This recipe for Fish and Chips with Mushy Peas goes out to all the fans of British; or, more specifically, English cuisine, there are out there (all 6 of you). Well, it’s time to do away with the preconceptions and give this recipe for traditional fish ‘n’ chips a try. Bear in mind, any white, flaky fish such as haddock or cod, will work well with this recipe.
One 10-ounce box frozen green peas
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Zest of 1 lemon
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch-thick batons
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup lager-style beer
3/4 cup seltzer or sparkling water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
One 1 1/2-pound fillet hake, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 to 3 ounces each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Malt vinegar, for serving
1. Bring 6 cups of generously salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the frozen peas and cook for 4 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the hot cooking water, and then drain the peas and return them to the pan. Immediately add the butter, lemon zest and cooking water and season with salt and pepper. Roughly mash the peas with a potato masher or in a food processor, and then cover and set aside.
2. Heat 2 inches of oil to 300 degrees F in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed wide pot. Meanwhile, rinse the potatoes with cold water to remove some of the surface starch and then dry well. Blanch the potatoes, in 2 to 3 batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, until just cooked through but still blond, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet.
3. Raise the temperature of the oil to 345 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the all-purpose flour, the rice flour, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour in the beer, sparkling water and lemon juice and mix just until combined (do not over-mix). Keep the batter refrigerated until ready to use.
4. When the oil is ready, fry the potatoes in 2 to 3 batches until they are crisp and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, and then transfer to the oven to keep warm.
5. Sprinkle the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Coat the fish in the remaining all-purpose flour and then dip into the batter to completely coat. Carefully swish the fish partway into the oil for a few seconds before completely releasing. Once the coating starts to set on the first fillet, you can add another battered fillet into the oil. Fry until the fish is puffed, golden brown and cooked through, 5 minutes for thin fillets or 7 minutes for thick fillets, and then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Cook the remaining fillets and sprinkle with salt.
6. To serve, reheat the mushy peas if necessary. Serve the fish with the chips, mushy peas and malt vinegar on the side.