This past Wednesday, I tried my hand at fish and chips. When I saw a recipe in my new Cooking Light mag., I had visions of paper bags filled with deliciously crisp, white, flaky fillets of haddock wreathed in chipped potatoes and dotted with malt vinegar--the kind of fish you can get in the UK and nowhere else. When I saw the recipe's gorgeous accompanying photograph, I thought--ha! I'll show London!
Mistake number one, I purchased a bag of frozen cod from Wal-mart. When I cut open the bag, soggy, grey fillets slid from their individually wrapped packets into a shallow dish. The fillets seemed to be disintegrating as I handled them, at which point I began to have second thoughts about the whole ordeal. Then I looked at the picture again and thought, surely the difference is that these fillets are raw and those are cooked. Onward ho! But I really should have stopped there.
I turned back to my heating skillet of oil and my bowl of flour. I added the called-for beer and whisked it into a frightening brown froth. I submerged each piece of fish beneath the bubbles and it came up dripping with a mix of what looked like a concoction of latex paint and scuzzy sea foam.
I plopped the fish into the oil, keeping the tearing pieces together with the flour/beer glue. After the alloted three minutes per side, the poor fillets looked as though they'd been beaten to a pulp. Like bad pancakes, I slapped them onto our plates, flung them on the table, and force fed myself and my family a truly abominable dish. Even the oven chips turned out poorly . . .
Lesson learned--never buy cheap fish! And also, I am no match for London.
(I tried to provide a link to the recipe, but found out that it had been removed from the Web site! Ha!)