As a child, Good Friday meant a visit to the chippy for a fish supper. I always went to the chippy rather than stay at home. That way I could sneak a few chips in the car on the way home and it was so nice to hug the piping hot bag – even if my clothes reeked of grease afterwards!
I don’t know of any good fish and chip shops locally. There’s a lot of Indian takeways and Perfect Fried Chicken (I doubt it’s really perfect) but this Good Friday I wanted Good fish and chips! So, I made my own! I planned ahead and asked my in-laws to pick up some Rick Stein’s batter for me from Padstow (you can buy it online here too). And then I was ready to fry up a storm!
So here’s my recipe for fish and chips with mushy peas. This is as British as it gets!
Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas
For the fish and chips:
– 550g maris piper potatoes
– 1 litre sunflower oil
– 2 pieces of white fish such as Cod or Pollock
– Batter mix
For the mushy peas:
– 500g dried marrowfat peas soaked for 12-16 hours
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 12g unsalted butter
– Few mint leaves very finely chopped
1. The night before your fish and chip binge, get out the marrowfat peas and follow the pack instructions in regards to soaking. They normally need to be soaked for 12-16 hours in water in which you’ve dissolved bicarbonate of soda tablets that come with the pack.
2. Peel the potatoes and cut into chips. Put into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Put the saucepan on a medium high heat and bring to the boil. Boil the chips for 4 minutes then drain them and let them cool completely.
3. Drain your peas, put into a saucepan and cover with 600ml of boiling water from the kettle. Put on a medium high heat and cook for 30 minutes after which time the water will have all been soaked up and you get very mushy looking peas!
4. Put the litre of sunflower oil into a pan. I like to use a big saucepan so any splatterings stay inside the pot. Bring the oil up to 150° Celsius/300° Fahrenheit. I don’t have a thermometer but at this temperature it should take a minute for a square of white bread to brown.
5. While your oil is heating season your fish on both sides and prepare your batter. The batter I used required you to add water to the dry mix in the ratio of 4:3. Mr B helped me with the maths! 100ml of water was added to 75g of mix and whisked to form a smooth batter. Coat the fish with the batter and leave to one side for the moment.
6. The chips get double fried. Oh yes! So time for the first fry at 150° Celsius/300° Fahrenheit. Carefully lower the boiled chips into the oil and separate them out best you can. Fry for 8 minutes and then carefully remove them from the pan onto some kitchen paper. Now you need to get the oil even hotter to 190° Celsius/375° Fahrenheit! At this temperature it takes just 20 seconds for white bread to brown.
7. When you think it’s at the right temperature, carefully lower the fish into the oil using some metal tongs. Fry for 7 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. When time is up, carefully remove with the tongs and drain on kitchen paper. I know I keep saying ‘carefully’ a lot, but it’s important!
8. Finally it’s time to double fry the chips so lower them into the pan and give them 5 minutes before removing and draining on kitchen paper.
9. All that’s left to do is add a stick of unsalted butter to the peas and some very finely chopped mint. Give them a final mash up with a spoon and start serving.
I made some garlic mayo to go with the fish and chips just by adding a crushed clove of garlic to standard mayonnaise. Also on hand – tommy K, malt vinegar and sea salt for the chips. Pickled onions and gherkins optional!