Fish, chips & Guinness

Good evening, good evening, good evening aaaand happy St Paddy’s!

Though Saint Patrick is not really a big deal in the Netherlands (unless you count tourists in Amsterdam turning it into an excuse to get wasted – and I guess you can replace Amsterdam with a lot of major European cities and this would still be true), I do try to honour the fatherland in some way on the 17th. I am of course dressed in green, including bright green fingernails (My Gecko Does Tricks by OPI for those interested in such matters), and I purchased a couple of cans of Guinness for the occasion.

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Not as good as the draught Guinness you get in Ireland (I suspect the one we get here is made in Germany, as I remember reading that they have a factory there too), but it’ll do in a pinch.

I also thought I’d try my hand at making fish and chips, from scratch. Granted, fish and chips is maybe more clearly associated with England, but they’re equally good in Ireland (specifically McDonagh’s in Galway… And don’t get me started on those giant onion rings.. *drool*), and it’s something I’ve never tried before, which is always fun!

I used this recipe from Jamie Oliver. I did not make the mushy peas, because – I’m sorry – I believe it is in fact peas, not idle hands, that are the devil’s playthings. By which I mean to say that peas are evil and gross. As my second act of blasphemy I will admit that I’m not overly keen on tartar sauce, so served this with (store bought…) garlic sauce. Now, after this rather controversial opinion… let me continue:

My notes:

  • I used about 250 grams of fish and 600 grams of potatoes (because potatoes) for two people. Jamie’s portion sizes were a little stingy. Yes, it’s a lot of calories, but if you’re gonna be bad, be baaaad!

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This is a double serving, hand for reference – I mean, c’mon Oliver!

  • Because of this perhaps I ended up with way too much batter. As I had enough fish for four servings according to the original recipe, I made the same amount of batter – this is not necessary. I still have some in the fridge, not sure if it keeps. But if it does, I’m thinking – onion rings? I would’ve made them tonight but I ran out of onion.
  • I have no idea what steam drying means, so I drained the chips in a colander after parboiling and then let them dry on a tea towel. Perhaps due to this, or due to the fact that the fat in my fryer is probably due to be changed, the fries – while tasty – were not very crisp.

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  • I left the peel on the potatoes (after a proper clean, of course..), not because I’m lazy (though I am in fact lazy) but because I like the taste/texture of the potato skin.
  • I made the batter with Guinness, and it came out delicious and crisp, though it kind of “fell off” one of the pieces of fish, even though it seemed to be sticking perfectly when I tossed it in the fryer. Perhaps this was due to the oil not being hot enough as it did sink to the bottom when tossed in, rather than start to sizzle and bubble.

Overall the recipe was very nice, and we very much enjoyed it. While watching Boondock Saints, which is kind of a Paddy’s tradition here. Oh and because I’m sort of incapable of serving a meal without vegetables I also whipped up a quick Greek salad of tomato, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives and feta cheese, which complemented the rest nicely.

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Sláinte!

 

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