I love Fish and Chips...... when cooked properly. I've given up ordering it outside of the UK because apart from the occasional surprise, A Salt and Battery in NYC being one of them, I'm usually disappointed.
Fish and Chips are not fish bites with french fries, or frozen chips, or potato wedges. The fish has to be batter, not breadcrumbs. The chips should be fresh potato. Ideally twice fried, and the fish should be a chunky white fish in a light crispy batter. They have to be served with mushy peas, tartare sauce, a slice of lemon and malt vinegar... anything else for me is just disappointment....
I'm pretty sure there is a law about this, and if not there should be.
Masters Super Fish in London does perfect Fish and Chips as does The Dining Place in Berwick Street Market for anyone visiting London.
Alas, I no longer live in London and sometimes the urge on a Friday Night to have Fish and Chips is just too strong, as was the case last week. So I took myself off to the Fish shop bought some Pollock (sadly there wasn't any fresh cod) and then to the farmer for some potatoes and I was ready to make my own.
I had been watching a Heston YouTube video and felt inspired. I didn't agree with his choice of fish, and as I live in a landlocked country I have to take what I can get !! I followed his recipe for batter 'almost' and I definitely cooked my chips in stages..... the result was scummy.
I made the batter in advance, as this is what I was always taught to do.
Ingredients for the batter.
100g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
40 ml vodka
a little honey
Veg oil for cooking
Piper Maris potatoes - or similar
Cod or pollock fish fillets. one per person.
Sift the flour and baking powder together and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Make a well in the middle and pour in the vodka, the ale and honey. whisk well until fully combined, leaf to stand for about an hour.
Peel the potatoes and cut into 'chip' shapes. boil them in water until they are starting to soften slightly on the outside. Drain the pan and cool the chips in cold water.
Lie the chips on kitchen paper and dry them. If they are still a bit hot the water will quickly evaporate. Let the chips cool. The chips need to be cooked twice in hot oil at 200 degrees C.
In between frying, the chips should be drained, dried using kitchen paper and cooled slightly. This really helps them crisp up on the outside whilst keeping them fluffy inside.
Prepare the fish before cooking the chips.Put a few spoons of flour on a plate and use it to coat the fish fillets before dipping them in the batter. Make sure they are fully coated and get them straight into the hot fat.
I fried the fish between the chip frying stages as I could keep the fish for a few minutes in the oven to keep warm whilst the chips are being fried for the second time. This also let some of the excess oil soak off the fish onto kitchen paper.
Serve with Mushy Peas (Batchelors in a tin are my fave) Tartare sauce (I hate this) and Sarsons Malt Vinegar (love love love this ) and enjoy with a nice glass of chilled white wine.
The other thing I do when making fish and chips makes everybody I know giggle, and its that I keep the fat fryer on the balcony. It has a filter, and its fairly new, but if I use it indoors then it leaves a smell in the house that lingers for days......
Firstly - What a great name for a Fish and Chip shop.
Secondly - what a surprise this was to stumble across on a Saturday afternoon.
We were on our way back from lunch when we found ourselves chatting to two guys sitting on the bench outside A Salt and Battery. It turned out they were both from Manchester and one of them owned both the Fish & Chip shop and Tea and Sympathy next door. There was a black cab at the curb side which has also drives around in !! So, as a fellow Manc I felt some loyalty and we decided to go back for Fish & Chips the following day.
A Salt and Battery looks like a typical English chipper with the high counter housing the fryer and with that smell of cooking oil that lingers.... They don't have quite the selection of pies as you would get in England but they have two home cooked varieties that are sufficient to squash any feeling of home-sickness Brits in the NYC may have.
Their Fish & Chips are completely authentic. The mushy peas were perfect and they even have bottles of Sarsons. What more can you ask for ??
Battered sausages? They have them too. Deep fried Mars bars? - oh yes and the perfect accompaniment - Dandelion and Burdock. Ok well, that may just be my personal favourite.
No fear, They have Irn-Bru or a selection of beers (London Pride and Stella amongst others) for the southerners!!
The fish (pollock) arrived and was freshly battered to order (just like at home) and was absolutely delicious. The chips were proper potatoes and cooked perfectly. They were a little too thin for my taste but that it purely a personal opinion. All in all a very pleasant and unexpected experience. I only wish I knew about this place when I lived upstate, this would of been worth a trip to the city.
There is a bench outside where you can enjoy your Fish & Chips if the sun is shining or space for maybe 8 people inside for when its not. The turnover is fairly fast so even if its busy its worth the wait.
A Salt and Battery 112 Greenwich Avenue (between 12th and 13th) New York City
After agreeing with several of the suggestions in Metro London's Best Fish and Chips in London guide we headed over to try Masters Super Fish Bar in Southwark. Metro London describes it as follows:
This fish and chip shop is a long standing favourite of London cabbies. The interior resembles a greasy spoon, with plastic tables and hand-written edits to the menu. All sit-in diners receive a complimentary prawn dish as an appetiser and the size of the mains illicit scenes from Man Vs Food.
The Fish and Chips were perfect - we all ordered cod and chips with some sides of mushy peas. The batter was fresh and the chips were exactly how I remember them from days of Friday night Fish and Chip dinners as a child.
I also am a big fan of mushy peas so was very happy to find these and not the new dry 'minted peas' version you so often find in places advertising 'Traditional Fish and Chips'.
It is also close to the South Bank for a nice walk afterwards to work off some of the calories!
They have a license and sell beer and wine and there is a take-away section.
Masters Super Fish 191 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UX - +44 207 928 6924
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