Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Lunch

Today, I decided to make fish and chips for the kids. I used Jamie Oliver's recipe, found here, adapted from his book Jamie's Dinners. They don't call him the Naked Chef for nothing. The recipe is so easy to follow, and the result got rave reviews. Not bad at all for a first attempt at fish and chips.

Though I have included the link, here's the recipe so you don't have to flip back and forth. I made everything, down to the mushy peas. You MUST make the mushy peas. It's like the secondary character that outshone the star of the show. Even my vegetable-adverse kids took bites, and that's saying a lot.

These are the peas, pre-blender. Once blended, they're delicious as a dip.

Serves 4


  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 225 g white fish fillets, fromsustainable sources, pinboned, ask your fishmonger
  • 225 g flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 285 ml beer, cold
  • 3 heaped teaspoons baking powder
  • 900 g potatoes, peeled and sliced into chips
  • For the mushy peas

  • 1 knob butter
  • 4 handfuls podded peas
  • 1 small handful fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


To make your mushy peas, put the butter in a pan with the peas and the chopped mint. Put a lid on top and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. You can either mush the peas up in a food processor, or you can mash them by hand until they are stodgy, thick and perfect for dipping your fish into. Keep them warm while you cook your fish and chips.

Pour the sunflower oil into your deep fat fryer or a large frying pan and heat it to 190ºC/375ºF. Mix the salt and pepper together and season the fish fillets on both sides. This will help to remove any excess water, making the fish really meaty. Whisk the flour, beer and baking powder together until nice and shiny. The texture should be like semi-whipped double cream (i.e. it should stick to whatever you're coating). Dust each fish fillet in a little of the extra flour, then dip into the batter and allow any excess to drip off. Holding one end, lower the fish into the oil one by one, carefully so you don't get splashed – it will depend on the size of your fryer how many fish you can do at once. Cook for 4 minutes or so, until the batter is golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, parboil your chips in salted boiling water for about 4 or 5 minutes until softened but still retaining their shape, then drain them in a colander and leave to steam completely dry. When all the moisture has disappeared, fry them in the oil that the fish were cooked in at 180ºC/350ºF until golden and crisp. While the chips are frying, you can place the fish on a baking tray and put them in the oven for a few minutes at 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 to finish cooking. This way they will stay crisp while you finish off the chips. When they are done, drain them on kitchen paper, season with salt, and serve with the fish and mushy peas.
I made my batter with Asahi beer.
 The battleground. I won.
In addition to potato chips, I added sweet potato or kumara chips.
Fish and chips with mushy peas, lemon wedges and sour cream, served with ice cold Zappel. Happy Sunday.

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