Walking down the street laden with books in a huge rucksack hanging off our shoulders on a Friday afternoon, on our way back from School, we used to queue up at the Chippie to get a portion of chips for our walking home snack in the cold. The Chippie were always prepared to serve up large portions of chips to a whole load of kids who stopped by every Friday afternoon so it usually didn’t take too long to get the chips, in a large open cone made out of newspaper and white paper.
We would sprinkle generous amounts of salt and pepper onto our cones, before drenching it with Malt vinegar. The moment the malt vinegar hits those chips, the magic happened. It actually used to make my mouth water in anticipation of eating those hot chips but I had to get a drizzle of ketchup and brown sauce on to these chips first. I remember walking down the street eating out of these cones that we shared between friends sometimes, in the winter drizzle on most Friday evenings. Unfortunately, that was long time ago…….. now, living in Alberta I just had to try to recreate that same taste.
This all started by our trip to try out the British Chippy that’s recently opened up near our house. It’s a tad bit expensive for a portion of cod and chips but the fish was fabulous. The chips were hand cut but a little cold when they were served, so they lost the attraction. But they started this little yearning to make some proper fish and chips.
BEER BATTERED COD
I bought the largest packet of thick cod fillets that I could find. I sliced them into smaller fillets to make frying a little easier, patted them dry and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.
It was super cold outside as it had been a Snowtember day in Alberta, so it was the perfect Friday to start battering up some fish and chips. Every time I looked outside, I was convinced we were going to really enjoy these.
For the batter, I used some self raising flour mixed with some Beer. Unfortunately, we only had some dark German Beer in the house, which is my husband’s favourite, so the batter turned out a little on the brown side.
The consistency for the batter was slightly thinner and smoother than the pancake batter. I used about 1.5 cups of self raising flour mixed in with 1.25 bottles of beer to get this consistency. It was a little too thick when I used just one bottle of Beer.
Unfortunately, the boys created a lot of hullabaloo that evening as they were having a bowling night at our local Bowling alley that evening and having a bunch of pre-teens in the house was quite rowdy. In all this, I didn’t get a chance to take a photograph of the beer battered Fish that I fried.
One thing I would like to add though is that when I fried this fish in the deep fryer where the chips were being fried, it didn’t come out as crispy. But when I was shallow frying it using about 1 inch of oil in a pan, they came out fantastically crisped up and stayed crunchy, with no soggy bits anywhere.
Then, I created the spicy battered Fish……well, I couldn’t resist.
SPICY BATTERED FISH
This was also an amazingly easy batter made using water and self raising flour, but this time I added some salt, black pepper, red chilli powder, Chicken curry masala and some turmeric as the colour was too white for me after the brown coloured ones I made with the Beer.
It wasn’t hugely spicy but it turned out lightly spiced and full of flavour. This batter was also crisp when shallow fried in an inch of oil in a pan as opposed to deep frying.
The chips were all double fried. I used Russet potatoes and deep fried them until they started floating on the top. Took them out of the oil and let them cool down. Heat up the oil again and fry these for the second time on slightly higher heat and until they are crispy and golden in colour.