Fish and Chips?

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Postby grisell » Fri Jan 20, 2012 3:20 pm

As for the chips, I have my own method that I prefer.

I rinse the potato strips in cold water and drain. Shake in a bag with potato flour and deep-fry only once on max heat (~190 C/375 F) for about 6-7 minutes. That will cook them through and the potato flour will protect them from getting burnt. The potato flour will also make them crisp and keep them from getting soggy when keeping them warm (if they can't be served at once).
André

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Postby Dave Smith » Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:43 pm

Next time I do fish in batter, I'm going to try a egg / cornflour one, 1 egg 2 tablespoons cornflour.
I do need to get out more, but they don't have enough carers to supervise.
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Postby Massimo Maddaloni » Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:50 pm

HALIBUT!

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Postby Snags » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:20 am

I worked in a Fish and Chip shop in Australia while I went to Uni.(25 years ago)
It was the most popular FnCs for miles people would literally drive 5 suburbs away to go to this one.
He used beef dripping for the chips twice cooked ands peeled his own potatoes (old)
The fish was fresh he would buy it from the markets at 4 AM and fillet skin and gut it himself.
The batter he used had biscuit flour in it .
He wouldn't tell me the secret but I saw the bags,dont know if they had a bit of sugar to brown up or if it was the softer flour that made a better batter???

Most popular fish was shark
Then Snapper,my favourite was flathead.
I have tried FnCs in the UK have lived there
My favourite still is Flathead
http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets ... d-sand.jpg
Shame is US fast food has killed the local predominantly Greek run FnC shops in Australia.
There are still a few good ones left but they are few and far between.
yet to take the plunge still researching
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Postby Wal Footrot » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:05 am

I also worked in a Fish and Chip shop as a teenager and got many of the preparation jobs. The F&C from this place were great and here is how we did it.

Preparation:

Chips - cut and peel potatoes and soak overnight in water - the soaking is vital to remove excess starch and at least 12 hours is required. Make sure you use the right spuds - floury types like King Edward and Desiree are better

Fish - Skin, fillet and slice the fish and leave covered in the fridge. Don't cut the fish too thinly

Batter - Mix SR flour, water, a little bit of salt to taste and a bit of baking soda though this part is really up to you. Mix in the flour to get a consistency that is on the verge of sticking to your fingers when you put them in the bowl. The batter has to stick to the fish - it will separate on cooking

Precook the chips in fat until they are 3/4s cooked. This must be done on a very high heat. Chips will actually cause the hot fat to appear to boil when you first put the basket in. (We always used beef dripping or Lard - better flavour). Take out of fryer, drain thoroughly and allow to cool. You can leave these uncovered in the fridge or just leave out overnight.

Coat the fish in the batter and again drop into very hot fat individually and 3/4s cook the fish. Once again remove from fat when 3/4s cooked (this won't take long), drain and place uncovered in the fridge. Do not cover the fish as the batter will go soggy. If you are in a cool enough climate you don't need to refrigerate.

Next day, heat up your deep fryer, place the fish and chips into it and cook for about 3-4 minutes when the chips will start to get crispy.

Serve with a drizzle of vinegar!

Enjoy
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Postby grisell » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:10 pm

I tried the recipe above (the one I scanned) on some frozen tilapia fillet (fresh fish other than salmon is very expensive and hard to find in Stockholm, and this was just a test). The fish was thawed and room tempered, then patted dry with paper. Brushed with a mix of lemon juice, worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard. Marinated for 20 minutes while preparing the batter. The fish was dusted with rice flour, dipped in the batter and deep-fried. The temperature when I put in the fillet was 180-190 C (345-355 F), but since my deep-frier is small (3.5 litres/1 US gallon of oil), it probably dropped to 160-170 C (320-338 F) before rising again.

Observations:

* SR flour isn't sold in Sweden. I added one tsp bicarbonate instead.

