Fish and chips

Friday, April 02, 2010
".... and some of our guests are American so I thought we could introduce them to english food.... could you do fish and chips?"
Fish and chips? Well it had been a while. 3 years in fact since I filled in a few times at The Bluebell gastro pub in Henley in Arden (near Stratford on Avon) when they were between head chefs.

Cod in Cotswold Way Ale batter

675g self raising flour
1 litre Cotswold Way ale

(Makes enough for c. 20 fillets - maybe you could reduce it to the original recipe for smaller numbers).


I'm a maris piper convert (contrary to what I said last year). Blanched at 140 oC then crisped at 180 oC. As it was a delivery meal they just needed re-heating in the oven. If you crank the oven up high (220 oC +) they crisp up really well if you use maris pipers.

Triple Cooked Chips

Updated Feb 2019
Then triple cooked chips came into our lives.
For a long time I thought why? Kitchen life is hard enough. Then I tried them. Instant convert. They taste better, they crisp up better. People who eat them say "these are the best chips I've ever had!". That's what you want.


  1. Cut Maris Piper potatoes into chip shapes. 
  2. Place in a large saucepan and cover with salted cold water. Bring to the boil. Cook till soft inside but not falling apart. There's an optune softness which you find after a few goes at making triple cooked chips. 
  3. Drain in colander carefully so they don't crush in the colander. Lay out on clean tea towels to steam and dry. The tea towel absorbs water. The chips can stick to kitchen paper at this point which you then have to peel off before frying- no fun.
  4. Heat frying oil to 140 oC. Drop the chips for about 5 minutes till blanched. They should be soft inside with a hard skin on the outside, but blond NOT the finished golden colour. 
  5. Take out of the fryer and drain on kitchen paper. If you want to work in advance you can store them in the fridge at this point, or in the freezer if you want to keep for a longer time. 
  6. When ready to serve heat the fryer oil up to 180 oC and once up to heat drop the chips for about 2 minutes till golden. Drain and season with salt, then try and get them to the table without anyone stealing one. 

Note - if you don't have a deep fat fryer you can also do this in a shallow frying pan if you cook on an electric hob - I wouldn't advise doing so if you are cooking on gas due to fire risk. I did the frying pan version on holiday and they worked a treat!

Mushy peas

Well minted pea puree Heston style.

Tomato ketchup

When you make your own you wonder why you brought it all those years - this just tastes too good. Recipe from Gary Rhodes' New British Classics.

And I whizzed up some tartare sauce too.

Fruit salad

What you need after this gluttony is some fruit. They had asked for fruit salad. I looked for some more interesting ideas for it and suggested this (no idea where I found it from now sorry).

Mandarin segments (was segmenting against the clock - where did the time go?)
Toasted blanched whole almonds
Fresh diced coconut

As I was really pushing it for time I took the coconut and finished it at Wellacres - which the hostess was happy with actually as she picked up the coconut opening tip? What? You want it as well? OK - you wrap it a few times around in clingfilm so it is well sealed. Then you need a solid floor this one was stone or paving slabs outside your kitchen door work really well too. Then throw it hard at the floor (great anger management technique) and it shatters inside, but the milk is kept inside the clingfilm. Open into a sieve over a bowl so you collect the milk (can use this for risotto or coconut and mango lassi), then you can de-shell coconut with a spoon. I also peeled it for this.

I made some coconut crisps for them to sprinkle on top too.

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Fish and chips on the barbecue

1 comment

Jan said...

Oooh you can't beat fish n chips!
Bet the batter was double yum with the ale you put in!!