Fish and Chips.
Description and Recipe provided by
David Williamson
South Elmsall, Pontefract. West Yorkshire.

Fish and Chips History:
Battered fish and fried potatoes is thought to be a Jewish dish, originally brought to London by immigrants from middle Europe; but we Yorkshire folk took to it at first bite and the original fast food still survives today despite the equally unhealthy inroads made by chinese and indian take aways and burger bars; fish and chips is still the food you are most likely to see being eaten on the street; although, it's no longer served in yesterday's papers; these days your more likely to get them served in a moulded tray.

Harry Ramsden:
Ramsden opened his first cafe in Bradford in 1928, he opened a lock-up wooden shed not far away at Guiseley; his cooking methods were scientific, so many minutes in the fat, the use of stainless steel vats and buckets and other quality controls that were rare; his shed grew to be a restaurant, still with a take-away section and was famous for decades before becoming a world wide franchise.

Traditional Food:
Fish and Chips is a traditional food eaten by most yorkshire people; this probably came about because the meal was hot, filling and tasty, and it used to be a cheap meal obtained from the local 'chippie'; however, this was back when the North Sea fishing delivered apparently inexhaustible creels of white fish to market, but now cod and haddock are expensive and ergo, so are Fish and Chips, but we still love the meal.

You will need a Deep Fryer or Deep saucepan with plenty of Beef Dripping or Lard (enough to fill your fryer, or pan, to the required depth when melted
), a roasting tray lined with paper, a wide plate or tray and a wire rack or prepared roasting tray.

Batter Recipe:
8oz (225g) Plain Flour.
A Pinch of Salt.
A Pinch of Pepper.
1 pint (570ml) Water.
4 Eggs.
1 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda.
1 Teaspoon Tumeric

1 - Whisk all of the batter ingredients together.
2 - The batter is of the right consistency when if a finger is drawn across the back of a spoon, which is coated in the batter, a sharp decisive trail is left behind.
3 - Check the batter seasoning and adjust to taste with salt and pepper.
4 - Place the batter in a bowl nearby.
NB - Generally the thicker the batter the better and crisper the results.

Fish Recipe:
4 Fish Fillets - any white flesh fish that has been trimmed and pinned.
Plain Flour - to coat the fish before placing in the batter.
A Pinch of Salt.
A Pinch of Pepper.

01 - Preheat the deep fryer to 180°C / 350°F.
02 - Or fill a deep saucepan, a third full, with Beef Dripping or Lard and place over a medium heat.
03 - Line a wide plate or tray with a handful of plain flour, in which to coat the fish before placing in the batter.
04 - Prepare a wire rack or a roasting tray lined with paper to drain the deep fried fish.
05 - Wash the fish with cold water.
06 - Have the batter ready nearby.
07 - Liberally dust each fillet of fish in the prepared flour, on the plate or tray.
08 - Lift each fillet from the flour and lower into the batter, ensuring each fillet is generously coated.
09 - Gently lower the fish into the dripping or lard, to avoid any splashing.
09a - The dripping or lard should be really hot.
10 - Leave the fish to cook for 3 to 5 minutes depending on size.
11 - As the fish cooks the batter will darken in colour and when each fish is nearly cooked it will rise to float on surface.
12 - The fish is cooked when if broken open the interior flesh is white.
13 - Remove the fish from the dripping or lard carefully, to avoid any splashing.
14 - Place the fish on a wire rack or prepared roasting tray to drain it.
15 - Sprinkle a little salt across each fillet to soak up any excess dripping or lard.

NB. If you are using a fat fryer with a wire guard or basket more often than not the fish will stick to this surface; to prevent this from happening gently lower the fish into the dripping or lard whilst holding onto the fish's tail; do not release the fillet and allow it to cook for about 5 seconds before releasing it; this ensures that the batter's exterior has cooked before it comes into contact with any potentially sticky surfaces.

Chips Recipe:
Chips in Yorkshire are cut quite thickly and are typically between 3/8–1/2 inches (9.5 and 13 mm) wide; they were, and still are in a few places, made from unpeeled potatoes to enhance their flavour and nutritional value; as with all members of the deep-fried chip family, they are cooked twice, once at a relatively low temperature, called blanching, to cook the potato and then at a higher temperature to crisp the surface, making them crunchy on the outside and fluffier on the inside.

200g Potatoes per person.
Dripping or Lard - enough to half fill your fryer, or pan, when melted.

01 - Peel your potatoes and cut into 3/8 to 1/2 inches (13 mm) wide chips.
02 - Rinse them well under cold water and then drain them.
03 - Put the chips into a pan of cold, salted water, and bring them to the boil.
04 - Turn down the heat and simmer until thay are just soft to the point of a knife.
05 - Drain, pat, dry and allow them to cool, then put them in the fridge until cold.
06 - Heat your fat to 120C and add the chips - Do not overcrowd the pan.
07 - Blanch for about five minutes until cooked through but not coloured.
08 - Remove, drain, pat dry and then refrigerate them.
09 - When you're ready to eat, heat the fat to 160C and add the chips.
10 - Cook until they are crisp and golden, then remove and drain them.
11 - Serve them immediately with your Fish.

This dish goes well with Mushy Peas.


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