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Chish and fips for Eating for England...

Is it too cliché to make fish & chips when I'm feeling in a Britishy mood?  I mean, it's not like it matters since I already made them...just wondering out loud.  I can't help it that I've been craving fish & chips for at least a year now seriously and just kept meaning to make them for all that while...and then pick up a delicious book by a British writer talking non-stop about British food.  It was inevitable.  Although, for a time during my mental trip to England, I entertained other fancies.  I'm referring to Nigel Slater's Eating for England which is our  current Cook the Books selection (well, current until tomorrow...then it'll be our previous selection) hosted by Johanna of Food Junkie not Junk Food.

I went in without any expectations about Slater, because this was my first experience with him.  I have to say...he's pretty great.  He sucked me right in with his food-laden memories and humor...and the history! You know I adore food history.  Um really, the Kit-Kat is from England?  Huhn. Whodathunkit?  I mean, I guess I kinda knew subconsciously that Cadbury was, but clueless as to the Kit-Kat....and that intrigues me.  This book is broken up into bite-sized portions.  I loved being able to to sit down and read for as long...or as short...as I liked!  I'm the kinda gal that hates stopping in the middle of a chapter.  I have to get to a "stopping point" before I can put a book down!  Some books have long chapters and I know if I can only steal a few minutes to read, I may as well not even pick the book up.  But in Eating for England, I was able to keep the book with me and steal a five minute read here and there...faaaa bu looooouuuuus. 

So, back to those temptations and new information....how fun is British lingo?  Okay, the Queen's English... or is it British lingo?  I'm actually pretty ignorant on the fact, kinda embarrassing.  Jammy Dodger.  Digestives.  Biscuits as opposed to cookies.  Cracknel.  Haggis.  Marmite.  Treacle. Wafers.  Faggots and Gravy.  And perhaps my favorite thing to say...Tin.  Simply tin.  I love calling a can a tin...it's such a great word.  I love to say tin.  I try to  use it instead of can, actually...always have.  Well, always since I first heard a can called a tin.  I'm just kind of rambling, it seems.  I think that's because I can't settle on what to tell you about this book.  There was just soooo much information my brain can't settle on something.  So, that's all you're getting.  I will tell you there's 8 pages to the table of contents...because some "portions" are less than a page long...is it any wonder that I don't know where to begin?  But, I'll go to what's important...where to end!  I'd almost made it all the way to the end NOT knowing what I was going to make.  Too much inspiration.  And then I got to page 278 (of 280).  Sarson's Vinegar.  Do you know what this is?  Malt Vinegar.  I'm totally ga-ga for malt vinegar...'specially when it has fish & chips dipped in it!  It is has the smell that Slater calls "the smell of Britain."  So, although I couldn't find Sarson's...and I tried...I had no problem using another malt vinegar...for the craving that once again bared it's teeth FULL FORCE!  What Slater's dad insisted on calling Chish and fips.  I must make Fish & Chips.  I  mean, after all...according to Slater "the rest of the world thinks (we) live on."  Yup, I love those Brits and the fish & chips they survive on ;)

Fish & Chips Lunch for a sunny afternoon... yes, that's really what I'm calling this brilliant meal
serves 1

4 oz. cod, cleaned, boned and cut into strips ~2"wide
vegetable oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. AP flour
1/2 c. Newcastle Brown Ale
1 egg white
1 russet potato- peel, slice any way you wish ~ 1/4-1/2" thick

accompaniments:
Malt Vinegar...and plenty of it.
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered & salted
1 garlic-dill pickle, quartered
More Newcastle...for drinking

Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper.  Preheat enough oil in a deep pan to submerge the fish (~350 degrees F). 

Mix flour and ale.  Beat the egg white until it holds a soft peak and then fold it into the mixture.  Dip the fish into the batter and place carefully into hot oil until cooked all the way through.  Remove to paper towel lined plate.  Drop your sliced potatoes into same oil and fry until golden and cooked through.  Remove to paper towel.

Serve with all accompaniments on a sunny outdoor table. 

...you could always grab a copy of Eating for England to read while enjoying...


Tuck in!

Head on over to Cook the Books in the next couple of days to see what Eating for England inspired everybody else to make...and see what they thought of the book.  And while you're there, why not join us in reading our next selection, The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.CooktheBooksClub