it’s not a hardship to stay home. Amen.
Earlier this week, I found some fabulous wild cod at the grocery store. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make beer-battered fish and chips. Since I’ve never made fish and chips before, I did some recipe digging and I decide to make a couple of minor modifications to recipe by Alton Brown. I definitely made the right choice as this was the best fish and chips I’ve had on this side of the Atlantic. Alright, here’s what you’ll need:
For the fries:
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
4 large Russet potatoes
For the batter:
1 cup self-rising flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 bottle brown beer, cold
1 pound cod, cut into strips
Cornstarch, for dredging
Heat the oven to 200 degrees Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over high heat until it reaches 320 degrees. Using a V-slicer with a wide blade, slice the potatoes with the skin on. Place in a large bowl with cold water.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cayenne pepper, and Old Bay seasoning. Whisk in the beer until the batter is completely smooth and free of any lumps. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Note: The batter can be made up to 1 hour ahead of time.
Drain potatoes thoroughly, removing any excess water. When oil reaches 320 degrees, submerge the potatoes in the oil. Working in small batches, fry for 2 to 3 minutes until they are pale and floppy. Remove from oil, drain, and cool to room temperature.
Increase the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees. Re-immerse fries and cook until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and drain on roasting rack. Season with kosher salt while hot and hold in the oven.
Allow oil to return to 350 degrees. Lightly dredge fish strips in cornstarch. Working in small batches, dip the fish into batter and immerse into hot oil. When the batter is set, turn the pieces of fish over and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain the fish on the roasting rack. Serve with malt vinegar.