Tuesday 30 June 2015

Onion Pot Roast

Onion Pot Roast

I normally wouldn't show you two beef recipes in a row, but I was meant to show you this last week and am only now just getting around to it.   We don't eat beef very often and we would only ever very rarely have it two days in a row!  

This is a pot roast recipe which I have been using for years and years.  It is a tried and true and something my family always looked forward to me cooking.

Onion Pot Roast

I think that I got the original recipe from off a packet of dry onion soup mix.  In fact, I know I did.  

I have adjusted and tweaked it so much through the years that is only now very faintly resembles the original recipe.

Onion Pot Roast

It's such a simple roast to cook, and perfect for the cheaper, less tender kind of roasts such as chuck, or blade, rump or brisket.   

The meat always comes out tender and delicious.

 Onion Pot Roast

It has a fabulous gravy also.   Perfect for spooning over the cooked meat and plenty of hot mash.

Onion Pot Roast

The recipe is as simple as banging everything into a lidded casserole dish, or roaster, popping it into a low oven and then waiting.   

Which makes it perfect for on those days when you have plenty else on your plate.  I often cook it when we have church so that it is waiting for us when we get home.

Onion Pot Roast

It basically cooks itself.   No browning needed.   Cooks itself.  Tender meat.  

Flavourful gravy.   What more could you want??


 Onion Pot Roast

*Onion Pot Roast*
Makes 4 to 6 servings
with leftovers

This is a delicious pot roast which I have been making for years and years.  I do believe that I got the original idea from off of a packet of onion soup mix, but I have adapted it in so many ways through the years, it's now all mine.  This so simple to make.  There is no need for browning or anything.  Just pop it all into a roasting tin with a lid, or dutch oven, cover tightly and roast in a slow oven until tender. 
1 3lb boneless beef rump or rolled brisket roast
1 onion, peeled and chopped
450ml of beef broth (2 cups)
225ml of apple juice (1 cup)
1 (4 serving size) packet of dry onion soup mix
1 large bay leaf broken
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 TBS soft light brown sugar
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
1 small swede (rutabaga), peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
salt and black pepper to taste 

For the gravy:
35g of flour shaken in a jar with 110ml of cold water until smooth
(1/4 cup flour shaken with 1/2 cup of cold water)

Onion Pot Roast

Preheat the oven to 165.C/325*F/ gas mark 3.   Have ready a lidded roaster/casserole dish large enough to hold the meat and vegetables.

Place the prepared vegetables in the bottom of the casserole or roaster.  Season the meat all over with salt and pepper and lay on top of the vegetables.   Sprinkle with the dry onion soup mix and thyme.   Whisk together the beef broth, apple juice, vinegar and brown sugar.   Pour over top of the meat and vegetables. Tuck in the bay leaf.  Cover tightly.

Roast for about 3 1/2 hours without disturbing.   Remove the lid and roast for a further half an hour, until the meat is very tender and lightly browned.   Remove from the oven.  Remove the meat to a plate, cover lightly with foil and set aside to rest.  Scoop out the vegetables to a bowl and keep warm.   Remove and discard the bay leaf.

If the roaster/casserole is flame proof, place on top of a stove burner and turn on to medium heat.  If not, pour the juices into a sauce pan and proceed.  Whisk in the flour which has been shaken with the cold water.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the gravy boils and thickens.   Reduce to low and cook for at least five minutes.

Serve the meat sliced with some of the gravy spooned over top.

Tune in tomorrow to see what deliciousness I created with the leftovers!

Note- This will make lots of delicious gravy.   Any that doesn't get used can be frozen in containers ready to use at a later date in pot pies, etc.

Monday 29 June 2015

Creamy Garlic Mushrooms

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One thing we really enjoy eating in the summer months are great grilled steaks.  There is nothing nicer than a steak cooked properly and served up with something scrumptious on the side.   Today I cooked our favourite Creamy Garlic Mushrooms to have with some simple grilled steaks that I had grilled on our electric grill.   They went down a real treat!

