Sunday, August 12, 2012

Olympics Day 17 (and final): British Fish and Chips

Tonight is the closing ceremonies of a great Olympic games. Congratulations London, you did a good job hosting. And congratulations to NBC for excellent coverage. But most importantly, congratulations to Gail for an amazing Olympics feast.

We started off the final day of feasting with a Japanese sushi lunch with Noele before sending her back to New York. We got takeout from Daikanyama in Lexington. They made some terrific rolls, which we augmented with edamame from Gail's garden and semi-homemade miso soup using Marukome miso paste.

A little later in the day I had most of a Sapporo Reserve beer from Japan. The rest I sacrificed to the batter for the fish we had for dinner. The beer had a golden straw color and a nice rich mouth feel. It had a light malty sweetness that finished clean. It tasted remarkably similar to the Murphy's stout I had with dinner, but without the chocolate malt flavors.

For dinner, Gail and I made fish and chips figuring that Great Britain deserved a second spot in the lineup for their performance. I think we've got the fish recipe tuned just right in the batter flavors, temperature and cooking time. I've added the recipe at the end.

The Murphy's stout from Ireland has a creamy head and terrific flavor. It was almost like drinking dessert.

British Fish and Chips
About 2/3 - 3/4 c vegetable oil for frying

For the chips (per 2 servings):
1 Idaho or russet baking potato
¼ t salt

For the fish (per 6 servings):
2 c flour, divided
12 oz fresh cold beer
1 t salt, divided
¼ t freshly ground black pepper

First make the chips:
  1. Peel, rinse, dry potato.
  2. Fill frying pan with oil, between ½ and ¾ full. Heat oil to 325 F (about med setting on our stove).
  3. While oil is heating, cut potato into ¼” sticks; dry thoroughly with clean paper towel.
  4. Fry, about 1 c at a time, until lightly colored but not brown, 4-5 min. Remove to plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Repeat with remaining potatoes; sprinkle with salt; serve immediately.1 ½ lb haddock or cod fillets, skinned and boned
  6. Keep warm in the oven
Then make the fish:
  1. Adjust oil temperature to 375 F (about med-high setting on our stove). Meanwhile remove skin and bones from fish, if necessary, and cut into 1” strips. Sift ¾ of flour into bowl; gently whisk in beer until combined. Stir in ¼ of salt.
  2. Pat fish dry; sprinkle with pepper and remaining salt; dredge in remaining flour. Coat fish pieces in batter; fry 4 pieces at a time, turning frequently, until deep golden and cooked through, 4-5 min.
  3. Transfer cooked fish to paper-towel-lined baking sheet, keep warm in oven while frying remaining fish.
  4. Return oil to 375F between batches; repeat for remaining pieces of fish.

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