Classic Fish and Chips

Submitted by: Stephen Burke

Serves: 8

Ingredients

Beer Batter
1/4 tsp traditional active dry yeast (1 ml)
3/4 tsp salt (3 ml)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (375 ml)
1 3/4 cups stout (440 ml)

Tartar Sauce
2 cups mayonnaise (500 ml)
1/3 cup capers, finely chopped (75 ml)
1/3 cup cornichons, finely chopped (75 ml)
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped dill (45 ml)
2 tbsp finely chopped chives (30 ml)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar (30 ml)
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 cups vegetable oil (3 L)
4 lb. Halibut fillet, cut into 8 - 4 oz portions (1.8 kg)
Flour, for dredging
2 lemons, cut into wedges
4 lb. large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled (1.8 kg)
Salt, to taste

Method

Beer Batter
Sprinkle the yeast over 2 tbsp of tepid water and let proof for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the salt and flour. Add the yeast and the beer and whisk to create a smooth batter. Cover the bowl with plastic and set aside for 3 hours to proof.

Tartar Sauce
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until needed.

Preparing the Fish and Chips
Cut the potatoes into chips of even size. Place the chips in a bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain the chips and thoroughly dry using paper towels.
Put the oil in a large pot over high heat. Ensure that the oil does not fill the pot by more than 1/3 to ½ in order to prevent overflow when the ingredients are added. Heat the oil to 325°F.
French fries should be cooked in two stages, the first stage or blanching is done at a lower temperature than the final cooking. Put some of the chips in the deep fryer and cook until they are tender but have no colour. Remove from the fryer and drain on paper towel in a single layer. Continue with the remaining potatoes in the same manner. Do not overcrowd the fryer or the oil will overflow and the oil temperature will drop.
Raise the heat under the fryer to bring the oil temperature to 375°F.
Finish frying the chips in batches in the hot oil. Cook the chips until deep golden. Remove to a paper towel lined bowl and liberally salt. Keep warm in a low oven.
Dredge the fish in flour, shaking off the excess. Dredging in flour before dipping the fish into batter allows the batter to cling to the fish. Dip the fish in the batter, and drain off the excess batter. Deep fry the fish until it is a deep golden colour. Fry the fish in batches so the oil does not overflow or drop too drastically in temperature.
Remove the fish from the fryer to a paper towel lined tray and liberally season with salt.
Serve some of the fish and chips on newspaper garnished with lemon wedges and tartar sauce

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