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Thursday, May 20, 2010

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 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 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'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 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

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. 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

Would you like to comment?

  1. Mom & Dad would love these fish 'n chips with malt vinegar and mushy peas.But so would I "mate".

  2. Ummm, and I see me some okras back there in a condiment cup! I forgot to mention Velva had the most awesome pickled okra, which I have to make again!

    This looks great. I have ordered it a time or two and been so disappointed, and we both know there is nothing like home made!

  3. I love that you went super traditional with this! Scrumptious.

    And yeah I was pretty shocked about the kit kats also!

  4. Gorgeous fish and chips! I thought about making them as well--such a classic and so utterly delicious when they are fresh and done right.

    Great review! ;-)

  5. I love fish and chips but I'm always intimidated by the beer batter....I'll try it one of these days!

    blowing peachkisses
    The Peach Kitchen
    peach and things

  6. Haven't make the battered fish for a long while....time to make some for the weekend football game.

  7. I'm really wishing that I would've got my act together and read this book! The batter on the fish looks awesome. Never knew to serve it with hard-boiled eggs and pickles, sounds like a great pairing though.

  8. I'll have to keep this website a secret from my husband. He loves fish and chips--and I fear frying! They look amazing.

  9. You just transported me back to the UK - totally traditional and totally scrumptious.

  10. I'm so glad you joined in the fun this month at Cook the Books. You have been missed since your candied cherries stole the show with The Little White Horse.

    I enjoyed your book comments and your crispy, crusty chish and flips!

  11. oh my gosh, this looks so good, especially when i think of it being sprinkled in vinegar.

    i hope you spoke in an english accent when you made it!

  12. mmmh. This is my vice. I live in FL and anytime we go to dinner and they have fish and chips...IT IS A MUST! This looks wonderful!!!!!

  13. Oh now I am craving fish and chips!! Yum!

  14. out of all the things I can't eat since I found out I'm allergic to fish...I miss Fish and Chips the most! I use to go to H. Salt Fish and Chips for lunch with my grandfather...(sigh)

  15. Uh huh! I've been wanting fish and chips too. This looks delicious and you always make me laugh- thanks!

  16. OMG... A beautiful, dare I say perfect recipe for these classics... Pass the malt vinegar

  17. I love malt vinegar too! These fish and chips look perfectly cooked.

  18. What a great recipe for fish and chips!I am glad you liked the book. I love love LOVE Newcastle brown Ale and I think it will suit the greasiness of the dish quite nicely

  19. Oh! Fish and Chips! A girl after my own heart. I was just telling my daughter yesterday that when i was little, my dad would take me to Long John Silvers to get fish and chips because it was the only place we could find them at the time. I was born in England but we came here when i was just a toddler. But dad kept the memory and love for fish and chips alive in me :)

  20. I am sooo gonna make this! Thank u for the recipe. this just looks heavenly.

  21. Cheers to you! The Fish and chips look great.The batter really stands out in the photo. I can see you took care of your craving. I know, that I now have a craving for fish and chips.

  22. Now I'm in trouble. You've got me wanting fish & chips in the worst way! LOL! Loved your review of the book as I've got to go thaw some cod.

  23. I wouldn't, personally.  Deep-frying an oily fish isn't too appetizing.  Even breading and baking doesn't sound too appealing.  That each their own!