Fiction-Food Café

October 31, 2018

Fish & Chips | The Graveyard Book

(Originally posted Oct. 2015 for Fiction Kitchen Podcast Episode 24: The Graveyard Book.)
"Scarlet helped Mr. Frost with his grave-rubbings until midday, when they stopped for lunch. He offered to buy her fish and chips as a thank-you, and they walked down to the fish and chip shop at the bottom of the road, and as they walked back up the hill, they ate their steaming fish and chips, drenched in vinegar and glittering with salt, out of paper bags."

–Chapter 7, "Every Man Jack", The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Fish & Chips

8-10 Cod Fillet Strips about 1"-1 1/2" wide, patted dry, room temperature
1/3 Cup Potato Starch
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Soda Water/Club Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt + more for sprinkling
3-4" Oil for frying
2 Large Russet Potatoes
Malt Vinegar

Preheat your oven to 200ºF. Heat the oil in a tall, heavy-bottomed pot to 375ºF. Drape a few paper towels on a cooling rack & have it near the stove. Mix the flour, soda, & salt in a med-large bowl to create the batter. Put the potato starch in a medium bowl or plate & dredge the fish in it. Next, dip the fish into the batter to coat completely. In a back-and-forth motion, lower half of the dipped fish into the hot oil & cook until golden & then remove to the paper towel-lined rack & sprinkle with salt. Repeat this process with the remaining fish. To keep the fish warm, put them on a tray & slide it into the preheated oven.

Bring the oil to 325ºF. Peel the potatoes & cut them into strips about 1/2" wide by 3" long. Submerge the pieces in cold water & swish them around with your hand. Drain & pat them dry, & then submerge them in the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes & then remove the potato pieces to the paper towel-lined rack. Raise the oil to 375ºF & submerge them again, letting them cook for another couple minutes. Remove & sprinkle generously with salt.

Serve the chips in a turned down paper bag, alongside the fish, & drench (according to your preference) with malt vinegar. And please, do not share with anyone named Jack. In fact, if you come across a Jack, run very quickly in the opposite direction.

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