Saturday 27 June 2015

Summer Fresh Cherry Trifle

One of my favourite late spring/early summer fruits is cherries. When we lived down in Kent at this time of year you could find lots of cherry sellers set up on the many laybys in the area, their tables just laden with glorious cherries, of several different varieties.

Friday 26 June 2015

Basic Macaroni Salad

Basic Macaroni Salad

We had the Missionary Sisters over for supper last Thursday evening.  As we all had a meeting that we needed to dash out to afterwards, I decided to keep it simple.  

I cooked burgers.  Yes, hamburgers.

 Basic Macaroni Salad

And they loved them.   Plain old burgers, done on the grill . . .  in toasted cheese rolls with their choice of garnishes . . .  

cheese, pickles, mustard, onions, ketchup . . .  whatever they wanted to put on them.

Basic Macaroni Salad

I also had a bowl of potato chips for them.  Thank goodness those are gone.  

I daren't have potato chips in the house because they have the bad habit of getting in my mouth.

 Basic Macaroni Salad

A tossed salad because, you need to get some vegetables in somewhere, and girls always like salad . . . unlike the guys.  

The girls always eat it up.

Basic Macaroni Salad

And then this basic old fashioned macaroni salad.  No pretense here. 

 It's simple.  It's easy.  It's delicious.  Oh  . . .  and yeh . . .  I confess . . .  I bought a cheesecake . . .  and I liked it.

 Basic Macaroni Salad

*Basic Macaroni Salad*
Serves 4 to 5

A delicious salad which encompasses many of the flavours of a potato salad, except its not potatoes . . .  its macaroni and its good.  Tastes best if made the night before (or early in the day) and chilled before serving. 

115g of uncooked macaroni (1 cup)
2 hard boiled eggs
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 heaped TBS of finely chopped onion
1/2 cup salad dressing (see my homemade recipe)
1 TBS Dijon mustard
1 fluid ounce of white vinegar
2 1/2 TBS caster sugar
salt and pepper to taste 

Cook the macaroni and dreain well.  Rinse and cool.   Put into a bowl along with the chopped egg, onion and celery.   Whisk together the remaining ingredients thoroughly.  Stir this into the macaroni mixture.  Season to taste and then cover and chill until serving time.

Note - You can add other ingredients if you wish.  Chopped bell peppers, chopped pickles, chopped radishes, etc.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Chicken and Barley Simmer

Oh, it is a cold and rainy day . . . blustery . . . the kind of day that would have Pooh scrambling around with his umbrella, complaining to Piglet . . . I can almost hear his voice.

Whatever happened to spring . . . here we are in June and it still feels like April. Nevermind . . . the warm sunny days will be with us soon enough and then we will be complaining it is too hot!!

Wednesday 24 June 2015

Spaghetti with a Honeyed Tomato Sauce

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What can I say . . .  there are times in life when I just long for . . .  indeed crave  . . .  a bowl of pasta.  And sometimes it can be as simple as a bowl of hot spaghetti adorned with nothing but butter, salt, pepper and a bit of parmesan and sometimes it can be  something a bit more complicated . . .  it just depends on my mood and how quickly I want it on the table.

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Homemade *Salad* Dressing (Mayonnaise type)

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When I was growing up my mother never bought mayonnaise as such.  I don't know why, only that she didn't.  There were only type such things that she did buy.  One was Miracle Whip and the other was Salad Dressing.   Both were very mayonnaise like, but couldn't be considered mayonnaise per se because they contained ingredients which were not considered proper in a mayonnaise.  A proper mayonnaise should only contain egg yolks, mustard, some vinegar and oil and perhaps some seasoning.

