Monday, January 11, 2010

Fish & Chips-- thanks to Old Bay Seasoning and Ann Burrell!


OK.  I cave in.  I'm bringing out the "non-diet" food!  I have enjoyed seeing all the beautiful salads and low-fat dishes. Good for you! Good for me!  If you're still going gangbusters with losing weight-- don't talk to me! Actually, I've played it safe.  I'm eating more veggies and fruit. But, I'm still going to indulge in a few of my weaknesses.  French fries is one of them. I love them. I always will. I have guilty pleasures when I eat fries-- lightly salted, please.


I am a big of fan of Food Network's Anne Burrell.  I record her show "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef".  She has taught me a lot of useful tips.  Every so often, I crave fish & chips.  I never owned a deep fryer, and I really don't do much deep frying-- which might be a good thing.


Until, I found three huge boxes waiting at my front door, in early December.  I had won a contest, and Old Bay Seasoning sent me a deep fryer, a seafood steamer and loads of products!  It was time for me to learn how to make fish & chips.  As luck would have it, I had just bought fresh cod. While Old Bay Seasoning sent me a few of their mixes, I wanted to make Anne Burrell's beer batter, from scratch. Fortunately, she recommends Old Bay Seasoning, so I got to work.  I decided to use the deep fryer to make the potatoes, and to use a 3 quart cast iron pot to fry the fish.  I also use peanut oil-- I just think it tastes better, though it's a little more expensive than vegetable oil



Mis en place is important here.  The deep frying goes fast, but you need to have a thermometer. It's crucial. My deep fryer claimed to regulate the temperature for me.  For my pot, I used a candy thermometer.  I used Russet potatoes, which I kept in a bowl of water, so they wouldn't turn brown.  The oil takes a bit of time to bring to 325F-- and this is not the time to do laundry!  Kids should be closely supervised to watch from a safe distance!



Anne Burrell says that the secret to good fries is to cook them twice!  The first time, we cook them until tender but they have no color-- about 4 minutes. I'm a pretty good multi-tasker, so while that was going on, I made the fish batter:


This was easy!  Flour, baking soda, a pinch of salt and Old Bay Seasoning.  Make a well, and pour a bottle of cold beer.  All I had was pilsner beer, which worked out quite well, actually.  The alcohol burns off, so I'd still say that this is kid-friendly. Otherwise, use club sode-- but the beer gives the batter an extra layer of flavor. Anne says to mix the batter until just combined.


The trick that Anne showed me was that when the oil is perfectly hot, dip the fish in the batter-- next, dip it only 1/3 of the way in (the batter puffs) and then drop it all the way in.  The fish stayed afloat perfectly!  Like a little kid, I was so happy!


Look at that!


I cooked these in batches, careful not to overload the pot-- and making sure that the oil stayed at 375F.  I let it drain over paper towels and kept these in a warm oven.  The fries are ready for the final dip in the jacuzzi...



This is just how I like them!  I blotted them on paper towels and seasoned them with sea salt.


These are not my best photos. For once, I was too impatient to fuss with lighting. I wanted to eat, now!


 NOT PICTURED:  A cold glass of beer. Cole Slaw. Malt Vinegar and a bowl of red cocktail sauce (my favorite).

The cleanup takes care. Of course, you want to let the oil cool.  I strained the oil, and labled one "FISH".  I have these in the refrigerator, for future use.  I read that the oil is good for 3-6 uses, depending on how dark it becomes.  Eventually, it can go rancid, but I'm sure I'll be deep frying more things.  I have tempura planned. I also want to make beignets.  Obviously, I won't make beignets in the oil I cooked with fish. D'oh!

You don't have to buy a deep fryer to make this.  As you see, I used both a pot of oil and the deep fryer. Both worked well. I simply had the luxury of making two things at once!  The recipes are a the bottom of this post, or you can view it on Food Network.  I will definitely make this batter again.  I'll post the cole slaw later on.  We loved this recipe, and it's a keeper! 

Thanks Old Bay Seasoning, for my wonderful prize.  If you don't have a can of their product, look for it at your grocery store.  It's great on so many things!  I am looking forwards to using the different batter mixes and seasoning blends they sent me. 






Beer Battered Fish & Golden Chips

Food Network's Anne Burrell had a show on how ...

See Beer Battered Fish & Golden Chips on Key Ingredient.





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25 comments:

Monica H said...

