Growing up in a predominantly Catholic country, the Philippines, I have always been aware of the practice of abstaining from meat during the Fridays of Lent. Back home, there are a lot of meat free dishes that are customarily lined up for Lent. Sometimes there is so much food made "in lieu" of meat that we end up feasting instead of fasting.
Fish and chips is probably one of the most well known dishes associated with the UK. Fish and chips shops or chippies as they are called used to proliferate the high streets and is more essential than bakeries in any town.
Every Friday, Lent or not, fish and chips is served in my son's school canteen. As they say when in England do as the English do, or something else in that vein. This Good Friday, make it a chippy day with homemade fish and chips.
Fish and chips is usually a whole fillet of fish that's dipped in batter and deep fried. To accompany this are fried chunky chips, a thicker version of French fries. Fried and fried isn't really a combo that agrees with me, so as usual I compromise. I baked the chips and fried the fish. I cut the fish in strips so I can fry them very quickly and they won't have time to absorb as much oil. Although, I used batter, I made it thinner than usual, then coated the dipped fish in potato flakes. This made a light and crisp coating that didn't swamp the delicate taste of the fish. The chips are baked thin and crispy potato slices made using Ellie Krieger's recipe. Served with lemon wedges, malt vinegar or tartar sauce, they make a very enjoyable pre-Easter meal.
4 whole white fish fillets
3/4 c. ice cold water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. flour
1 c. dried potato flakes (instant mash)
cooking oil for frying
Cut the fish in half crosswise, then into strips. Beat the egg with the ice cold water. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda then add to the egg mixture. Stir just until combined. Dip the fish strips in the batter then coat with the potato flakes. Deep fry on hot oil until crisp and golden (2-3 minutes). Drain on kitchen paper.
Ingredients for the potato chips:
6 large potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsps. of oil
Pre-heat the oven to 450° F/ 230° C. Mix the salt and oil with the potatoes. Line in a single layer on baking sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden.
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