I do most of the cooking for our tiny household of two, but every once in a while my husband offers to make dinner. He spent the summer interning for IBM in New York and the entire time I had a craving for his fish and chips. He promised to make dinner when he returned and this past weekend he stayed true to his word. We switched things up a bit (trying to be somewhat healthy) and opted to make a kale salad as a side.
His recipe is pretty much taken from the magnificent Alton Brown and the kale salad is based off of a side dish from Olio in Richmond. I’m not exactly sure how they make it, but I wanted to create a similar flavor profile.
A lot can be done ahead of time and then when you are hungry all that is left to do is fry the fish!
For the batter, which needs to sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Old Bay Seasoning to your heart’s content
1 bottle brown beer, cold – Newcastle is our recommendation
1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed whitefish (we prefer pollock but went with cod this time around)
White cornmeal, for dredging
Canola oil for frying (we use about half a container)
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, and Old Bay. Then slowly add in the beer. Chill in fridge for at least 20 minutes.
For the Pickle Sauce
1 6oz container of Greek yogurt – make sure it isn’t non-fat so the dip can thicken a bit
1/4 cup of ketchup
1.5 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of pickle juice
Salt, pepper, to taste
Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until they are mixed well. Sit in fridge until dinner is ready!
For the Kale Salad:
1 bunch of curly kale
Toasted almonds (cook in oven on 350 for ten minutes!)
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 garlic clove (crushed and left in olive oil for ten minutes, remove and discard afterwards)
1 tablespoon of champagne vinegar
Salt, pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, champagne vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cut the kale to remove the stems. Add the kale to the bowl, slowly massaging the greens into the dressing. Once coated, toss in almonds and parmesan cheese.
For the fish:
When you are ready to fry, assemble the dredging station. You’ll need the fish (cut into strips), the batter, and a plate with corn meal. Heat the canola oil on the stovetop; we use our large stock pot so that the oil doesn’t spit at us too much when we turn the fish. When the oil is piping hot you’re ready to go. First dredge the fish in the corn meal. Then dunk the fish into the batter, and finally into the stock pot. Keep the fish in the oil until it turns golden brown, turning once, about two-three minutes on each side. Then set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
The fish is great with tartar sauce, pickle sauce, or even just malt vinegar. All in all everything turned out great and my summer-long craving was finally satisfied!