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Best ever fish and chips from The Hand & Flowers

Fancy whipping up a double Michelin-starred chippie tea? Let Tom Kerridge show you how, courtesy of the brand new The Hand & Flowers Cookbook.

Tables at Marlow’s most popular gastro haunt The Hand & Flowers are hard enough to get your mitts on at the best of times, pandemic or no, but now you can recreate the experience at home with the restaurant’s new cookbook, released this week. A word of warning: this isn’t beginner level cooking (two Michelin stars doesn’t come easy, y’know!), but Tom assures us it’s worth the effort. Take it away, chef…

Fish and chips from The Hand and Flowers

A classic fish and chips is an amazingly balanced dish from a chef’s point of view. Everything you look for, fish and chips already has: protein, texture, crunch, carb, acidity, sweetness and a rich sauce. All we did for our version was to come up with what we think is the best fish and chips.

Our Hand & Flowers fish and chips is very special in a personal way, too, for Beth and myself. Shortly after opening the pub, we were lucky enough to be shortlisted in the ‘best fish and chips’ category at an industry awards ceremony. We closed the restaurant for the evening and hired a great, big Hummer stretch-limo to take some of the team to the presentation – it was such a lovely, fun thing to share with them. Especially as we won.

Triple-cooked chips

  • 10 large chipping potatoes, peeled Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • Sea salt
  • A little very finely chopped parsley

Method

  1. Cut a slice from the top and bottom of each potato, then press an apple corer through from top to bottom to make round cylinder chips. Put the cut chips under cold running water to wash of some of the starches.
  2. Now lay the chips out on a steamer tray and season with salt. Steam for 30 minutes until cooked, then place in the blast chiller to cool quickly and draw out the excess moisture (or place somewhere cool and dry).
  3. Once the chips are cool, heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 140°C. Lower the chips into the hot oil in a wire basket and deep-fry for 10 minutes. Remove the chips from the fryer, drain and leave to cool until needed.
  4. When ready to serve, heat the oil to 180°C and deep-fry the chips for about 6–7 minutes until golden and very crispy. Remove the chips from the fryer and drain on kitchen paper. Season with salt and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Coating batter

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 100g Trisol (wheat starch)
  • 260ml sparkling water

Mix the flour and Trisol together in a bowl and whisk in the water to make a smooth batter. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Pea purée

  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 1 small banana shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 250g frozen petits pois, defrosted
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 60ml boiling water
  • A handful of mint leaves

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, add the shallot and salt and sweat over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the petits pois and sugar, pour on the boiling water and bring back to the boil, then take off the heat and add the mint leaves.
  3. Tip the pea mixture into a blender and blitz to a purée, then pass through a fine chinois into a bowl containing freezer blocks or set over ice.
  4. Scrape the pea purée into a Pacojet beaker and freeze. Churn to use as required.

Tartare sauce

  • 2 medium free-range egg yolks
  • 11⁄2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 11⁄2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 tbsp baby capers in brine, drained
  • 1 tbsp cornichons
  • 1 1⁄2 tbsp chopped curly parsley
  • 1 medium free-range egg, hard-boiled, shelled and finely chopped

Method

  1. Put the egg yolks, mustard and wine vinegar into a blender and blend briefly to combine. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and blend until emulsified to a thick, glossy mayonnaise.
  2. Transfer the mayonnaise to a bowl and stir in the shallot, capers, cornichons, parsley and chopped boiled egg. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To cook and serve the fish

  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 4 whiting fillets, 150g each
  • 50g plain flour, for dusting
  • Sea salt
  • 2 lemons, halved and tied in muslin, to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 180°C. Dip the fish fillets into the flour and turn to coat all over; shake off any excess. Now dip the fish into the batter, carefully add to the hot oil and deep-fry for 4 minutes until cooked.
  2. While you are frying the fish (and the chips for the final time), warm the pea purée through.
  3. Remove the fish from the oil, drain on a tray lined with kitchen paper and season with salt.
  4. Pot up the chips, tartare sauce and pea purée. Lay the fish fillets on the plate and serve with the lemon halves for squeezing.
The Hand and Flowers cookbook

The Hand & Flowers Cookbook is now available from Bloomsbury.

Find more ideas here

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