So it’s a Friday & it’s British food fortnight, so what would be more apt than the classic Fish and Chips. Obviously the choice of ingredients are key to this dish more technique really. With the ethical sourcing of produce being paramount these days, in particular fish with Hugh Fearnly Whittingstall waging his war against the hideous practice of discard. It’s important to get it right, thankfully the Marine Conservation Society has produced a handy download / pocket guide to help with your choice.
Thankfully choosing the potatoes is less of a moral dilemma and more about personal preferences. I tend to choose Maris Piper potatoes as they tend to be a good all rounder & are just coming into the new crop at the moment. For the batter it’s important to keep it really simple. None of this soda syphon malarkey as per Heston Blumenthal’s perfection programme a number of years ago. But again flavour is everything so choose an ale over a lager.
Although Heston Blumenthal is credited with the invention/discovery of the triple cooked chips. I’m lead to believe it was Dominic Chapman now at The Royal Oak, Paley street but formerly head chef at Mr Blumenthals pub, The Hinds Head who actually introduced them to the public at large.
Triple Cooked Chips
Enough potatoes to allow about 4-6 chunky chips per portion.
Vegetable oil for deep frying.
For stage two, heat the oil for deep frying to 130°C and blanch the chips until they just start to colour at the edges. Again drain and place on a cooling rack and chill overnight.
100g Gherkins, chopped finely
75g Capers, roughly chopped
4 Shallots, finely chopped
1 Lemon, zest & juice
1 Tablespoon chopped Flat Parsley
Enough Mayonnaise to bind, or more to suit personal preference.
200g Self raising flour
260ml Real ale
Pinch of seasalt
Leave to rest for ½ an hour.
To assemble the dish, season and flour the fish, batter then gently lower into the fryer. Cook to a nice even golden brown. Remove from the fryer then add the chips being careful not to over load & cool the fryer down as this will result in soggy chips. Drain on kitchen paper, then plate up with the fish & tartar sauce.