Monday 22 June 2015

Tutorial on Plain Scones

One of the things I love most over here are Cream Teas, and of course when you think of a cream tea you must think of a scone. That delicious light bun thing that closely resembles the baking powder biscuits (not to be confused with a cookie) from back home in appearance, but is nothing like them at all in taste or texture.

I had my first cream tea when my husband and I were on holiday down in Devon. They brought the tea to our table in a lovely porcelain pot on a tray along with some dainty china cups and a plate full of lovely light scones, and bowls of red berry preserves and lucious clotted cream. I was hooked from first bite. I had never tasted anything so lovely in my life.  (You don't have to have regular tea.  You can get herbal blends also, which is nice.  We don't drink regular tea.)

Sunday 21 June 2015

Spiced Fruit Salad

We've been having some really nice this week with not a lot of rain . . .  it's looked threatening of rain at times and felt very close, but it's been quite dry for the most part.   Todd soaks it all up.  He loves this kind of weather!

This week it's been time to lighten things up a bit.  You don't want heavy food when the temps are high.

Saturday 20 June 2015

Crunchy Blueberry Tart

If you had told me when I was a child that I would one day love blueberries, I would not have believed you. Nova Scotia, Canada, the place where I grew up, has some of the nicest wild blueberries in the world, just ripe and free for the picking. You can stop just about anywhere at the side of the road and find them just waiting to be picked.

Friday 19 June 2015

Not Your Mama's Potato Salad

Not Your Mama's Potato Salad

One of my absolute favourite things to make in warmer weather is Potato Salad. The potato is my favourite vegetable and well, potato salad is one of my favourite salads.

My mother always made fantastic potato salad. She would boil the potatoes up the day before. Then on the day she would peel them carefully and cut them into little cubes. Then she would peel a cucumber, remove the seeds and cut that into little cubes as well. 

 A bit of minced onion, some Kraft Salad Dressing, salt and pepper, and chopped egg and it was done and delicious! We used to get a ice cream scooped ball, sitting nicely on a few lettuce leaves on our plates. Very pretty. Very good.

Not Your Mama's Potato Salad

Once I got older I discovered that there were many ways to make potato salad. One version I particularly like comes from the Fanny Farmer cookery book. 

 You make a French vinaigrette to infuse the warm potatoes with an extra added dimension of flavour. 

 Then there are potato salads that use only a vinaigrette dressing, like the Barefoot Contessa's, another favourite of mine.

Not Your Mama's Potato Salad

This is not your mama's potato salad, nor is it even the Barefoot Contessa's. It's mine. And, dare I say it . . . . it's delicious.

Not Your Mama's Potato Salad

I had a lovely bunch of radishes from our garden tubs that I wanted to use. Fresh radishes, just picked are a wonderfully tasty ingredient. I also had some French Haricot beans that I wanted to use up as well, a most delicious addition.

We ate this yesterday, Al Fresco, with some tasty burgers and ice cold lemonade. It was wonderful . . . quite simply wonderful.

Not Your Mama's Potato Salad

*Not Your Mama's Potato Salad*
Serves 4 to 5
Printable Recipe

Easy to make, refreshing and probably quite different than anything your mother every made. This is incredibly moreish.

2 1/2 pounds waxy new potatoes, such as charlotte, halved if large
5 or 6 radishes, trimmed and finely sliced
3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1/2 a punnet of mustard cress, trimmed
a handful of french haricot green beans, trimmed and cut into 2 inch lengths

2 TBS creamed horseradish
juice of 1/2 lemon
4 TBS good olive oil
2 TBS  mayonnaise

Not Your Mama's Potato Salad 

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, adding the green beans during the last five minutes of cooking. Drain well and then tip into a large salad bowl.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour them over the potatoes and beans. Season with some sea salt and cracked black pepper and toss together. Leave to cool.

Add the radishes, spring onions and cress, gently tossing all together. Serve at room temperature.

