Monday, September 15, 2008

How to succeed in business with out really frying...

Well, I failed that part, because I was a fryin' demon this weekend. I will share with you, that if you decide to fry, be smart, don't do it when the weather is over 90 with 80% humidity. That is just askin' for heat induced crankiness. Trust Me!

But, I was frying for a cause. 'Cause I'm a HO
My Potato Ho name is Mandy Lynn. I've been a lover of potatoes for many years but I am finally ending my my Potato Ho virginity with a little trip to the other side of the pond, but first I'm heading to Diane at AsthmaGirlCooksfor the Ho Down.

My entry into Hodom is Fish & Chips Wanna see how it's done?
I adapted my recipe from Gourmet magazine's Fish & Chips from Jan 2004. I really didn't make a lot of changes. I will warn you, this recipe is very simple, but it can be VERY time consuming. I think I spent about 2 hours over hot oil. Mostly that is because I didn't use a very big pot (I wanted to have depth in the peanut oil with out using all the oil in the house)

The Stuff:

  • 4 large potatoes
  • Peanut Oil**
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons corn meal
  • 8 oz Yuengling Lager (or other full bodied beer/ale)
  • 1 lb tillapia fillets, skinned, pin bones removed, and fish cut diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips
  • salt, pepper, super-fine sugar & dried porcini mushroom mill (if you can find it :( )
  • other seasonings as desired
  • Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
See, not a lot of stuff.
The Method:

Peel potatoes and halve lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges, transferring as cut to a large bowl of ice and cold water. Chill 30 minutes.

Heat about 1 - 1 1/2" oil in a deep heavy pot over moderately high heat until it registers 350°F on thermometer. While oil is heating, drain potatoes and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Fry a pot of the potatoes, (make sure your potatoes aren't too crowded) stirring gently, until edges are just golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to fresh paper towels/newspaper to drain (I like to put newspaper over a wire cooling rack so the oil doesn't pool under the taters). Fry remaining potatoes in batches, returning oil to 350°F between batches. Remove oil from heat and reserve while getting organized to refry.

Heat oil over moderately high heat until it registers 375°F. Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 250°F.

Fry potatoes again, in batches, until deep golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes per batch. Return oil to 375°F between batches. Transfer with slotted spoon to fresh paper towels as fried and drain briefly, then arrange in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and keep warm in upper third of oven.

Return oil temperature to 375°F. Sift flour & cornmeal into a bowl, then whisk in beer gently until just combined. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Pat fish dry. Sprinkle fish on both sides with salt and pepper and any other spices (I used a rub we made for chicken), Coat pieces of fish in batter (Gourmet says to dredge in flour first, I always forget to do that & haven't had any problems), 1 at a time, and slide into oil as coated. Fry coated fish, turning over frequently, until deep golden and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in lower third of oven, then fry remaining fish in batches, returning oil to 375°F between batches.

Mix about one Tablespoon sea salt or Kosher salt, about 2 teaspoons superfine sugar and about 2 teaspoons dried porcini. Sprinkle on the Chips

Serve with malt vinegar or homemade tartar sauce (mayo, sweet pickles, fresh parsley, fresh tarragon, lemon, green onion & capers) or a chipotle "aioli" (mayo, sour cream, chipotles, dried chipotle powder, lime, cilantro, and I'm not sure what else) (or catsup if you are feeding kids)

The finished fish look like this:

I didn't get a pic of them together because we were all to hungry at that point and the family was threatening riot if I tried. But they looked good and tasted GREAT!

Beer & flour is the best way to fry fish, though fried, it is light & crunchy. YUM!

**If you or someone you are feeding is allergic, Veg or Canola oil can be used. I prefer peanut because it has a much higher burning point, with those oils you should decease the oil temp to 325 & 350 and increase cooking time. I think they aren't quite as crisp that way.

3 garnishes:

noble pig September 15, 2008 at 10:35 PM  

Love it! Hey what's your Ho name? First pet's name plus your middle name.

KitchenKiki September 15, 2008 at 10:40 PM  

my Ho name is "Mandy Lynn" it was lost in the middle of the post, so now it is bold

Sarah Louise September 24, 2008 at 11:42 AM  

My first pet's name was Vacuum Cleaner. Hmmm. Or Guitar. (They were goldfish.)

I loved Mandy...

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