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Video: Shore thing: Fish & chips

updated 5/25/2007 2:09:52 PM ET 2007-05-25T18:09:52

You don't have to visit the shore to have great fish and chips.Seafood chef Jasper White shows you how to make this classic summer dish from start to finish.Here are the recipes from "The Summer Shack Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Shore Food."

Recipe: Beer-Battered Fish (on this page) Recipe: Boardwalk French Fries (on this page)

Chef Jasper White is the acclaimed chef behind the renowned Jasper's restaurant, a Boston landmark famous for seafood and other New England specialties that opened in 1983 in a 19th century molasses warehouse on Boston's waterfront. The restaurant was owned and operated in partnership with his wife Nancy, a graphic artist by trade.

Recipe: Beer-Battered Fish

  • About 6 cups peanut, canola, or other vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1-1/2 pounds (or a little more) skinless fish fillets (large flounder and fluke, haddock, hake cod, Pollock, ocean perch, or tautog), cut into 4 thin (less than 3/4 inch) slices
  • About 3 tablespoons Spiced Seafood Salt (page 168), or salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-cup all-purpose flour
  • For the batter
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • One 12-ounce can beer or ale
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • For the tarter sauce
  • 3 cups Hellmann's mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 onion, minced (1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 4 medium dill pickle spears, minced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

The batter can be made several hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.

1.    To make the batter: Combine the flour, cornstarch, beer, egg, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk well. The batter will be very light-slightly thinner than a regular pancake batter. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, or up to 3 hours. 

2.    Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375 F in a 4-to-5-quart Dutch oven over medium heat or in a deep fryer. 

3.    While the oil is heating, dry the fish fillets between several thicknesses of paper towels. Season with the spiced salt (or salt and pepper). Drop the fillets into the batter and toss with tongs to coat evenly.

4.    When the oil is hot, lift the fillets one by one from the batter with the tongs, letting excess batter drip back into the bowl, and lower them into the oil, holding each fillet suspended in the oil for a few seconds to set the batter and prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The temperature of the oil will drop when the fish is added, but you overheated the oil, to 375 F, to compensate for this. Don't let the oil come back over 350 F once it recovers. Fry the fillets until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to the paper towel-lined baking sheet with tongs. Serve the fish hot with the French Fries, coleslaw, tartar sauce, lemon wedges, and malt vinegar.

For the tarter sauce:

1.    Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, parsley, pickles, capers, and eggs in a large bowl and whisk well to combine.  Transfer to a bowl or another container; cover tightly, and refrigerate until ready to use.   Tartar sauce keeps refrigerated for up to one week.


Serve with Boardwalk French Fries for a great summer meal.

Serving Size

Serves 4

Recipe: Boardwalk French Fries

  • 2 pounds Idaho or russet potatoes of uniform size and shape (about 6 to 8 ounces each), washed
  • About 7 cups peanut, canola, or other vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Ketchup or cider or malt vinegar
  • Cracked black-pepper (optional)

Although you must cut the French fries right before you cook them the first time, the first frying can be done up to 3 hours before you cook the potatoes the final time to serve.

1.    Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Heat 3 inches of oil to 325 F in a 4-to 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat or in a deep fryer.

2.    While the oil heats, slice the potatoes lengthwise into ½-inch-thick planks.  Stack the planks 2 or 3 high and cut them into ½-inch-wide fries. 

3.    Drop all the potatoes into the oil and swirl them with tongs. Fry until the middle of a fry is hot when tested and doesn't snap when broken in half, about 3 minutes.  The fries should not pick up much color at all-do not let them brown.  Using a wire-mesh skimmer, lift up the fries and drain over the pot, then transfer them to the lined baking sheet and allow them to cool completely at room temperature, at least 20 minutes (or up to 3 hours). Let the oil cool as well.

4.    When ready for the second frying, line a second baking sheet with paper towels. If you want to keep the first batch of French fries warm until they are all cooked, preheat the oven to 200 F.  Add additional oil as needed to come 3 inches up the sides of the Dutch over or deep fryer and heat to 375 F.

5.    Drop half the potatoes into the hot oil and swirl them with tongs. Fry until deep brown, a full 5minutes or so.  Transfer the fries to the lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.  You can serve them immediately or keep them warm in the preheated oven.  Fry the remaining potatoes, making sure to let the oil come back to 375 F before adding the second batch.   Drain on the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with ketchup or cider vinegar.  I also like black pepper cracked over my fries.


Serve with beer-battered fish.

Serving Size

Serves 4


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