Thursday 18 June 2015

Kids Cook French and Gougeres

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One of the many perks of being a food blogger is that I occasionally get sent cookery books to review.   I love it when that happens as I really love cookbooks.  I was recently sent the book, Kids Cook French, by Claudine Pepin, with illustrations by Jacques Pepin to review.  This one is a delight!

I grew up in Canada watching Jacques Pepin cook on PBS along with Julia Child, and so I was excited to get this book, which has been written by his daughter Claudine.  It only seems natural that Claudine (an accomplished home cook and wine educator who married a chef), should publish a cookbook for kids, since she grew up with the fine cuisine of her father and now cooks most nights for her own family.

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This book was designed for the foodie chile and in a way which is sure to inspire children to want to get in the kitchen and cook and we all know that a way to get children to eat healthier and to eat a more varied diet is to get them in the kitchen cooking.  Kids LOVE to cook what they eat!

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As a keen artist myself, and a writer of my own small illustrated cookbooklets, I really enjoyed the illustrations done by Jacques Pepin himself.  They are bright and colourful and quite entertaining.  The recipes range from uncomplicated to somewhat complicated,  with recipes for everything from croque monsieur to roasted cauliflower to apple tarts with almond frangipane.

There is a note to each the child and the parent to begin with, followed by four chapters . . .  To Start (appetizers and beginnings), To Continue (main courses), On the Side (delicious side dishes) and To Finish (as you would expect some tasty desserts).  Also included are a range of tasty menus using the recipes from the book.

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Everything is in both English and French, which may even inspire your children to learn a second language.  I find it quite charming . . .

 french and english recipe

There are also little tips interspersed throughout in colourful little boxes . . .  ie. "Everything you cut, dice, slice, or chop is going to be eaten by someone, so take care and do it well."

True to Claudine’s guiding philosophy . . . that there is no such thing as “kids food,” only “good food” . . .  Kids Cook French doesn’t look or read like a children’s cookbook. You won’t find rebus-like directions in large print with little measuring spoons, or yet another “recipe” for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This is not to say that the recipes are overly complicated, only that adult supervision is required for what are clearly family projects.

I love the idea of families cooking together.

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And once again, the illustrations truly are delightful.

I always like to try at least one recipe to show you from the cookbooks I review and so this time I chose Gougeres.   Gougeres are a delicious cheese puff type of appetizer, which is composed of choux paste, which can be somewhat complicated to cook.   The instructions were quite easy to follow however and I think you will agree that my Gougeres turned out just lovely!

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Makes 30

Little airy puffs of deliciousness.  From the book, Kids Cook French by Claudine Pepin. 

5 TBS (70g)  unsalted butter, divided
1 cup whole milk (235ml)
1 cup all purpose flour (125g)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 pinch fresh ground white pepper
4 eggs
6 ounces Guyere or Swiss Cheese, grated (170g or 2 cups)
1 tsp Dijon style mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper 

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Butter a cookie sheet with 1 TBS (15g) of the butter. 

In a 4 QT (4 L) saucepan, heat the milk and remaining 4 TBS (55g) of butter.  As soon as it comes just to the boil, and before it boils over, add the flour, salt and pepper all at once, stirring in thoroughly.    This will make a very sticky ball of dough.   Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes. 

Put the dough into the food processor.   Using the pulse setting, add the eggs, one at a time.   Add the cheese, mustard and cayenne and blend until just incorporated. 

With a piping bag or using two spoons, make balls of about 1 TBS of dough, 3/4 inch in diameter on the buttered cookie sheet.  Don't place too close together as the dough will roughly triple in size. 

Bake at 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6 for 10 minutes, rotating the tray if necessary.   Turn the oven temperature down to 150*C/300*F/ gas mark 3 and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Gougeres should be brown and firm on the outside and light and airy on the inside.

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If you haven't already gotten a gift for the special Father in your life for Father's Day on Sunday, I think this would be a fabulous gift.   Nothing like getting Dad and the children into the kitchen for a little bit of family bonding over some cookery and good food!

