Sunday, 11 March 2012

Grown up fish fingers and chips

What to cook on a Friday night?

Traditionally, this is a night for indulging in take outs because head home chef and sous chef are completely whacked from a busy week. Don't be sucked in though, there are quick, fun and nostalgic alternatives on the horizon...

This is very similar to my previous post for posh fish and chips, but subtle changes in flavour will completely transform this dish.

The humble fish finger...or fish stick if you're from North America. According to Wikipedia, (which I recommend you take with a pinch of salt, plus a lavish covering of further research to substantiate the claims if you're writing a thesis) the fish finger was born ironically when trying to make 'herring savouries' more popular. Since the first fish finger swam off the production line in Great Yarmouth in 1955, 1.5 million are now sold every day, and they've even inspired an installation by Banksy.

Suffice to say, at 5.00pm on Friday evening, none of this entered my head when I decided what to make for tea. Instead I was on a mission to gastro up a family classic. To achieve this to feed you and a partner, you will need:
  • 2 skinless white fish fillets (I chose haddock as that was the freshest looking one on the counter)
  • 1 egg
  • 100g flour
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into batons
  • 200g of frozen peas
  • Few sprigs of mint
  • 4 tbs spoons of mayonaise
  • 2 gherkins
  • 12 capers
  • Few sprigs of parsley
  • Dusting of paprika
  • 1 lemon
Begin by heating some oil in a baking tray to 190c or gas mark 4. When the oil is starting to spit, carefully add the sweet potato chips, season and dust with paprika. These will take around 40 minutes to cook and crisp.

Next, create two 'fish dips', one with flour, one with the beaten egg. Take your two fish fillets...

...and cut in half to give you four fish fingers (thank you muchly GCSE maths). Taking each finger in turn, dip in the beaten egg, ensuring a complete coating, followed by a dip in the flour. If you're feeling inspired and full of the joys of spring (as I was), treat yourself by double dipping. This will get your coating extra crispy.

At this point your chips should be 25 minutes in, so take them out, give them a shake and a flip and put them back in to finish cooking.

Heat a large glug of oil in a metal handled frying pan. Season the fish fingers and fry for a few minutes until the batter turns golden. Flip them over and cook until you have the same effect on both sides.

Place the pan in the oven for the final five minutes of cooking.

Cook your peas in a pan of boiling salted water as the packet directs. Drain, add half a dozen chopped mint leaves and a knob of butter, and mash.

Now, for me, no fish finger and chips is complete without tartare sauce. But this is Friday night, so I need to cheat a little... Inspired by Fuss Free Flavours recipe, place the mayo in a bowl, add chopped gherkins, capers and parsley, add a squeeze of lemon, stir stir stir and voila!

Arrange the plate as you see fit (jenga-inspired sweet potato tower is not compulsory), serve and enjoy.

And if the mood takes you, raise your glass to this guy for bringing the humble cod fish finger to the masses...

No comments:

Post a Comment