Friday Fish and Chips by the Cockney critic.

  • Major Glass and Glazing

Otherwise known as the cockney critic or Mr Happy Days, Jerry Mullan’s culinary journey has been as diverse as the countries he’s lived and cooked in. Currently, Head Chef of an award-winning West London gastropub, his influences and passion are irresistible whether on a plate or being read.

Today, he shares with the Havering Daily readers, one of his own special fish and chips recipes to cheer up another Friday in lock down.

Jerry Mullan

Missing restaurant food? Learn restaurant-style food, with Jerry’s secret tips and easy but flavoursome recipes.

Jerry writes, ‘Who doesn’t love a bit of fish on a Friday? We love a tradition, and this is no more or less important than any other. Boris says you are not allowed to eat at mine, so I will give you a few tricks and tips, so you can enjoy restaurant food, sitting at home, while watching Game of Thrones for the first time this year, but the third time in 12 months.

“This is my mums personal favourite, the batter comes out nice and crispy, the fish moist and the purée with the sweet potato is always a winner. A lot of pubs use beer in their batter, and it’s a lovely flavour
especially when you’re using a nice hoppy one such as Proper Job or Young’s original.

“In this recipe, we use white wine and lemon which makes the batter really crispy and thin. We will also be making chips which burst with flavour with every bite. Not only is this a delicious recipe, it looks great on a plate too.”

Ingredients

Crispy Fish

  • 4 Cod Fillets
  • 1 Cup of Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 70 cl white wine
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper

Pea Purée

  • 1 cup of frozen garden peas
  • 1/2 veg stock cube
  • 1 tspn mint sauce
  • 1 tspn of white wine vinegar

Chips

  • 2 jacket potatoes
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of rosemary
  • 1 tsp of thyme

Method

First and foremost, turn on the oven to Gas mark 6 /180 degrees and allow it to heat while preparing.

Let’s start with the chips as they take the longest. In this recipe, we combine the sweet potato and normal jacket potato. Not only does it give a bright beautiful orange to the plate, but the sweetness compliments the sweetness from the peas, and the citrus from the lemon really helps balance the dish.

First, peel the potatoes, then cut them longways into cm slices, and then cut the slices into 1 cm strips to look like a chip (remember you want the chips as long as possible and not too thin). Now you should have something resembling chips.

Once you have sliced the chips, keep the two types of potato separate, as the sweet potato cooks quicker, and we want the peas puréed, not the potatoes.

Get a pan and measure 1.5 Litres of cold water (it needs to be cold for the dried herbs to infuse properly). Put the water into a saucepan with the herbs and garlic. Place the jacket potato chips in the pan and place
on the heat and bring to the boil.

“The magic thing is with potatoes, they will absorb water exceptionally well, and any flavour that’s in it.”

Once the water is boiling, cook for 4 minutes and then add the sweet potatoes and cook for a further 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain carefully through a strainer or sieve, making sure you don’t damage the chips.

Place one tablespoon of oil onto a baking tray, with a piece of kitchen paper or pastry brush, wipe the oil all around. Place all the chips on the tray and put in the top of the oven for 20 minutes.

When the timer goes off, give them a flip and cook for a further 15 minutes.
With the chips done and cooking, let’s move onto the purée.

You may ask, why is it that we are doing this so early, but the trick behind getting that beautiful depth of green in the puree is to cook the peas, and then rapidly cool under a tap or in an ice bath.

Flick the kettle on or send a Whatsapp message depending on what kind you have. Once boiled, measure 400ml of water into a saucepan, add half of your stock cube and stir until dissolved. Add the peas and cook for 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat, and take three tablespoons of the stock and put it to one side, and using a strainer or sieve, strain the rest of the water. While still in the strainer, place under a cold tap and stir with a spoon
until cooled.

Place in a smoothie or food blender along with the mint sauce, white wine vinegar, and the little bit of stock you kept aside, and blitz for around 4 minutes, until you get a nice thick smooth purée.

Fish Batter

Place 2 tbsp of flour onto a small plate and the rest in the bowl as seen in the picture. Using the same cup, add 1/4 cup of sparkling water, 70 cl of wine and the juice of half a lemon (you won’t taste the lemon, it’s there to help get the extra crisp on the fish). Whisk until you have a smooth batter.

“To test the batter, dip your exceptionally clean and sanitised finger in and if it sticks to the finger then it’s
done.”

Season the fish fillets, and coat either side in flour, and then straight into the batter (the flour helps the batter stick, so ensure the flour is coated all over).

With this recipe, we use very little oil on the chips, and shallow fry the fish. It is not one of Joe Wicks’ superfoods under 30 calories style dishes, but everybody deserves something a little naughty every now
and then.

Heat a pan with about 1 cm of oil covering the bottom. Put a droplet of batter in the oil and if the batter sizzles and rises then we’re onto a winner and we can start cooking our fish.

There are lots of tricks behind crispy batter, but the main one is to, LET IT COOK. So leave it on one side for 6 minutes and then flip and cook for another 6, take out and place on kitchen paper to drain I start the fish when I flip the chips over, this ensures they will both be done approximately at the same time as there’s nothing worse than a cold dinner or burnt food.

Plating

When it comes to plating, reheat the purée either in a pan or give it to Chef Mic (microwave) and heat for 1 minute, depending on the Watts of your microwave.

Stack the chips criss-cross in alternative types. Place a tablespoon or two of purée on the plate and with the edge of the spoon, smear a crescent shape onto the plate. Add the fish and a wedge of lemon to finish it off.

So there we have it ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, a restaurant-worthy fish and chips on your sofa.

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

Find Jerry on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/happidayz777/

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