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Byron is in Casco Bay, heading out at the crack of dawn to go deep sea fishing. He hopes to catch something for his fish and chips recipe.
3, 2-3 ounces fillets of cod
Stella Beer (blonde/light/wheat)
1 cup flour
Salt & pepper to taste
Garnish: Malt Vinegar, Lemon
Portion out your fillet into 2-3 ounces strips
Whisk your egg and add flour to form it into a batter
Now add a bit of beer - the consistency you're looking for is pretty close to pancake batter
Double check that your oil is ~ 300 degrees - because you want the fish to cook and the batter to fry evenly
Dip the fish lightly into the batter and drop it straight into the oil for ~ 10 minutes
Serve fish and chips together. Garnish with your tartar sauce, Malt Vinegar, and Lemon.
For (Potato) Chips
2-3 Kennebec potatoes (white starchy potato, idaho can also work)
2-4 quarts oil for frying (grape seed, canola, sunflower, etc..)
2 teaspoons chives
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat up 2 quarts of high heat, flavorless oil
Cut up potatoes into thin slices - the easiest way is to use a mandoline. This ensures very thin, even slices every time. Use proper care, as it is an exposed blade - when you get to about an inch left of potato, start on a new one
Soak in water for a few minutes to remove the starch
Strain and pat dry - you don't want water getting into your hot oil
Add chips to the oil, regularly stirring so they don't stick together
Remove when they've taken a nice golden color - bang off any excess oil
Blot out the oil on a paper towel
Season with a few fresh herbs, parsley, chives, thyme are a nice flavor mix. Finish with salt and pepper.
3-4 tablespoons mayo
2 teaspoons tarragon
2 teaspoons capers
2 teaspoons cornichons
2 teaspoons shallots
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Add a few tablespoon of Mayonnaise
Now add a few pinches of herbs: chopped tarragon, chives, capers, cornichons, chopped shallots, and a bit of salt.
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- So it's 4:30 in the morning here in Casco Bay. The sun's just peeking up over the Atlantic Ocean, it's absolutely beautiful. And I'm really excited to see what's in store for us today on the fishing boat. Captain Jim and his first mate Andy have been fishing Maine's Casco Bay their whole lives. They're taking me out to one of their favorite fishing spots a couple hours off the coast, where they think we can find some great fish for my recipe.
- Well it's about six A.M. and we're steaming out into the Gulf of Maine. We're heading to the fishing grounds with a great group of hearty souls. We're gonna run offshore about 50 miles today, we're gonna get you guys on some awesome bottom, some of my favorite fishing grounds.
- Okay Byron, we're here! Let me give you just a little bit of a fishing lesson. Put a rod belt on. And that's gonna save your hip. Feel the bump of the weight of the jig, and then it gets slack!
- So we're just looking for that slack and then pulling back up? Their secret spot is packed with fish, Andy caught one literally 30 seconds into the day. So what you wanna do is you wanna pull the hook up off, oh, fish on baby!
- [Byron] Nice!
- Bring that baby in! That's what I'm talkin' about! Give him a kiss, man!
- Why not? First one, baby!
- So that's a cod. That's a fine-looking cod too, that'll make a nice dinner!
- Should be some good eatin'. Nice fish and chips, right? Gonna get some more!
- Yeah, let's keep going, man, throw him in the box!
- [Byron] And our luck didn't stop there. The fish were almost jumping into the boat.
- Haha, feels good to be chucking them lures out there, brother!
- I mean, every time I catch one of these, it's like 10 minutes of reeling. I mean, we're coming from about 400 feet. It's a long fight. Fish on, fish on! Reeling in cod is one thing, but nothing could've prepared me for what was next.
- [Jim] Hey hey hey hey!
- [Andy] We've got a shark on! Reel up Byron, reel up, reel up!
- Andy, get my rod up. You guys, reel up, quick as you can! gonna hit the fan, guys, get ready. Get him up Andy, get him up! All right Byron, two hands now! I got a lot of drag on that. Two hands, high up on the rod.
- This is intense! To say the least, this is intense. Shark fishing is no joke. It feels like I have a truck attached to the end of this line.
- You're in for a hell of a fight here, Brother. This ain't comin' in early.
- All right, I think my arm's giving up a little bit.
- [Andy] Giddy up now, he's at starboard! You'll go to starboard! We wanna keep a tight line, keep it right off the stern--
- [Byron] I think he's off.
- [Jim] What do you need, beast?
- Oh, I think we dropped it, Jim. Dropped 'em!
- [Jim] All right, we'll get another one.
- That's why they call it fishing and not catching.