* One tbsp sugar in the batter seems much. It's probably there to give the batter a browner colour, but it made the result burnt. It wasn't possible to fry the fish for the prescribed time since the batter was starting to burn immediately. I think the sugar can be excluded altogether.

* The lemon/worcester/mustard seasoning was delicious.

* The coating turned out crisp on the outside but a little soggy near the fish.

* Three minutes of deep-frying made the fish perfectly cooked.

* The batter was difficult to handle. It stuck to the fingers and the deep-fryer basket and the fish had to be prised loose from the basket.

But an overall impression was much better than I expected. The quest for the perfect FnC has just begun... :D

More input and suggestions are highly appreciated. Thank you. :)
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Postby grisell » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:12 pm

BTW, what do you think about salmon in FnC?
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Postby wheels » Sun Jan 22, 2012 1:50 pm

To replace the SR flour in this, you can use plain flour and fizzy water. I'd use flour water salt. Dust the fish lightly, but I'd loose all the rest of the elaboration.

Salmon wouldn't be my choice, but if you fancy it, far be it from me to be prescriptive.

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Postby grisell » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:40 pm

So you mean a batter with only fizzy water, flour and salt? No eggs?
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Postby wheels » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:46 pm

Yes!

Or fizzy beer instead.
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Postby grisell » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:57 pm

Thanks! :D I will try it already today and report back.
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Postby grisell » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:03 pm

So, second try. This time I used frozen cod fillets, thawed, tempered and marinated like last time in lemon/mustard/worcester and followed wheels' advice on the batter, at least in part. The batter was simple: One egg yolk (for colour), wheat flour, ½ tsp bicarbonate and beer. The batter was made quite thin, as for tempura. Fillets dusted with flour before coming into the batter.

Served with homemade chips and homemade tartar sauce (egg yolk, a little of the marinade, canola oil, chopped capers, gherkins, onion, parsley and chervil).

Observations:

* A great improvement compared to the elaborate batter last time; crispy and thin.

* Tilapia was better than cod. The cod was a little dry and flaky (might have been of inferior quality too).

* I used King Edward potatoes. They were perfect.

So, closer to my goal. The search continues... :D


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Postby vagreys » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:47 pm

Lookin' good! About the cod being dry - so much depends on how the fish was handled, frozen and thawed. Looks like you are well on your way, though.
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Postby captain wassname » Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:49 pm

Andre you are just about there the main thing is the ingredients. King Edwards are a good choice of potatoe but if you can get them Maris Piper are better and Dutch Bintje are exellent
The most common fish used in british F&C are cod in the south and haddock in the north.There are other fish which are just as good or better but there is consumer resistance.Pollock is very good fried as is coley (which is despised for its darker colour flesh) New Zealand Hoki is both white and tasty and although I have never fried any I would imagine Vietnamese river cobbler would be good.Oh and dogfish is quite popular in the London region.
As ever quality is probably more important than variety.
Traditional batter is plain flour bicarb and liquid of choice some add a little vinegar if using water.
It may help if you can get the batter to take without coating the fish in flour or cut this down to an absolute minimum (this contributes to the soggy on the inside syndrome)
Frying medium is important.Many swear by beef dripping,especially in the north of England and Scotland. Others use palm oil because it is cheaper and hard wearing and has little flavour carry over Groundnut oil is a very good frying medium and is particularly favoured by Greek and Cypriot friers but for me rape seed oil is the best.Corn Oil is not so good because of flavour carry over
You frying temps are spot 375 or a little above to start chips and dont overload the pan and cause a temp drop.This is the biggest cause of soggy chips.
Your chips look perfect but fish batter to my way of thinking could be bit lighter
I do like to see people prepared to give fish and chips a go at home.


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Postby captain wassname » Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:00 pm

Sorry just saw Masimos post Halibut is good but expensive Plaice and other small flatfish are OK.
I would be interested to hear how salmon fried.Should be ok people wrap in pastry and cook.
And Soggy not crisp and firm or like a sponge pudding thats a bit underdone or like mud.

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