All in all I think this is a purely delightful book, for parent and child alike.   It's just complicated enough to make it interesting to the older child and adult, but not so complicated that it can't be understood by a younger child with supervision!

Kids Cook French
Les Enfants Cuisinent a La Francaise
by Claudine Pepin
with illustrations by Jacques Pepin
Cookbook for ages 5+, 96 pp.

ISBN 978-1-59253-953-6
Published by Quarry Books
RRP - $21.99 US/ £12.99 UK/ $23.99 CAN

Little Gems with a Creamy Basil Dressing

I am truly a salad nut. I could eat salad seven nights a week and never tire of it . . . ever.

One of my favourite salad leaves to use, are the baby gems. I love them sliced into quarters and dressed with a simple vinaigrette, or a tasty blue cheese dressing . . . fabulous along with a scattering of sliced spring onion.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Banana Nut Muffins for the smaller household

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I don't know about you, but at my age, and with only two people living in this house, I struggle sometimes getting everything I bake eaten up.  I do give a lot of it away, but food is money and in today's economy, I don't always want to be giving away half of everything I make because I can't use it or because it can't be frozen or stored.  The perfect solution is to downsize recipes, cutting them in half, or only cooking and baking things that can be frozen.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Perfectly Cooked Cabbage

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We were cleaning out the freezer at the weekend and I found a nice piece of salt beef that was in danger of having been in there for far too long, so what's a gal to do.  I thawed it out and cooked it.  I know it's not St Patrick's Day or even close to it . . .  but in all honesty I can eat salt or corned beef anytime!  And of course the tastiest go with it side dish has to be cabbage!

Monday 15 June 2015

Sauteed Garlic and Lemon Chops

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My husband is a died and true Meat and Potatoes man.   He's not bothered with having anything fancy.  Simply prepared, meat and potatoes . . .  he's a happy camper.  It comes from having been brought up during WW2, during rationing, etc.  He's happy with most things you put in front of him, but simple food pleases him most of all.

Sunday 14 June 2015

Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

I can still remember the very first time I had a Cantuccini, or Biscotti as they are also known.   I was probably in my early 30's.  My ex and I were enjoying a weekend on our own at my ex Sister in Law's condo in Toronto . . .  down on Young Street . . .  in the  midst of what was happening in Toronto.  

You know you are living in a nice complex when you have an Italian Coffee Shop on the first floor filled with foreign Italian delights and . . .  what was really new to me  . . .  Barista Coffee!

>Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

Always the foodie . . .  I remember seeing a glass jar on the counter filled with these long, crisp biscuits and I so wanted to taste one.  They were very expensive as I recall  . . . so it was a real treat when my husband bought one for me.    

I sat there and savoured every last crumb . . .  crisp and filled with nuts, I thought it was quite wonderful.   That started a lifelong love affair for me with these crisp Italian Biscuits!

Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

When my ex boss and her husband went on their yearly trips to Rome . . .  they always brought back Italian Cantuccini and Amaretti, Torcetti and Baci . . . I do confess, I would sneak one just so that I could savour an Italian treat.  

Naughty me.  It is my dream that one day I will be able to visit Italy and savour all it's flavours, but in the meantime, I try to recreate some of them here at home.

Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

I have a whole Board on Pinterest dedicated to Biscotti!  Biscotti and Cantuccini are pretty much the same thing.  Biscotti (Twice Cooked in English)  Cantuccini (Coffee Bread in English) 

 They are crisp dry biscuits, with lovely flavours that are perfect for serving with hot drinks or sweet wines.  There are tons of different recipes out there  to choose from . . .  but I think the ones with almonds are my favourite.

Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

I found this recipe  on a German Food Blog called Lykkelig.  Her photograph was very beguiling  . . .  and I loved the combination of spices used in the dough . . .  warm baking spices . . .  cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, cloves . . . 

