Beer-battered fish and triple-cooked chips

The ultimate British seaside treat is bought to the table with a brilliant fish and chips recipe served with mushy peas and tartare sauce.

METHOD

  1. 01.Start the chips the night before (or as early as you can in the day). Cut the potatoes into chunky chips and wash in plenty of cold water to remove the starch. Put the chips in a pan of cold, well-salted water (ideally 1 tsp salt per 600ml water). Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 5 minutes or until the chips are tender to the point of a small, sharp knife. Keep an eye on them, though – you don’t want them to fall apart. Carefully lift the chips out of the water with a slotted spoon and lay them on a cooling rack to dry off. Put the rack in the fridge for at least 1 hour or overnight if you can. 
  2. 02.Half fill a deep, heavy-based pan with sunflower and heat until a digital probe thermometer reads 130°C. Fry the chips in small batches for around 5 minutes or until they have a light crust – you don’t want them to brown yet. Drain on kitchen paper, then chill for at least another hour (or as long as you can leave them) until completely cold. 
  3. 03.To make the fish batter, warm 75ml of the beer in a pan, then whisk in the sugar and yeast. Leave somewhere warm for 10 minutes or until frothy on top. Gently warm the rest of the beer in another pan. Sift the flours and salt into a mixing bowl, make a well in the centre, then gradually add the yeasty mixture and the warm beer, whisking to a smooth batter. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.
  4. 04.Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients for the tartare sauce and chill until needed. Dry the fish on kitchen paper and season with salt.
  5. 05.Put the drained peas in a pan with 3-4 tbsp of the reserved liquid, then simmer for 5 minutes or until hot. Mash to a coarse purée, then stir in the butter, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 
  6. 06.Heat the oven to 150ºC/fan130ºC/gas 2. Line 2 baking trays well with kitchen paper. Reheat the chip oil to 160ºC. Dust 1-2 fish fillets with plain flour, then knock off the excess. Holding each fillet by the tail end, dip them into the batter (see Debbie’s intro), making sure they’ve taken on a good coating, then lower slowly into the hot oil. Fry for 6 minutes, turning after 3 minutes, until crisp, golden and cooked. Drain, then put on the lined trays. Keep hot in a warm oven while you cook the rest. 
  7. 07.Bring the oil to 180ºC. Carefully lower in the part-cooked chips and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden. Gently reheat the peas, adding more of the reserved liquid if necessary. 
  8. 08.Drain the chips on kitchen paper and sprinkle lightly with salt, then serve with the fish, peas and tartare.

Hot dogs with spiced onions

Meltingly soft spiced onions add a bit of a kick to this simple hot dog recipe. Enjoy with a premium bottled pale ale.

METHOD

  1. 01.To make the onions, heat the sunflower oil and butter in a sauté pan or deep frying pan and fry the onions gently for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and continue to cook with the lid on for a further 10-15 minutes until very soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  2. 02.Add the mustard seeds and a splash of water. Stir well, then cover the pan and cook gently for 30 minutes until the onions are soft, golden and rich.
  3. 03.Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan, add the hot dogs and cook until golden brown and cooked through. Serve in the hot dog buns with the onions (use tongs to remove them from their juices) and a good squeeze of mustard or ketchup.

Scampi and chips

This age old classic scampi recipe gets a little makeover with fresh prawns and homemade chips.

METHOD

  1. 01.Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7). Put a roasting tray drizzled with the olive oil in the oven to heat.
  2. 02.Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the chips. Parboil for 4 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water. Pat the potatoes dry and spread out on the hot roasting tray. Season with plenty of sea salt, shake to coat in the oil and transfer to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crisp, golden and fluffy in the middle.
  3. 03.Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan of sunflower oil for deep-frying until the oil reaches 180°C (a cube of bread dropped into it will turn golden in 30 seconds). Pat the prawns dry with kitchen paper and dust with the flour, then dip the prawns into a bowl containing the eggs, followed by the breadcrumbs.
  4. 04.Carefully lower the prawns into the hot oil with a slotted spoon (don’t overcrowd the pan – you may need to do this in batches). Deep-fry for 2-3 minutes until golden and crisp, then remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with the chips, lemon wedges and plenty of ketchup.