Crispy Fish and Chips

For years we’ve been drooling over the photo in the Barefoot Contessa cookbook for fish and chips.  We’ve tried it a few times, but its never come out crispy.  Finally, my fish chef turned to the ultimate culinary authority, Youtube, for some guidance.  It turns out its the simplest recipe ever, but a very special technique for getting very crispy fried fish.  In fact, it was still fairly crispy the next day, perfect for yummy leftovers.

First, for the batter, combine approximately 3 cups of flour to 1 and a half bottles of beer (you may need less of both, this made fish for probably 6 people, or 2 people who didn’t feel great the next day…, not because of the beer but because we don’t normally ingest that much fried food in one sitting).  If you don’t have or want to use beer, apparently seltzer water has the same effect.  Make sure the batter is nice and thick, these measurements were not exact so just pour in the beer or seltzer until you get a good thick batter, but not too thick!  Put in your hot oil (we used olive).  I’m sure technically there’s a temperature this should be at, but the food should sizzle a bit when you put it in…  another tip I say is to put in the butt of a wooden spoon into the oil and the oil should bubble a bit around the wood.

Now here is the special technique- before you flip the fish, take a large serving spoon and fill with the hot oil and pour over the fish.  Apparently this is what gets it crispy, to start frying that side before you flip it.

For the chips, we julienned some sweet potatoes with the mandolin and fried those up plain, but we’d probably just baked them in the oven next time.

Into the batter went the green beans as well!

Good luck!

Crispy Fish and Chips - Crispy Fried Fish Recipe

Another tip, which we didn’t use here, is to crumble the paper towels into balls so the oil drains but doesn’t get the food soggy, which wasn’t really a problem with this recipe. 

Fried Green Beans
The batter works equally well with green beans, which my fish chef normally doesn’t like (crazy!) – they all disappeared.

Chocolate Banana Pie- Not from scratch

If you don’t have a lot of time, but you want a fancy-ish dessert, try this one out.

Buy-

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Banana Pudding

Chocolate Chips

Cool Whip

Banana

Milk (if you don’t already have…)

Directions-

Melt a handful of chocolate chips (maybe 1/2 cup or so) in the microwave, stirring after 20 or 30 seconds with a spatula.  Layer the melted chocolate on the bottom of the pie crust.  Set aside or put in the fridge to cool.  Make the pudding according to the directions for pie on the side of the box.  Cut up half the banana in to thin slices and layer on top of the chocolate.  Add the pudding.  Add another layer of sliced bananas, then top the pie with cool whip.

When you cut up this pie, for serving and also for eating, the chocolate will get pretty hard, so use a sharp knife to cut, and you definitely don’t want to use a plastic fork to eat it.

This can be a pretty low-fat dessert if you use skim or low-fat milk and fat-free cool whip.

Also, I discovered during this experiment that I really don’t like the fake flavor of banana pudding, so if I made it again i would probably just use vanilla pudding and maybe chop up or mash some bananas and add it to the vanilla.

 

 

Krazy Good Kale Chips

If you ever have tons of kale and just need to eat it, this will do the trick to get all that room back in your fridge, plus create a healthy snack!

Krazy Good Kale Chips Recipe

Ingredients-

  • lots of kale, washed, rinsed, stems removed, and just into strips (size depends on what you like- if you make it too small, it will really just shrivel into nothing, some people prefer large strips)
  • olive oil
  • a little salt
  • Bragg’s nutritional yeast

Directions-

preheat over to 350 F. put the kale on a baking sheet (or two, depending on how much kale you have). feel free to fill up the sheet, as in steaming, it will really wilt down, you won’t even know what happened when you open the oven… drizzle a little olive oil on the kale, stir it up with your hands until coated.  sprinkle a little salt (seriously, a little, i over did it last time- yuck! but i think i used sea salt and it didn’t really work)  and toss on the nutritional yeast.  its really a matter of personal taste how much you want, but a few tablespoons per sheet would probably do the trick.  if you’ve never used nutritional yeast, its a cheesy flavor, and i’m not sure what it does for you, but i bought it at a health food store, so it has to be good for you, right? i found it near the spices.

cook for 10-15 minutes until the edges are slightly browned and the kale is crispy.

Bragg's nutrintional yeast