It took me long enough to perfect my batter recipe. Finally discovered the secret (well, for me anyway) and it was to add some rice flour to the batter. This created a lighter batter that was bursting with flavour, and had a very satisfying crunch when you bite into it. This may be a treat that we only indulge in once in a long while, but when we do we want it to be totally satisfying.
Another hint …… make sure you fry your potatoes twice to get a nice crunch on them. Once you have slivered them, fry initially at 325 degrees, just until soft – barely cooked through. Remove from the fry oil and allow to cool, on a drain rack.
My trick is to do the first fry, and while the fish is frying they cool down – then the oil will already be at your higher temperature and they can pop into the fryer for the final few minutes, which makes them golden brown and crunchy. Keep your fish warm in a 225 F oven while the second fry takes place.
Ketchup is the usual French fry dip I think, but not for me – I like an aioli, super easy and tastes way better!
LEMON BASIL AIOLI
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup good mayonnaise
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp basil (minced)
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- squeeze of lemon juice
Give it all a good mix up and you’re done. Keeps in the fridge really well too.
Beer battered cod fillets:
- 4 thick cod fillets
- 1 cup all purpose white flour
- 3/4 cup rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup soda water
- 3/4 cup lager (or your favourite beer)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- In a large bowl, mix both flours, baking powder, salt and sugar.
- Add soda water & beer. (if not a fan of beer (?) just use all soda water)
- Mix together only until the batter binds together and is smooth. Be careful not to over-mix. (you may need to add a bit more liquid)
- Cover your fish with salt & pepper, as well as a dusting of plain flour, then drop into the batter and coat completely.
- Pre-heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350 F.
- Once fish is coated with batter, gently place into the deep fryer and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and crispy.
- Remove from fat and drain.
- 1/2 cup good mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons small-diced pickles or cornichons
- 1 tablespoon Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
- Pinch kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in small food processor and whir it all up. Done. Of course, if you don’t have a food processor, just chop up the pickles and stir it all together. Either way, it’s delicious. I got this from Ina Garten’s recipe collection, so of course it is good!