YUM! I never order fish and chips but this looks so good and is making me wonder why I don't!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Very impressive! I love fish and chips, with a little vinegar, but I've never had the gumption to make it on my own!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Yum! I'm coming over!
I'll bring the beer.
Love homemade fish and chips and I have always wanted to try Old Bay, hopefully I can find it in Canada soon.
(ps, I'm sorta tired of reading about diets and exercise too..!)

Carla and Michael said...

Wow, that fish looks amazing. I love it crispy crunchy like that. Mine never comes out looking that good. I will definately try it following this recipe.

George Gaston said...

Debby, Fish & Chips are my all-time favorite. I remember the first time I had it in England ~ at a 'dive' of a chip shop near Piccadilly Circus. Boy was it good!

Thanks for posting this perfect Fish & Chip recipe...

Kim said...

Your fish and chips turned out perfectly. I absolutely love old bay and can find almost any reason to use it :D So nice of them to send you such a great package in the mail.

TKW said...

I really like Anne Burrell.

I adore fish and chips!!! Yours look mouthwatering (what do you mean, those aren't great pictures?)

Is it wrong to drool first thing in the morning?

Ciao Chow Linda said...

congratulations on winning the prize. I like Ann Burrell too - she's funny and knows how to cook! I'd go off my diet for those fish and chips, that's for sure.

Karen said...

You just can't beat good fish & chips and these look great! I use Old Bay in just about everything... love it!

Big Dude said...

Your fish looks outstanding and uses the same batter recipe as ours. We eat beer battered crappie a lot and for extra crispiness, we sometimes roll the battered fish in Panko then fry.

Mary said...

I'm a big fan of fish n' chips and yours look delicious.

Debinhawaii said...

Gorgeous fish & chips--I need to buy some Old Bay. ;-)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Good for you for bucking tradition and making what tastes good and not what's on everyone's new year's resolution list!

I usually deep fry in a cast iron pan for the heat-retention properties, but now that I have a ceramic-top stove, I am very cautious with the cast iron. I rarely ever fry anything but chicken (I do malai koftas now and then) and I'm afraid if I had a deep fryer, I'd be sending my husband and myself to the coronary trauma unit!

Marguerite said...

Your fish and chips look sinfully delicious! I LOVE Old Bay seasoning and use it often on seafood, especially boiled crabs. Picked up this habit when I lived on the coast of Maryland. What a great prize!

Donna-FFW said...

How awesome does this look!! It looks perfect. Gosh, Debby, really lovely. I want some right now. Your photos are absolutely phenomenal too. Ill have to pay more close attention to anne burrell, I havent seen a show of hers yet. Thx for the heads up.

WizzyTheStick said...

Fish and chips with malt vinegar. this is for me. I have toyed with the idea of buying a deep fryer for some time now. The only thing is I have a large family and it looks here like only small batches can be done at a time. What size is your fryer and how quick did everything fry up?

My Carolina Kitchen said...

We love Ann Burrell and I'm so glad someone else appreciates her knowledge and wisdom. We laugh all the way through the show as she talks to the food. We've got a fryer just waiting for this recipe. Thank you.
Sam

Karen@Mignardise said...

Yes, healthy food is certainly a good thing, but nothing beats a great french fry!
Impressive fish and chips!

Darius T. Williams said...

Ha! I'm with you on those dieters - who needs 'em? I was actually considering doing all posts under 500 calories - but um, I'm a 6'4" Black man - just doesn't add up.

Fried fish! I'm all in...and yours looks divine. Now I wanna go home and fry up some stuff. Old Bay is a must! If you don't have it try Sazon - it works WONDERS on fried fish.

I love Anne too - didn't know she was Mario Batali's sous chef on Iron Chef America - I love her! My fave term of her "big money stuff."

Great recipe!

Kristen said...

Oh, it's beautiful (I know you shouldn't say that about greasy food, but good fish n chips are heaven on a plate!)

Velva said...

Wow! You did an awesome job with frying up your fish n'chips. Congrats on the nice package received from Old Bay.

By the way, I think french froes are my favorite food. I love them!!

Muneeba said...

Oh gosh YES! Love really crispy, fresh fish n chips ... and yours look perfect, Debby!

Me! said...

Those look awesome! While salads and stuff are nice and all, these look somuch better!

Simple Simon said...

Oh does that fish look delicious. I will definitely be trying this some day soon. Growing up with a lot of traditional English tastes, we always put malt vinegar on both our fish and chips. It adds a little zip to the meal.

Christopher Ballard said...

I tried this recipe and OMG...so good!!! I used tilapia (of course, cuz that's my favorite fish!) It is so simple and so crunchy! I give this one 10 stars!!!