- [Byron] Right. Well, we may have lost a shark, but we have plenty of cod for my next recipe. All right fishies.
- So Byron, did you have fun fishing with us out on the Gulf of Maine today?
- I had a blast.
- We got some nice table fish. Can't wait to cook 'em up.
- Oh it's cod, those are beautiful fry fish.
- [Jim] Well we've got some fish in here for the crew and I too, it's great to have you aboard.
- Thank you so much, Captain Jim.
- Thank you very much.
- I caught some beautiful cod in Casco Bay with Captain Jim and his first mate Andy, and I'm really excited to batter this guy up. First, I'm gonna start on my tartar sauce, because what's a fish and chips without tartar sauce? So the base of a tartar sauce is really just this mayonnaise. Just gonna bind all the ingredients together. Here I have some chopped cornichons, has a nice, briny flavor. Capers. Some shallots. Gonna add some parsley, that's good, just a rough chop. Right into the bowl. Now I'm gonna grab some tarragon. And this is gonna bring this licorice flavor. You're not gonna find tarragon in your traditional tartar sauce, but I just really enjoy it. Now I'm gonna add a squeeze of a lemon. Just a tiny bit of salt, and some black pepper. That looks good! It's gonna go perfect with my fish. Set this guy aside. And now I'm gonna start on my chips. Grab a few potatoes. All right, so this, is a Japanese mandolin. And really, it's just a set blade. So you're just gonna slide the potato back and forth, really consistent motion. It's a really essential tool to getting these really thin, consistent slices. You're not putting too much pressure on this, you want the blade to do all the work. You can get pretty close, but I like to keep it safe. Just throw away this stubby. Or you can use it in a stock, or a soup. But I don't wanna risk my fingers. Start a new potato. That should be good right there. Now I'm gonna soak 'em in water, just to get rid of some of that starch. So they don't stick together as they fry. So I put this paper towel down because I wanna blot some of the excess water off of these chips. Because you never wanna add water to a hot pot of oil. All right, now I'm gonna start frying my potato chips. But before that, I wanna check the temperature. I have this handy dandy infrared thermometer. About 350's good. It's good to keep these potato chips moving around, you don't want any hot spots in your oil. And you'll start to tell when they're done because they'll get really nice golden brown. Just gonna strain this. And blot it off on a paper towel, get rid of any excess oil. Just pull these last ones out. Now I'm gonna chop up some herbs and toss it in with the potato chips, this is gonna give it a nice aroma. Little bit of parsley. All right. Some picked thyme. And this is just gonna give a little color to the potatoes, nice aromatic, herbaceous flavor. Toss these herbs in there. Add a little bit of salt. Give it a quick toss. And some cracked black pepper. All right, these are done, now I'm gonna move on to my batter for the fish. Gonna get my Stella out. Pop this guy open. I'm gonna crack an egg. It's just gonna help bind the whole batter. Just a little bit of Stella. We're gonna start with just a small amount of liquid. And the carbonation is really just gonna lighten the batter, yielding a really crispy fish. Whisk that up. Now I'm gonna add a little bit of flour at a time. Make sure it doesn't clump up. So you wanna add this in small portions. Just keep repeating this process. Really, this is just gonna be very reminiscent of a pancake batter. You want this just to coat the back of a spoon. I'm just gonna put a little bit of salt in here. And that is looking good. Now I'm gonna get on to the fish. We caught some of these guys out in Casco Bay, nice and fresh. Probably quarter this. And just nice strips, like that. I'm gonna cut this other guy right in half. These just go straight into the batter. So these are just lightly coated. So the important thing when frying this fish is that the temperature of the oil has to be just right. Because you want the batter cooked and nice and golden brown but you also want the fish cooked all the way through. These will take about five to seven minutes. But really, you're gonna know that they're done when the outside just gets nice and golden brown. All right, these look just absolutely fantastic. Put these over here. Blot any excess oil off, you don't want them to be too greasy. Little bit of salt right when they come out. Now I'm gonna plate this. Just a handful of these seasoned chips. There ya go, nice stack. Three's a good serving size. And of course, my tartar sauce. That'll just go right in the basket. Now I'm gonna have a taste. Mmm! Fish is cooked perfectly. And the batter is just really nice, thin and crispy. I'm gonna taste one of these chips too. It's great. Fried foods are really salty and fatty, so it's nice to have the Cidre's crisp apple notes to balance it all out. Thank you so much for watching, hopefully you enjoyed my take on this classic dish. Join me next week as I head down to Hampton, New Hampshire, to check out their seafood festival.