Growing up in the Catholic Church, we were told that “fish on Friday’s” was one of the ways to show our self-control, discipline, and our faith. The thought is simple. Roasted, succulent, juicy, fatty meat contained a touch of excess and “sacrificing” that deliciousness would show God that we could conquer our flesh. At least that was the thought…
When I worked at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille in Spokane, Tim OD had a little quote on the menus that simply said, “Fish and Chips $1 off on Fridays, by order of the Vatican.” Was the Pope really involved? Uh…pretty sure no but the idea of giving a discount to eat more fish on Friday’s to that particular “Catholic” Irish Pub (notice the 60s era National Champion Notre Dame flag?) is not only funny, but a brilliant marketing plan. So…it was fun to sell more fish on Friday’s, and yes, people actually came in to OD’s on Friday’s to either show their commitment to their faith, or simply because they got a good deal, either way, there was a ton of Alaskan Pollock sold on that day of the week.
In previous posts, I had mentioned that the bigger boys and I went fishing (again, thank you dad) in Westport, WA and had a blast. We came home with 84 fillets of fish, mostly rock fish (sea bass to some) and 4 fillets of ling cod. Thats a lot of fish. I don’t care who you are. So….since then, we have been serving fish at least once a week, and giving away some more. I learned that if I owned one of those fancy “Air Sucker 2000s” that suck all the air out of plastic bags, would cause my fish, really anything, to last up to 18 months, or even longer, but my lame Costco ziploc bags, no matter how hard we try to get the air out, would keep my fish free from freezer burn for only about 3 months. Bummer. Oh, its my birthday on Nov 13th in case you forgot…
So…I decided to create a couple of simple posts based around Fish and Chips. I am not going to go into the history, or even where you can get a decent one at a Seattle restaurant (Spud is pretty darn good though), rather, I hope to communicate how simple it is to fry, deep fry, grill or bake fish.
This method is simply pan fried. A simple, straightforward way to present fresh, especially white fish, to your family and friends.
Fish and Chips
- 4 fillets white fish (rock fish, tilapia, cod, halibut)
- Flour mixture of your choice (this picture shows a local flour seasoning that was delicious and dead simple)
- 1/4 cup peanut or safflower oil
- Favorite fries (m0re on this later)
This method is all about simplicity. No egg yolk, nor beer. Heat oil in your favorite skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes to get nice and hot. The oil actually matters a little. Peanut and safflower oil are flavor neutral (essentially) and has a high smoke point which basically means it can go to a very high temperature without breaking down, or becoming carcinogenic.
Remember this is pan frying, not DEEP frying. Take your fresh fish and dredge in flour mixture.
Place in pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. Ideally 4 minutes on side one, and 3 minutes on side two. Place on brown paper bag or newspaper (OK, paper towels cool too) to s0ak up oil, finish with sea salt. Serve with malt vinegar and tarter…or not if you are a purist.
Serve with your favorite fries cooked/baked/fried to package instructions.