Actually, its origins are English, though quite popular in Ireland, and a staple on any Irish pub’s menu. The story is that the first fish and chips were sold in Ireland by an Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Cervi, and his wife, Palma. They would sell them from a handcart outside of pubs in Dublin, and his wife would ask, “Uno di questa, uno di quella?”, meaning “one of this, one of the other”. The phrase entered the vernacular of Dublin as “one and one”, which is still a popular way of referring to fish and chips in the city.
Either way, I’m English and Irish, and I love fish and chips. Who doesn’t? This definitely isn’t on the healthy side and not something I would commonly make, but you have to let yourself splurge sometimes. Plus, my dad caught me some delicious crappies! The beer batter is very light and flakey and the oven baked fries are crisp with a hint of vinegar. Add some homemade tartar and you’ll feel like you’re at The Local…or Britt’s.
Beer Battered Fish and Chips
1/2 cup white vinegar
4 large baking potatoes
2 tsp kosher salt
Canola or Peanut Oil
3/4 cup four, plus 1/2 cup for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup beer (I used an Irish Red Ale)
1 large egg white, beaten to stiff peaks
1 lb fish, cut into 6 oz pieces (I used fresh caught crappies)
Directions for chips:
1. Cut potatoes in 1/4-inch slices, then cut each slice into 1/4-inch thick fries. Place in shallow baking dish, add vinegar and cover with water. Let fries sit overnight in refrigerator (if you don’t plan ahead, a few hours in the fridge is fine).
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain fries and dry as best you can with a clean kitchen towel. Place fries on a foil-lined baking sheet, lightly greased. Spray fries lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes, or until fries become somewhat tender.
3. Increase heat to 425 degrees. Bake for 10-15 minutes more, remove and turn. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until fries begin turning brown and become crisp. Season with kosher salt.
Directions for fish:
1. Preheat deep-fryer or deep pot filled halfway with oil to 360 degrees (if you don’t take the temperature of your oil, just make sure it’s not too hot. This would mean it was smoking).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, and beer. Set aside for 10 minutes. Fold in egg whites.
2. Season fish with salt and pepper, dredge in flour and tap off the excess. Dip fish in batter and place in the oil. Fry in batches until golden brown on both sides. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to plate lined with paper towels. Serve with chips and homemade tartar sauce (recipe follows) or malt vinegar.
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used light Miracle Whip)
1/2 cup dill pickles, finely chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Mix all ingredients together. Enjoy!