I think a bit of orange zest would not go amiss.   Next time I will add some.

Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

It was a bit of a risk using a recipe from a foreign language, but the pictures on the blog looked okay.

Between Todd who really speaks quite a lot in German and Google Translate, I was able to make heads and tails of the recipe.   They turned out perfect!

 Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

Not to mention they smelled just like what I would imagine Heaven to smell like while they were baking!    

I think I have made a bit of a pig of myself since they came out of the oven and will have to ask Todd to lock them up for the rest of the evening!

 Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds

*Spiced Cantuccini with Almonds*
Makes about 3 dozen

I found this recipe on a german blog and took the trouble to translate it.  Am I ever glad I did!  Delicious!  These smell heavenly when baking. 

250g of plain flour (1 3/4 cup plus 1 3/4 tsp)
pinch salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 pinches each ground cardamom and ground cloves
1 pinch each ground nutmeg and ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
30g of butter, softened (2 TBS plus 1/4 tsp)
180g caster sugar (15 TBS)
2 medium free range eggs
70g of blanched toasted almonds (scant half cup) 

Cream the sugar and butter together until well blended.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.   Sift together the flour, spices, salt and baking powder.   Stir this into the creamed mixture, mixing well with a wooden spoon.   Knead in the almonds, then shape into a flat rectangle, about 1 inch thick.  Cover with cling film and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. 

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.  Line a large baking tray with baking paper.   

Cut the dough rectangle into 4 equal strips.  Shape into rounded flat loaves and place onto the baking tray, leaving plenty of space in between for spreading.  Bake in the heated oven for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 

Cut into slices with a sharp knife, about 1/2 inch in thickness.   Place the slices back onto the baking sheet, cut side down and bake for  further 10 to 12 minutes until crisp.  

Store in an airtight container.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Bitty Blueberry Fudge Bettys

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Can you take yet another delicious blueberry recipe from me???  Oh, I am sure you can!  As you know I love blueberries and I am betting that there is a fair number of you who feel the same.  Can you ever have too many blueberry recipes???  I think not!

Friday 12 June 2015

Beer Battered Cod and Chips

Beer Battered Cod and Chips

There is nothing more appealing than a delicious plate of English fish and chips. This is not considred to be the National favourite dish for nothing.  We love, LOVE our fish and chips here in the UK!

As good as the ones taste that you can get at the seaside and at our fish and chips place that we like in Chester . . .  nothing beats the Beer Battered Cod and Twice Fried Chips that you can make at home.  

A bit of a fiddle yes . . .  but as a once in a blue moon treat, well worth the bother!

Beer Battered Cod and Chips

That crisp batter is so light and crispy and those chips  . . .  sigh  . . . a tiny taste of heaven.  I like to keep the skin on my potatoes for even extra flavour and texture, but you can certainly peel it all off.  

It's your choice.  I like to have ketchup and Tartar Sauce and a wedge of lemon with mine.


I make my own tartar sauce.  You must give it a go.  It tastes so much better than any ready made sauce! Once you have made your own from scratch tartar sauce you will never go back to ready made!

Beer Battered Cod and Chips

You might think of Fish and Chips as being quintessentially British, and you would not be far wrong.  The history of fish and chips might surprise you however.

Interestingly this favourite British dish dates back to the seventeenth century when Jewish immigrants from Spain and Portugal peddled battered fish cooked in huge cauldrons of hot oil as a street snack!  

Originally the batter was supposed to just be a vessel to cook the fish in, meant to be discarded when i came to eating it. As if!  The batter, done properly, is one of the best bits! 

You cannot beat hot crisp batter, encasing a delicate sweet perfectly cooked piece of fresh fish. Its pure heaven on a plate to me!

 Beer Battered Cod and Chips

Fish has always been plentiful in the coastal areas of these beautiful Islands, and with the advent of trains in the mid nineteenth century, the North Sea profided plenty of delicious fish which could be easily transported to the inland city markets.  

