Fish and Zhoozhed Up Chips

SERVES: 4

If frying fish at home bums you out, you could always take things outside and throw the pot of oil on the grill, just be sure that the oil gets up to temp before adding anything to it, or you risk some very soggy fish. As long as you dispose of the used oil in a timely manner (once cool), you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the smell. Make sure to use a thermometer here so you can monitor the oil temp--a crucial step in proper deep frying technique.

Active Time: 45 Mins

Total Time: 45 mins

fish-chips

Produce

  • 1 bunch scallions (8-10)
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 2 lemons

Pantry

  • 5 baby dill pickles or cornichons
  • 2 tablespoons capers in brine, drained
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces kettle cooked potato chips
  • Old bay seasoning
  • 8-10 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 36 ounces light beer

FISH

  • 1 ½ pounds flaky white fish such as cod, haddock, pollack

1. Make the dilly tartar sauce and season the chips:

  • Thinly slice 2 scallions. Cut the remaining scallions in half crosswise and discard the hairy ends. Set the halved scallions aside (you’re going to batter and fry those)
  • Finely chop 5 baby dill pickles or cornichons, 2 tablespoons capers and 1 bunch of dill.
  • Combine half the chopped dill, the capers, pickles and the thinly sliced scallions in a medium bowl with ¾ cup mayo, the zest of half lemon, lots of black pepper.
  • Stir to combine and season with salt to taste. Set the tartar sauce aside.
  • In a large bowl, toss 8 ounces kettle cooked potato chips with the remaining chopped dill, the zest of one lemon, 1½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning, and lots of freshly ground black pepper until well coated.

2. Heat the oil:

  • Fill a large Dutch oven (fitted with a deep fry thermometer if you happen to have one) with 2 inches of canola oil (about 10 cups) and set over set over medium heat.
  • Heat to 375. While the oil heats, proceed.

3. Prep the fish:

  • Cut 1 1/2 pounds flaky white fish into 1” thick strips (it doesn’t really matter what size and shape they are so long as they are consistent--every fish will be different).
  • Season the fish with salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, ¾ cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1½ tablespoons old bay seasoning and ½ teaspoon salt.
  • Gradually whisk the beer into the cornstarch and flour mixture, starting with about 24 ounces, and adding more as needed, until no lumps remaining and the batter is thin but not watery. You should see a trail left behind when the batter falls from the whisk back into the bowl, but the trail should dissipate--think crepe batter. Add more beer as needed to achieve this consistency.
  • Place ½ cup all purpose flour in a separate medium bowl for dredging.

4. Heading Style Three:

  • Arrange a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Once the oil reaches temp (375), working a few at a time, use tongs to dip the halved scallions into the batter, letting excess batter drip back into the bowl, and then gently lower into the oil.
  • Fry the scallions until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the wire rack and season lightly with Old Bay immediately.
  • Next, dredge each piece of fish in the bowl of flour making sure to coat all over in flour. Working in batches, lower the dredged fish into the batter, lift up and let excess batter drip back into the bowl and then gently lower into the pot. Don’t overcrowd the pot--you’ll do this in a couple batches.
  • Fry until golden brown all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the wire rack and season lightly with Old Bay immediately.
  • Allow the oil to return to 375 between batches.

5. Serve:

  • Serve the fried fish and scallions alongside piles of seasoned potato chips, and tartar sauce alongside.
  • Cut the lemons into wedges for squeezing over.

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