Friday, October 9, 2009

Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartar - Recipe #43 Stirring the Pot

There are 88 recipes in Stirring the Pot and I am almost halfway through! Next week will mark the halfway point for me and I will be sharing my top ten Stirring the Pot favorites. Will Tyler's Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartar make this list? Not this time around, but maybe with some tweaking.

Fish and Chips with Homemade Tartar - adapted from Stirring the Pot by Tyler Florence
4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
Vegetable oil, for deep- frying
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus about 1 cup for dredging
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups club soda
1 pound halibut fillets, cut into strips or pieces
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
2 lemons, halved for serving
1 recipe Homemade Tartar Sauce (listed below)

Preheat oven to 350F. Prick potatoes all over with a fork. Place potatoes on a baking tray and bake for 30-45 minutes, until knife-tender. If you like, this can be done the night before and potatoes can be refrigerated until ready to fry. Cut each potato into 6 or 8 wedges, depending on the size. Pour about 4 inches oil into a large heavy pot and heat to 375F. Fry half of the potato wedges at a time for 4-5 minutes, until crispy and brown. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Make a well in the center and add egg yolk. Gradually whisk in club soda, working your way from the center to form a smooth batter.

Season about 1 cup floru with salt and pepper. Dredge the fish fillets in seasoned flour, coating both sides, then dip in batter. Fry a few pieces at a time in 375F oil for 4-5 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.

When fish is done, place parsley leaves in hot oil. Fry leaves for 15 seconds, until just crispy and slightly translucent. Remove from oil with slotted spoon, drain on paper towels. Serve fish with lemon halves, crispy fried parsley leaves, and Homemade Tartar Sauce.

Homemade Tartar Sauce
In a small-medium sized bowl combine 1/2 cup store-bought mayo; 1/2 cup sour cream; 2 tablespoons caper, chopped; 1/4 cup chopped cornichons; 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley; 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon; and 1/2 lemon, juice only. Set in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes b efore serving to let the flavors come together.
Notes/Results: Tyler hits it out of the park with this recipe for batter. You will want to coat everything in this batter, I promise! In fact, you will probably start looking around for all kinds of things to fry so that you can use up this batter. It really is that good. The homemade tartar sauce is also delicious and worth making.

The problem was with the potatoes. Tyler's recipe says to scrub and rinse them, prick them with a fork, and then place them on a baking sheet and bake. Well, this resulted in a very hard shell on the outside of my potatoes. Normally, I would prick my potatoes, give them an olive oil or butter coating, sprinkle with some kosher salt, and wrap them in foil to be baked. This method always yields good results for me. In hindsight, I wished I would have went along with my method of baking these potatoes, but I figured that I would follow Tyler's directions. Mistake!! My chips, or fries, were hard no matter how thin I cut them or how long I fried them. With the potatoes being so hard, they didn't really have a chance. Next time, I will use my method for baking potatoes.

I also wanted to note that you will probably find yourself using more than 1 and 1/2 cups club soda to make a smooth batter. Club soda has so much carbonation in it, it is hard to get an exact measurement. Make sure you have extra if you want to try this recipe.

Also, when you add the parsley to the frying oil.....stand back!! In fact, stand way back. It will pop all over the place!

All in all, this is a great recipe and has great potential to be very delicious! I will make it again, using my method for baking potatoes!

I am submitting this recipe to Tyler Florence Fridays. Stop on by there this weekend to see what everyone else cooked up!!


  1. Wow, this is so fantastic! Also i am so proud of you going though your cookbook so diligently! I have books where i never cooked a thing and just drool at the pics. Fish and chips is one of my favorite all time meals, but i have to say, I can't try this one cause I am terribly afraid of deep frying... i once started a fire... (but not in my house at least lol :)).

  2. That homemade tartare sauce sounds devine, can imagine eating it with some griddled salmon. Interesting method of making chips, never thought or heard of baking them first. I just peel, part boil for 10 minutes, cool, chunk them and then fry. The result is a crispy outside and fluffy interior. Albeit chips are unhealthy, and I try to avoid them! (not always succesfully).

  3. This looks wonderful! I normally don't cook fishy things, but I think I may have to try this.

    Yes!! We would love to have you join us!! Email me at and I will send you the botton. Thanks!!

  4. Awesome!! Seriously, I LOVE fish & chips....this looks so perfect! Bummer on the chips, but at least you know for next time :D

  5. Larry would die for this recipe--he almost likes the tartar sauce as much as his fish. Can't believe you've already cooked yourself through half of STP. You rock, girl!

  6. I love tartar sauce more than the actual fried fish itself - weird, I know.

    I didn't care for that particular fish coating as much as I did the panko - the panko stays crispier longer, which is always a good thing.

  7. Thanks for sharing :) I love fish and chips...I also love tartar sauce..

  8. i love love love fish adn chips! i also love homemade tarter sauce. well done, this looks fantastic! as does your beef recipe below!

  9. WOW! I love fish and chips. I could probably eat it every night...The tarter sauce looks fantastic. Great dinner!

  10. Hi Kim,
    Do you want to do a guest post in my site? Can be new or old, doesn't matter to me. let me know. Thanks.


  11. wow! homemade tartar! i'm impressed :)

  12. KIM..thos chips make me drool..Droooooolllll.. Keep up that GREAT work!

  13. Oh my goodness! Your F&C look amazing. I am totally craving them now.
    I am with you on the oiling of the spuds!

  14. The fish and chips look perfect! I hear you are joining the 12 weeks of Christmas Cookies - welcome!

  15. They look delicious! I love fish and chips and the homemade tartar sauce looks amazing.

  16. I so love your concept of cooking through cookbooks--keeps it exciting! :-) I used to eat fish n chips when we would go up to my aunt's cabin--I love how food brings back good memories :-)

  17. I skipped the fries and fried parsley when I made this, so it is good to know I should be careful with both. And I agree, the batter was fabulous!

  18. I can't believe you are halfway through already! It seems like just yesterday that we "met" and you were only just starting on this undertaking. Crazy how much time flies. I can't wait for the top 10.

    It is definitely best to go with your gut instinct at times instead of with the specific recipe. You know what you like best and what works for you.

    These look so crispy and delicious!

  19. I've never done fish and chips - but I am loving the batter and all that you say about it - and ... I definitely will take your advice about the potatoes. Halfway through the book! You are stirring the pot!

  20. OMG everything looks fantastic, Kim! I love fish and chips. I'll have to try Tyler's version :)

  21. I remember when you started cooking Tyler's recipes, I think and it is hard to believe you have made so many of them. You knowh how to keep a commitment.

    This recipe looks good to me. Will take your advice on the potatoes.


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