Tasty and nutritious battered fish provided a delicious relief from the monotony of the diets of many city folks.

It wasn't long before demand ushered in the advent of new shops all over the UK, offering crisp battered fish . . .  adding chips to the menu as well, making for a tasty and substantial supper.

Beer Battered Cod and Chips

Wrapped together in newspaper also helped to keep the costs down.  To this day you will find Fish and Chip shops all over the UK providing this delicious dish to appreciative customers.   

Although with the shortage of sustainable fresh Cod and the expense, other type of fish are gaining in popularity.  I do hope you will give this version a go at home.  

It is a bit of trouble, but more than worth the effort taken for a once in a blue moon treat.  This batter is beautifully crisp and flavourful and the fish itself, perfectly cooked and succulent. Those chips . . .  don't get me started!

Beer Battered Cod and Chips


*Beer Battered Cod with Tartar Sauce*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is my homemade version of battered fish.  With it's crisp and flavourful beer batter, you are in for a real treat if you try this!

1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 TBS finely chopped cornichons
1 TBS prepared horseradish
2 TBS coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley
½ tsp dry mustard
6 TBS good quality mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Oil for frying
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 cup beer (I use the non-alcohol version)
2 pounds of fish fillets (Cod, Haddock or Hake)(cut into 1 ½ by 3 inch pieces)

Mix all the ingredients for the tartar sauce in a bowl until well combined and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200*C/400*F. Cover a cookie sheet with paper towels and top with a wire rack.

Heat about 3" of oil to approximately 180*C/365*F in a medium sized pot.

Meanwhile, mix flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in egg. Slowly add the beer while whisking. Dip fish pieces in the batter and place on plate or the wire rack you will be using to drain the fried fish. I usually double dip in the batter if I have some left over once the batter dries on the awaiting fish.

Place fish pieces, two at a time in the oil. Cook until the fish is done and the crust is lightly golden, about 4 minutes for 3/4-inch thick fillets. Remove fish with tongs and put on rack to drain. Sprinkle salt over the hot fish and put on the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm. Repeat in batches with the remaining fish. Serve with the tartar sauce and homemade chips.

Beer Battered Cod and Chips

*Perfect Chips*
There are two things you need for perfect chips. One a really good potato.  You want a nice floury one, such as a Maris Piper.  You cannot make good chips with new potatoes.  Old ones are best.  Second you want to start with pure hard fat or dripping, preferably an animal fat.  Third . . . patience.   Good chips require several cookings. The first is a quick poaching in lightly salted water.  .  Let them cool and then fry for about five minutes just until cooked through, then a final fry in hotter fat to brown and finish cooking.  See . . . patience.

200g floury potatoes per person (a scant half pound)
(use potatoes that are good for mashing)
a good solid fat to half fill your pan when melted
a frying thermometer

Peel your potatoes and cut them into chips.  Rinse them well in cold running water and drain well.  Put the cut potatoes into a pot of lightly salted cold water.  Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or just until they give slightly with the prodding of a sharp knife.  Drain well and then dry them on kitchen paper towelling.  Allow to cool completely and then place into the fridge until well chilled.

When you are ready to fry your chips heat your fat to 120*C/250*F.  Add the chips in batches, without crowding the pan.   Blanch in the fat for 5 minutes, just until cooked through.   Remove, pat dry and drain on paper toweling.  Once you have blanched all the chips raise the temperature of the fat to 160*C/320*F.  Fry the chips again until crisp and golden brown.  Drain well, season with some salt and serve immediately.

Note:  I sometimes will make my own oven chips to go with this, rather than frying chips. I just take some baking potatoes, washing and cutting them into thick wedges. I toss the wedges with some olive oil and salt and pepper and roast them in a very hot oven for about 30 minutes until they are crispy and browned all over. You can keep them warm while you are frying the fish. 

Beer Battered Cod and Chips 

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