This is a very rare treat for my family! When cooked with care and thought, is a delicious treat and a British institution so I thought I would share my recipes with you.....
The beer batter should be prepared a couple of hours in advance and given a little whisk from time to time to ensure it is bubbly and light.
I like to brine the fish and leave to dry on a clean cloth an hour or so ahead of cooking. This not only seasons the fish it also removes any excess water in the fish. This helps prevent soggy batter.
Again for the tartar sauce I like to add a few extra bits to make it a bit more interesting.
Mushy peas; well its a little bit of marmite and depends on my mood whether to use marrowfat peas or frozen peas, on this occasion I went for frozen peas as I wanted the dish to be a little cleaner than the finish you get with traditional mushy peas.
For the batter (makes enough for 8-10 portions)
200g plain flour
10g baking powder
320g of a fruity beer
a pinch of curry powder (optional)
Mix all of the dry ingredients together and gradually whisk in the beer to prevent lumps. You should be left with a light. smooth batter.
leave for a couple of hours before using whisking from time to time.
For the fish
portions of your favourite fish, skin removed.
30g table salt
5 sprigs rosemary
pinch of pink peppercorns (optional)
place everything except the fish in a pan and bring to the boil. cool. (this can be prepared weeks in advance)
place the fish in the cold brine and set to one side for 15 minutes. (if it is a thin piece of fish reduce the time to 10 minutes)
drain the brine and leave the fish in running cold water for 5 minutes.
remove and dry on a clean cloth.
leave the fish on the cloth in the fridge until required.
For the tartar sauce
50g capers, drained
50 cornichon roughly chopped
3 sprigs of tarragon chopped
1 small red onion diced
grated lemon zest
salt to season
place everything into a bowl except the mayonnaise.
gradually add mayonnaise whilst gently mixing. When you have the consistency you are happy with adjust the seasoning with salt.
I prefer quite a thick, chunky sauce but its entirely up to you.
For the peas
200g frozen peas
30g olive oil
2 springs of mint chopped (optional)
place the frozen peas in a food processor along with the olive oil and pulse to crush them.
add the mint and season to taste.
place in a pan ready to warm when required.
To finish the dish
flour to dust
deep frier and oil filled to the max line set to 185ºc and heated
wedge of lemon to garnish
chips, cooked and ready to serve, I use oven chips with lots of malt vinegar
lightly dust the fish in the flour patting to remove any excess
submerge the fish in the batter and ensure it is well coated
lift the fish out and allow excess batter to run off, not too mush though as excess which runs off into the fryer makes them delicious batter scraps!
carefully place the fish in the fryer. I remove the basket as the fish can easily stick to it.
once the fish is submerged in the oil, using a slotted spoon turn it over. this will ensure the batter seals and the fish doesn't stick to the element.
cook the fish for 5-6 minutes until golden and crisp turning from time to time.
remove and place on the draining rack, season with the molden salt
warm the peas
dress on a warmed dinner plate and serve.