Award winning Hampshire Alton pride battered cornish pollock, triple cooked barrel chips, crushed peas, homemade tar tar sauce, pea shoot salad (serves 4)
Fish and Chips is the nations most loved dish, its available everywhere from the local chippy to the finest restaurant but you should really try cooking this at home, if you cook the simple things right then the wow factor can be much bigger.
This is my 2011 Pub Chef of the Year winning recipe using a local ale and Pollock from the fishing boats in Looe.
- 4 6-8 oz pieces of Pollock (if Pollock is unavailable then use plaice, haddock or cod)
- 1 Cup of sifted plain flour
- 1 Pint of Alton Pride (this is a local beer to my restaurant but use any local ale to your area, the local Brewery will always sell you a bottle)
- 5g Fresh Yeast
- Half a pint of Sparkling water
- 2 coffee cups of Plain sifted Flour
- ½ coffee cup of sifted Corn Flour
- Salt and pepper
- Knob of butter
- 25g of frozen peas (Defrosted)
- 1 Shallot diced
- Salt and Black pepper
- 6 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons of chopped Baby Capers
- 2 large Gherkins finely chopped
- A good handful of chopped Parley
- A good handful of chopped chives
- Ground Black Pepper
- 12 Large Maris Piper Potatoes
- Maldon Sea Salt
- Special Tool needed an apple corer
- 1 lemon cut in quarters
- Punnet of pea shoots ( Specialist shop )
With the fish it will already be prepared for you, just make sure the fish monger has removed any pin bones and the skin for you.
Leave the beer at room temperature and leave it out to warm up, once the beer is at room temperature add the fresh yeast and leave it for 10 minutes, the yeast will start to activate, this will give us a really light, crisp batter. After the 10 minutes have passed add the flour, corn flour and whisk, the batter will be to thick so add the sparkling water (The bubbles in the water will help lighten the batter making it even more crisp) to thin the batter down but make sure it is not to runny otherwise the batter will not stick to the fish, you still want a fairly thick batter that will coat a spoon without falling off. Season the batter with a little salt and pepper and leave out at room temperature until needed, this recipe can be made as far as 24 hours in advance just make sure it is always left out and never put in the fridge. When ready to cook place the Pollock in seasoned flour, add to the batter, coat well and gently place into a fryer of vegetable oil for 7-10 minutes at 180 degrees. I would strongly suggest you use a fryer for this, another way is heating a heavy based saucepan with vegetable oil and gauging the temperature with a probe, if you where to do this please be very careful and never leave a pan of oil unattended.
The crushed peas couldn't be easier and I much prefer them to the mushy peas which come out of a tin. Simply place the peas into a food processor and blitz to crush (but not puree) them, finely dice the shallot and cook in a pan with a little oil until soft with no colour, add a knob of butter then add the peas from the processor, season and gently cook for a few minutes to heat, you will have a lovely side of peas which are fresh in taste and still hold that lovely green colour.
Finely chop the capers, gherkin, parsley and chives and add to a bowl, add the mayonnaise and season with black pepper, its as easy as that, salt is not needed because of the saltiness of the capers.
Triple Cooked Chips
These are time consuming but can be made in advanced and re-cooked when needed. To start peel the potatoes then take an apple corer, push the corer through the potato length ways to get a long barrel style chip, 3 potatoes will serve 1 person, once cut with the corer place them in a bowl and run them under cold water for 5 minutes, this will remove the starch.
Once you have done that place the barrel chips into a pan of water and bring to a simmer, simmer for 3 minutes, strain into a colander and leave to cool for 10 minutes, once cool tip them out onto a kitchen cloth, you need to remove the excess water otherwise the oil will spit.
Turn your fryer on to 130 degrees, place the chips in and fry for 5-10 minutes, stick a knife into a chip, if it sticks into the chip with ease then they are ready, once ready remove and leave to cool on a rack.
It's at this stage you can place them into the fridge and leave them until you are ready to serve, up to 24 hours in advance, leaving the chips in the fridge for more than 1 hour will remove moisture and give you a crisper chip at the final fry.
Just before serving the chips place them back into the fryer at 180 degrees for 3-5 minutes, remove onto a cloth and season with Maldon sea salt. You will be left with a golden brown, crisp chip that your friends will talk about for ages.
To Assemble the Dish
Timing is key here, place your fish in the fryer first and then two minutes after place you chips into the fryer, serve your fish and chips on a plate with a nice thick slice of fresh lemon, place the peas and tar tar sauce in side dishes and serve with a refreshing pea shoot salad which will also add another texture to the dish.