This is a staple in our house! We have the great good fortune to have a regular
Sunday Farmers Market just round the road, and the star attraction is the Raglan
Fish van. This is the only fish I ever buy in my inland town – it’s beautifully fresh
and tastes wonderful. If you live at the coast and can catch your own, of course,
you’re even better off! There aren’t really any quantities in this – it’s a matter of
how many chips are enough, and how much fish you can sensibly eat…
- Peel and thoroughly wash several decent-sized potatoes. As a rough rule of
thumb, allow a couple of medium to large potatoes per person, because they’re quite more-ish. I’ve found Agrias and Moonlights equally good as chip potatoes (and Moonlights are cheaper!)
- Cut the potatoes into wedges or thick slices – whatever shape you like in a chip.
- Pat them dry between layers of paper towels or else use a CLEAN, OLD tea
towel. Potatoes stain fabric so you won’t want to use it for anything much else in future.
- Place in a large bowl and add a tablespoon or two of white rice flour. I use a big slotted spoon to mix them round and make sure they are all lightly coated with flour. (Add more if necessary).
- Sprinkle over a couple of tablespoons of mild flavoured cooking oil and stir them round to ensure they’re all evenly and lightly coated with oil. Again, add more oil if there’s still obviously dry floury patches visible.
- Place the chips, one layer thick, on baking trays and cook at about 200-210°C on fan bake if possible, turning every ten minutes to ensure they don’t stick to the trays and they brown evenly all over. It usually takes about 40 minutes to get them a nice light golden brown.
- While this cooking process is taking place, prepare the fish coating, which is very simple, and make the sauce, which is even simpler…
Get the best and freshest you can. I like both trevally and gurnard – if you can get fresh trevally it’s a really nice fish, and significantly cheaper than gurnard or almost any other variety.
This is a recipe for basic, pan-fried fish with lemon – I think it’s the best and the easiest way to cook a good piece of fish.
- In a wide, shallow bowl, place a few Tbsp of fine white rice flour. Add about ½ tsp of smoked paprika or any other flavoring you enjoy, and a good teaspoon of salt, plus a couple of grinds of black pepper.
- Stir all this together, and when the chips are nearly done, dredge the fish in the seasoned flour, and fry it at medium heat in a large, heavy-based frying pan in a mixture of butter and oil.
- Turn the fillets after a couple of minutes and grind a bit of black pepper over
them, then squeeze fresh lemon juice over.
- After another minute or two, turn again and repeat the pepper and lemon
treatment on the other side.
- The total cooking time will depend on how thick the fish is, but do remember that all fish cooks quite fast and you don’t want to overdo it!
Tomato and Sour Cream Sauce
I invented this in a moment of desperation when on holiday many years ago and
we’ve been making it ever since.
To about 100g of lite sour cream, add lite tomato sauce (the low-salt, low-sugar
kind) and mix together thoroughly. The amount of tomato sauce you add is
completely up to you!
When the chips are ready and the fish is cooked, toss them onto plates, and
serve with the sauce and a nice fresh salad.
Recipe by Judy Mcdonald