- 1kg firm-fleshed hake
- 1 tablespoon cream or crème fraîche, optional
- 1 lemon
- 10 large rooster potatoes
- 2 litres sunflower oil for frying
- 1 litre duck fat for frying, optional
For the petit pois:
- 500g frozen petit pois
- 30g mint
- 25g butter
- 60ml cream, optional
For batter 1:
- 110g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 150ml water
For batter 2:
- 135g plain flour
- 250ml chilled beer
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Divide the fish into four equal portions and pat dry with a little kitchen paper. Choose one of the two batters (one with beer, one without). Make the batter of your choice by sieving flour and salt together and then whisking in the liquid until you have a smooth batter.
- Heat the oil in the deep-fat fryer, or a deep saucepan, until it reaches a temperature of 180°C, or until a small piece of bread browns in 30 seconds when added to the oil.
- To double fry the chips: peel the potatoes and cut into chunky chips, place in a clean dry tea towel and pat dry. Fry the chips in batches at 160°C for 10 minutes until lightly golden. Drain on kitchen paper. These are now only semi-cooked, ready to be re-fried later when you need them. They will keep like this for a couple of hours. Simply re-fry at 180°C for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.
- To cook the fish, coat the dry fish in the batter and then cook in very hot oil for 4-6 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Drain on kitchen paper.
- To make the minted petit pois, bring a saucepan of water with a pinch of salt to a rolling boil, drop in the peas and bring back to the boil, then drain immediately, add the fresh mint, butter and cream if using, season with salt and pepper and blitz in a food processor on the pulse setting.
- Serve with the cooked fish and double-cooked chips.
There are many reasons given for double frying your chips. Some say it releases the starch in the spuds; others claim it enhances the flavour. However, most chefs admit it is the only way to serve crispy chips to large groups of people at the same time. At home where you have a domestic fryer, it ensures everyone can be fed together.