Christians believe Jesus was executed on Good Friday and died for our sins, sacrificing his flesh. The Church, therefore, encourages followers to abstain from eating meaty flesh on the anniversary of Christ’s death. Fish is perceived to be a different kind of flesh, as it comes from the sea. Fish shapes are also said to have been used as a secret symbol by Christians to identify each other when their religion was banned. Many of Christ’s followers were fishermen too. Nowadays, plenty of people join in with eating fish on Good Friday as something of a national tradition.
If you can’t find a local pub or restaurant to deliver Fish & Chips, you can easily make your own with a few ingredients.
This is our family’s recipe. Lord D’s family operated a Fish & Chips restaurant for a number of years. He is the toddler in the photo.
Easy Fish & Chips
- 1 pound baking potatos
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour put in freezer at least 15 minutes before using
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 2 1/4 cups beer ice cold
- 1 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
- 4 oz white fish fillets halibut, paddock, cod,
- 1-2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
Make the Chips
- Scrub, peel and cut the potatoes into strips or wedges. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, and cover the potatoes with cold water and let soak for an hour. Drain and thoroughly dry.
- BLANCH: Prepare a wire rack over a baking sheet and have a metal slotted spoon handy. In a large deep saucepan, pour in four inches of vegetable oil and heat the oil to 330F. The first step is to blanch the chips, deep frying in batches for 5 minutes to make them more tender. Use a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to the rack to drain.
- DEEP FRY: Preheat oven to 350F Increase the heat of the oil to 375F. Deep fry the chips in batches until crisp and golden. Return to the rack to drain. Keep warm in your oven while you fry the fish.
Fry the Fish
- In a large bowl combine the chilled flour with the baking powder. Slowly whisk in enough cold beer to make the consistency of smooth pancake batter. We prefer a thinner coating so our batter is slightly funnier. The batter should be in a shallow bowl.
- Pat your fish pieces dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Your oil should still be heated to 375F.
- Place the extra flour in a shallow bowl Bread the fish first in the flour and then dip in the batter, coating well. Gently place the fish in the oil.
- Fry 1 or 2 max at a time. Wait 4 minutes, turn once and your fish should be golden brown. Cook for another 4 minutes, then drain on a rack, then transfer to the pan in the oven with the chips.
- Serve with lemon wedges, malt vinegar, tartar sauce, and coleslaw. Brits love to eat with mushy peas.
Easy Tartar Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise try homemade mayonnaise
- 3 tbsp. dill pickle finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. capers chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped sub: 1 tsp. dry dill
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper freshly ground
- Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add additional lemon juice to taste.
- Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving and store in your fridge for a week.
Easy Creamy Coleslaw
Fish & Chips is the tradition, but any fish dish will do. I am fortunate to have a freezer full of fish courtesy of our annual fishing trip. I have a number of fish dishes on my website, but here are my favourites: