Secrets to the Best Fish and Chips

You can always head down to the local fish and chip shop and get greasy, heavy fish and chips, but if you want a lighter, crispier option, definitely have a try at making them yourself.

Here are my top 3 tips for delicious fish and chips, Boy Chef style!

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1. Boil the potatoes first and get them just soft on the outside and then bake them to get a nice fluffy centre with an amazingly crispy outside.

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2. When making tartare sauce, it will always taste better if you make the mayonnaise yourself. Watching the chemical reaction between the egg yolks and the oil is worth it within itself. It goes from this runny, oily mess to thick, creamy mayo! But….. make sure you add the oil very, VERY slowly and don’t use olive oil, go for something milder like grape-seed oil. 

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3. Make sure the oil is plenty hot before you put the fish in. This will give it a crispy outside and it will give a nice air pocket around the fish so that its nice and light and not heavy and soggy.

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And that’s it! Other than that, check out the River Cottage Australia Book for a recipe for the tastiest batter 🙂

Classic Pound Cake

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If you really have no other cake recipes that you can remember- memorise this one! This means that you have no excuse to go anywhere without a cake. And no-one should go anywhere without cake. Add a few blackberries and this simple cake gets a delicious, fruity boost.

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Classic Pound Cake

Ingredients-

400g flour

400g sugar

400g butter

4 eggs

Few tablespoons of icing sugar (optional)

Method-

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.

Beat the sugar and butter until pale and creamy. Add the eggs in one at a time, betting well after each addition. Sift the flour into the batter and mix until just combined.

Pour into a greased 20cm deep cake tin. Bake for 45minutes or until golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with blackberries and a dollop of thick cream.

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Joy in Simplicity- Kipfler Potatoes

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First off, how amazing are potatoes? You can roast them, fry them, boil them and chip them. I don’t think you can chocolatify them…. But that would be awesome! But best of all these is boiling them, a little butter (actually I lie, I use a lot of butter) and some salt and pepper- perfect. Out of every potato in the world, I would get kipfler potatoes. These smooth, flavoursome potatoes are perfect for boiling and roasting. These things were good enough already, then butter came along and transformed these humble tubers into something more than amazing.

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The simplicity of this dish is part of what makes it so good. You can just chuck on some potatoes to boil about 20 minutes before you want to eat. Once they are done lather them in butter, add salt and pepper to your liking, I personally like slightly more pepper than most people, and cut up some spring onions to sprinkle on top. Voila! Eat these little bits of deliciousness as soon as you serve them.

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Back to Basics…. Handmade Pasta

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There is nothing quite so satisfying as making your own fresh pasta. I love making my own pasta because it takes in so much more of the flavour of the sauce, it makes pasta a whole dish, rather than a tasty sauce on top of a dry pile of bland pasta.

The key to smooth, silky pasta is not to overwork the dough, but to make sure you knead it enough to activate the gluten. Don’t worry if you don’t get it on the first go, it’s all about getting a feel for finding that balance. Here is how I make my pasta-

Step One- Make a mound with 500g of plain flour and a decent pinch of salt and then shape it into a volcano shape with a deep central crater. Add 4 eggs and whisk them with a fork gently, just enough to break the yolk but not to disturb the flour yet.

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Step Two- Continue whisking incorporating a little more flour from the volcano as you go. Once most of the flour has been incorporated and it has a crumbly texture start mixing it together with your hands instead. Make the crumbly mixture into a mound again and add a splash of water and start kneading. Keep adding a splash of water at a time until it makes a slightly sticky dough.

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Step Three- Sprinkle some flour on the bench and continue kneading until smooth and elastic. Add more flour to the bench as needed. When kneading I push and roll with my palm and then rebuild and push and roll and rebuild, over and over again.

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Step Four- By the end it should look like the photo above. Now its time to start rolling. Set your pasta roller to the thickest setting, break off about a handful of dough and work into a disc shape, then you can start feeding it through the rollers. If it sticks and tears, sprinkle some extra flour over the pasta and the rollers. If it is not feeding through easily, but is not sticky, try adding some olive oil- not water. pasta5

 

Step Five- Fold it in half after each go through the rollers and do it on each setting for three rolls, or a bit longer if you have had any tears as you go. Change the settings on the roller to be thinner and thinner until it is at the required thickness. Hang until all of the pasta has been rolled out. I use either a broom between two benches or a small clothes airer. I also put a tea towel underneath to make sure that it doesn’t stick. Once all the pasta is rolled out, continue as required for your recipe. Make sure you have more room in the pot than you would normally use for dry pasta.

Step Six- Fall in love with fresh pasta and never want to use dry pasta again. Actually, I lie, dry pasta is good for dry sauces like oil based ones or just use less sauce. Fresh is best for creamier sauces and ones that are perfect for mopping up with bread afterwards.