Jamie Oliver’s Fish & Chips

There are a few classic English dishes that I want to know how to make really well, so that I can raise my babies on the same good food I had growing up, and so that my American husband can experience a little more of my culture (since we don’t get to go back very often), and fish and chips is high up on that list. I mean, what epitomizes English food better?

Growing up, I lived an hour from the Coast, so we always went down there for day trips, and had the most amazing fish and chips on the beach. We were also always just a short walk away from a “chippie” (Fish and Chip shop) so on days when my mum had nothing planned for dinner we could order chips and put something simple with them like eggs, or beans, or sausages.Those were the best dinners! I miss being able to nip to the chippy! Now i’m a busy mum, I often have nights where I wish I could have a quick, cheap, simple fix like that- but I don’t. All I have close by are Mexican restaurants, and I hate authentic Mexican food. So…. that’s why I cook. Every single day. From scratch. [It's the best way!]

Even though I have wanted to learn how to make fish and chips for a really long time now, I have been putting it off because of my deep-frying phobia. I have never deep fried anything before in my life. I HATE having that hot bubbling oil in my kitchen, especially because I have two small children hanging onto my legs like little spider monkeys during dinner time. The whole dynamic of small kids and hot oil just scares me! I hear horror stories all the time, and when I went to borrow the deep-fryer from my mother in law, she told me another one!! Ahh!

So I got the deep fryer home, and put it in the safest most out of reach place I possibly could and started trying to figure the thing out. I didn’t even know how much oil to put in it, I was that clueless. Then it took me about 10 minutes to figure out how to turn it on. [It was complicated okay!!] So I called my husband, and asked if he could be home by 5.30 so he could help me figure it all out. Not only did he come home and help me– but he totally took over and made the BEST fish and chips I have ever had [in the States]. We could own a chippie! [I'd stay at the cash register, away from the deep fryers]. But seriously, they were that amazing. It’s kind of not fair that he’s so naturally talented at everything he does. But since I am married to him, it actually works in my favor, so I guess i’m just the luckiest girl ever.

Anyway, after all that talk, finally– here is the recipe we used. It’s originally from Jamie Oliver. I’m liking him more and more: every time we make something of his It’s always to die for delicious!

Sunflower oil/canola/vegetable oil for frying
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
225g nice white fish fillets, pinboned
225g flour, plus extra for dusting
285ml pint good cold beer
3 heaped teaspoons baking powder
900g potatoes, peeled and sliced into chips

Pour the sunflower oil into your deep fat fryer or a large frying pan and heat it to 190ºC/375ºF.Mix the salt and pepper together and season the fish filets on both sides. This will help to remove any excess water, making the fish really meaty.
Whisk the flour, beer and baking powder together until nice and shiny. The texture should be like semi-whipped double cream (i.e. it should stick to whatever you’re coating). Dust each fish filet in a little of the extra flour, then dip into the batter and allow any excess to drip off. Holding one end, lower the fish into the oil one by one, carefully so you don’t get splashed – it will depend on the size of your fryer how many fish you can do at once. Cook for 4 minutes or so, until the batter is golden and crisp.
Meanwhile, parboil your chips in salted boiling water for about 4 or 5 minutes until softened but still retaining their shape, then drain them in a colander and leave to steam completely dry.
When all the moisture has disappeared, fry them in the oil that the fish were cooked in at 180ºC/350ºF until golden and crisp.
While the chips are frying, you can place the fish on a baking tray and put them in the oven for a few minutes at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 to finish cooking. This way they will stay crisp while you finish off the chips. When they are done, drain them on kitchen paper, season with salt, and serve with the fish
HOLY SMOKES! This was one of the best things I have eaten in a really long time! We covered everything with salt and malt vinegar just like it’s supposed to be done! know it’s been a while since i’ve been to England, but from my memory- this recipe tastes exactly the same as the fish and chips you find in a really good chippie.
I will definitely have my husband make these more often ;-)
Not only did he rock it, but he looked so good doing it!
Hope you all had a FAB start to your week! If you’re feeling like you want to make some good English food, and you’re not scared of cooking oil, or concerned about the smell or clean up or your figure, you should definitely give this recipe a go! It’s one of my new fave’s… yet another one that gives English food the good name it deserves!
-Love Sarah