Who said fish and chips was bad for health? Here, I make a wholemeal sourdough batter for the fish and deep-fry the fish and unpeeled chips (dug from the garden) in light olive oil. I serve that with mushy peas from soaked and cooked marrowfat peas and tomato ketchup from tomato puree, garlic and herb vinegar and plain yogurt.
250g dried marrowfat peas, plus steeping tablet
Garlic and Herb Vinegar
1 bottle wine, cider or malt vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
Homemade Tomato Sauce
1 small tin double concentrated tomato puree (no added salt)
25ml homemade garlic and herb vinegar, more if needed
1 or 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1kg potatoes, or as needed
wholemeal sourdough starter
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 fillets of cod or haddock
light and mild olive oil for deep frying
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Next day rinse the peas well and add enough fresh water to cover them in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer with a loose lid on the pan for around 1 hour, or until the peas are soft and tender. When cooked, drain off excess water and mash the peas. Put aside, or in the fridge until required.
Garlic and Herb Vinegar: The garlic and herb vinegar can be made by taking wine, cider or malt vinegar and adding crushed garlic and mixed herbs, then leaving overnight to extract the flavour.
Homemade Tomato Sauce: Add the tomato puree to a small bowl then sprinkle enough of the garlic and herb vinegar to obtain a tomato sauce like consistency. Then add some yogurt and stir to give a pink, smooth, creamy tomato sauce.
Chips: The potatoes should be washed and scrubbed but preferably not peeled to retain fibre and nutrients like vitamin C. The skin also helps to reduce the fat absorbed. Cut up the potatoes into chip shapes and wrap in a towel to dry.
Sourdough Batter: Prepare enough sourdough batter to coat the fish fillets. I usually need to add a bit of water to my sourdough starter to get the right consistency for the batter. Add a little bicarbonate of soda to the sourdough starter to make it bubble and form a nice crunchy batter round the fish.
To Cook: Turn on your deep fryer and set at around 160 degrees C. When at the correct temperature, fry the chips in the deep fryer for 5 minutes and then take out and allow to cool down. Leave aside for the moment.
Dry the fish fillets and coat in a dusting of wholemeal flour. This helps the batter cling to the fish. Now place the fish in the batter and ensure the batter has covered it all over. Lift the fish out of the batter from the tail end and lower gently into the oil in the deep fryer, one fillet at a time. Cook for 5 minutes at 160 degrees C. Take out of the fryer and place on a plate in the oven at about 100 degrees C to keep warm.
To Serve: Give the chips another 5 minutes in the oil at 160 degrees C, just before serving the meal.
Heat up the mushy peas in the microwave so they are piping hot and give a good stir, adding a little water before heating if the peas are too stiff.
The plates should be ready warmed in the oven, then add the fish, chips, mushy peas and tomato sauce.