Monday the 31st was a national holiday here in the States. Memorial Day. In many ways it signifies the start of summer. As well as being able to break out the grill, having the day off. Luckily this past weekend the weather has been great in SoCal. Keyword of the day was relaxation. But more importantly to remember our fallen soldiers in the military. Now since I live in an apartment building where grilling is prohibited...total bummer. I can't wait for the day when I own my own house. Anyway... I wasn't in the mood to lug out ol' Georgie, so I went for one of my most recent cravings. Fish and chips.
This recipe is a slightly improved version of my Guinness Batter Fish and Chips that I posted sometime last year. Made several tweaks here and there and what you got here is fantastic. I decided to serve it up with some garlic aioli, which is relatively easy to make and really good. I made the aioli and prepped my "chips" (aka home fries) the day before as I didn't want to spend too much time in the kitchen. I did a little search of various aioli recipes and the basic ingredients are garlic, egg yolk, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Some recipes use a hint of dijon mustard and vegetable oil. I mixed and matched and experimented until I found something much to my liking.
I cut the chips into near shoe-string thickness. I soaked the chips in some cold water spiked with some distilled white vinegar. It help keep the firmness of the potato as well as remove any excess starch. The recipe called for 3 russet potatoes. Depending on how you cut it, if it seems too much, you can freeze them for a later time. My fish of choice in this was cod, which is what is traditionally used. For the batter, beer of choice was none other than some Guinness Stout. Yeah...that's how I roll. When it came time to cook up the fish, rather than have to deep fry I decided to pan-fry the pieces. I tend to move away towards deep frying most of the time. Once in a while I'll make an exception.
So the day came and the cooking began. Pan-fry the fish while the chips cooked. Multi-tasking in the kitchen. The end result... a tender flaky fish with a nice crispy crust. The chips were herb-y and delicious. I made a small batch of tartar sauce as well, but I really like the malt vinegar and aioli combo for some reason. Oh...must not forget the side of lemon wedges. You can't have with without the lemon.
Beer batter Fish and (Baked) Chips with Garlic Aioli
1 to 1 1/2 Lbs cod, haddock, tilapia (any fillet of white fish)
salt and pepper (for seasoning fish)
1 c flour
1 Tbsp paprika
1/3 c water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/3 c Guinness Stout
Canola or peanut oil
This can be done while the chips bake. The batter. In a bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, water. Lightly stir to combine. Then add the Guinness. Mix well removing any clumps. Set aside and prep the fillets.
At this time preheat enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet, at least 1/5-inch or more. You may cut your fish into sizable pieces. Season with salt and pepper and dredge the pieces in some cornstarch. Place the dredged pieces in the batter. When the oil is really hot, slowly and carefully place the fish and pan-fry for 2-3 minutes per side for 1/2-inch fillets. Cook until crispy brown. When cooked, place the fish on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
3 russet potatoes
4 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp dry basil
1 tsp paprika
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
peel and cut the potatoes to your desired thickness. (I chose to cut mine 1/8th-inch thick.) Place the sticks into a large bowl of cold water spiked with 4 Tbsp of distilled white vinegar. Cover with saran wrap and place in the fridge overnight or chill for at least an hour before cooking. This will help remove the extra starch in them.
Preheat your oven to 400˚F.
Remove the chips from the water and pat dry with a paper towel. Place into a bowl or large ziplock bag and add the salt, pepper, paprika, and olive oil. Toss together and coat evenly. Place the sticks on a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until crisp (depending on thickness of potato). For extra crispiness, you can place the chips into the broiler for a minute or two. When the chips are done baking, remove from the pan and season lightly with a little salt.
Note: you may freeze any uncooked potato for later use.
tartar sauce on the left, aioli on the right
3 garlic cloves
2 egg yolk
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 c extra virgin olive oil
Mince and mash the garlic with a pinch of salt into a paste-like consistency. You may use a mortar and pestle for this. Or mash the the garlic with the edge of a large knife.
Place the garlic paste in a bowl and add the egg yolks. Whisk together until combined, then add the lemon juice and dijon mustard. Next slowly, while constantly whisking, drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil. When all the oil is added, whisk until it is slightly thick. (If not serving immediately, cover the bowl and chill in the fridge until ready)
Makes 1 cup
2-3 c Mayonnaise or Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp sweet relish
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp minced onion
1 tsp paprika
pinch of salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients together and stir well to combine.
Makes 1/2 cup
Serve together and enjoy with some malt vinegar, the aioli, ketchup, or your preferred dip.