No-guilt Fish and Chips
Fish and chips were a big treat for my brother Wes and me when we were growing up. We'd run down to the chippie with great excitement, and on days when we didn't have much money a bag of 'scrumps' (Bristolians will know what I mean) did just as well. Scrumps are the leftover scrapings of fried batter and, looking back, not the healthiest of foods I realise. My version of fish and chips certainly cuts down on the unhealthy fats but is still a perfect Friday night treat. Loins are the thickest part of a white fish fillet and just right for this recipe.
- 50g plain flour
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 60 g wholemeal breadcrumbs
- 50g Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- 4 firm white fish loins (preferably sustainable cod or haddock)
- 2–3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Sweet potato chips:
- 2–3 sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100g smoked pancetta
- 300g frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 2–3 spring onions, finely sliced
- small squeeze of lemon juice
First the chips; preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into chip-sized chunks. Put them in a bowl, drizzle them with the oil and season with salt and pepper, then toss them thoroughly to make sure they’re all well coated. Tip the chips on to a baking tray and cook them in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes.
Now for the fish; put the flour in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and paprika. Put the beaten eggs in another bowl and place the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan, if using, in a third bowl. When the chips are nearly ready, dip each piece of fish into the seasoned flour, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Heat a shallow layer of oil in a frying pan and cook the fish for 6–7 minutes, turning until golden on both sides. Drain on some kitchen paper.
While the fish is cooking, fry the pancetta in a small saucepan until crispy. Add the peas and heat them through, then add the mint, spring onions and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
I know it sounds lazy but we like to serve our fish and chips on a huge sheet of greaseproof paper with lashings of ketchup and some lemon wedges. When we’re done we scrunch up the paper and shove it in the bin so no washing up – BONUS!!