Homemade Fish and Chips

So the other night Tim and I were feeling adventurous and decided to do something we haven't done since our little one came along.  We cooked a meal together!  Back before dinner revolved around the little monster's choice of the day/week, we use to make an effort every Saturday night to cook together, enjoy some good wine/beer and talk a little other than just kinda talking in passing as we both go to do our own thing for the night.  It's been a while and to get back into the swing of things we decided to try one of our old favorites Fish and Chips with Tartar sauce, vinegar and a bit of lemon.  For not deep frying for several years (about three) and not cooking together it worked out quite nicely.  I would definitely make it again!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large boiling potatoes (2 1/4 lb)
  • 3 qt vegetable oil (96 fl oz)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle cold beer (preferably ale)
  • 1 1/2 lb haddock or cod fillets, skinned, pin bones removed, and fish cut diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips (5 to 6 inches long) Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
  • Accompaniment: malt vinegar

Directions:

Peel potatoes and halve lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges, transferring as cut to a large bowl of ice and cold water. Chill 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a deep 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until it registers 325°F on thermometer. While oil is heating, drain potatoes and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Fry one third of potatoes, stirring gently, until edges are just golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to fresh paper towels to drain. Fry remaining potatoes in 2 batches, returning oil to 325°F between batches. Remove oil from heat and reserve. Cool potatoes, about 25 minutes.

Heat oil over moderately high heat until it registers 350°F. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 250°F.

Fry potatoes again, in 3 batches, until deep golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch. Return oil to 350°F between batches. Transfer with slotted spoon to fresh paper towels as fried and drain briefly, then arrange in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and keep warm in upper third of oven.

Increase oil temperature to 375°F. Sift 1 1/2 cups flour into a bowl, then whisk in beer gently until just combined. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Pat fish dry. Sprinkle fish on both sides with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then dredge in remaining 1/2 cup flour, shaking off excess. Coat 4 pieces of fish in batter, 1 at a time, and slide into oil as coated. Fry coated fish, turning over frequently, until deep golden and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in lower third of oven, then fry remaining fish in batches of 4, returning oil to 375°F between batches.

Season fish and chips with salt.

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