Last night, Hayley wanted to have some of our Chicken Soup for dinner. Since we had a generous portion already frozen (and I wasn’t really interested in having some, anyway), I decided to make something for myself that Hayley might not enjoy otherwise. At first, I thought I might make something with eggs since she’s currently avoiding eggs. That’s a shame unto itself, since we have backyard chickens now, and are just overrun with eggs! After flipping through Make It Paleo 2 for a little while, I came across our Fish Tacos recipe. Boy, those looked really good! So I went down to our freezer to see if we had any tuna steaks on hand. We did not… but we DID have a couple cod fillets from SizzleFish! It only took me a second to realize I could make one of my all time favorite pub foods: Fish and Chips!
After I graduated from Penn State, I spent some time living in Northern Virginia near Old Town Alexandria. There was (and still is) a great Irish pub on King Street called Murphy’s, and I loved to order the Fish and Chips (and a Harp Lager or Guinness to go with it). I wasn’t gluten-free back then, and it seems almost entirely like a different lifetime, looking back on it now. The crew of friends I had in D.C. loved good food, and all enjoyed the vibrant restaurant scene. It’s a big part of how I came to appreciate good food! The slew of great restaurants along King Street were frequent stops on our way to a night out on the town.
Regardless of my past glutenous transgressions, I absolutely loved the Fish and Chips at Murphy’s… so much so that I would know in an instant if I had nailed their recipe or not. And I think I did last night. I did have a few good ideas about making a kick-ass batter for this, but rather than ruin some perfectly good cod, I wanted to scope out a couple recipes, anyway. The recipe I did check out for basic ideas was Alton Brown’s recipe (it’s a flour and beer-based recipe, so we had to do our usual suite of substitutions to make it work.)
Here’s what you need to know about making this recipe. First of all, it’s important to get the frying oil to the correct depth and stable temperature. I wouldn’t try to make this with any less than 3″ of oil in an 8″ round pot. Keep your oil temperature as close to 320 degrees Fahrenheit as possible. Another tip is to maintain consistent cuts and thicknesses with both the fries and the cod: this helps them cook evenly. For the cod, I like 2″ wide strips. You might think smaller pieces of cod would work better, but the fewer pieces you put into the pot at once, the less chance they have to stick together. Dip them in slowly so that the batter has a chance to harden a bit before the fish sinks to the bottom, and potentially sticks to the pot. Having a batter-covered hand acts as measure of protection against the super-hot oil, too.
The batter recipe is pretty much perfection, especially with the addition of our Adobo Seasoning in it. It is super crispy, light, and puffs to a perfect golden brown around the fluffy cod inside. If you like fish and chips, you’re going to love this recipe!