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BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.

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Rick Fielding 23 Feb 03 - 04:57 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Feb 03 - 05:17 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Feb 03 - 05:17 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Feb 03 - 05:19 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Feb 03 - 05:28 PM
Allan C. 23 Feb 03 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Feb 03 - 05:46 PM
ballpienhammer 23 Feb 03 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Feb 03 - 05:59 PM
Helen 23 Feb 03 - 06:17 PM
Helen 23 Feb 03 - 06:22 PM
Jeri 23 Feb 03 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Feb 03 - 06:32 PM
Sorcha 23 Feb 03 - 06:51 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 Feb 03 - 06:57 PM
Alba 23 Feb 03 - 07:24 PM
Mark Cohen 23 Feb 03 - 07:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Feb 03 - 07:36 PM
Leadfingers 23 Feb 03 - 07:59 PM
GUEST,Q 23 Feb 03 - 08:04 PM
Gypsy 23 Feb 03 - 09:59 PM
Rick Fielding 23 Feb 03 - 10:36 PM
Miken 23 Feb 03 - 11:05 PM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 03 - 01:24 AM
GUEST,Q 24 Feb 03 - 01:34 AM
Penny S. 24 Feb 03 - 03:36 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 03 - 08:41 AM
Penny S. 24 Feb 03 - 09:49 AM
My guru always said 24 Feb 03 - 10:21 AM
Penny S. 24 Feb 03 - 11:28 AM
Stilly River Sage 24 Feb 03 - 11:49 AM
Beccy 24 Feb 03 - 05:35 PM
Beccy 24 Feb 03 - 05:38 PM
leprechaun 24 Feb 03 - 05:41 PM
catspaw49 24 Feb 03 - 06:20 PM
michaelr 24 Feb 03 - 07:40 PM
GUEST,Q 24 Feb 03 - 08:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Feb 03 - 08:33 PM
GUEST,Q 24 Feb 03 - 08:57 PM
Rick Fielding 24 Feb 03 - 10:55 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Feb 03 - 12:27 AM
Beccy 25 Feb 03 - 08:40 AM
Beccy 25 Feb 03 - 08:44 AM
Rick Fielding 25 Feb 03 - 10:02 AM
Stilly River Sage 25 Feb 03 - 01:56 PM
Beccy 25 Feb 03 - 02:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 25 Feb 03 - 03:20 PM
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Subject: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 04:57 PM

So here's the story good Mudcatters. I've gotten some amazing advice over the years from these parts, and as a result:

Can whip up a fine batch of cornbread.

Know the difference between REAL and bogus chili

Got my first backyard Barbeque last year....and

May (emphasize MAY) avail myself of the offer of a free Smoker this summer.

So, food-wise, I've done pretty well as a mudcatter.....BUT....here's what's happening currently.

I decided to actually make some FISH and CHIPS at home two nights ago rather than pay a fortune across the street at our local Take-away.

It was a bit of a disaster....a tasty disaster, but I need some help.

I want to DEEP FRY. What do I need? From A to Z. I don't have one of of those pots with the wire tray (or do folks even USE them anymore? Should I be getting an Electric one? What do I use to fry in? Lard? Crisco? Oil...if so which kind? Heather says that you RE-USE the lard, and just stick it under the sink which sounds kind of revolting...is this true? Is there a trick to get just the right amount of heat before throwing the fish in? I assume I need two seperate containers for the fish AND chips, is that right?

How about the batter? This is what I did two days ago....any suggestions appreciated. I got a package of frozen Cod (probably not as good as fresh, but one third the price, and when I get more consistant I'll get the fresh.....gonna try sole next...then halibut)
Anyway, I broke two eggs into a bowl, stirred 'em up with a bit of salt and pepper, covered the fish pieces with flower (seem to remember my mom doing that), and then dipped 'em in the egg. Dropped 'em in breadcrumbs (just a generic brand from the supermarket) and dropped 'em in the frying pan.

As I say, it wasn't bad, but I REALLY want to learn how to do this right, and what to buy.....so ANY advice, greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:17 PM

The No. 1 necessity is a good fire extinguisher with a fresh cartridge.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:17 PM

Good luck with it. If you can make your Fish and Chips taste authentic you'll be an amazing man. Well, you surely are, but...

The best fat for this is beef dripping, I believe. It's suppposed to be why it tastes so much better up North in Engand than down in the South where they use Sunflower Oil and stuff like that.

I'd have thought the batter would be made like pancake batter, and the fish dunked in it. But there must be someone here who has worked in a chippy who'd know. However I suspect they have to sign something like the Official Secrets Act.

And when you've cracked it you can move on to the deep fried Mars Bars...


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:19 PM

No. 2 necessity is a good vent system and hood


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:28 PM

Fire extinguisher we got.

What's a "hood"? Do I have to dress funny to do this properly?

OK, so "Beef dripping" it is. Do I just go to the supermarket and ask for "beef dripping"? Will they have a clue what I'm talking about?

Heather's late father from Glasgow, visited us and was SOOOO disappointed that the folks at the grocery store neither understood his accent NOR his requests for ANYTHING. He wanted lard and they just stared at him.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Allan C.
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:44 PM

I think I may be able to answer your question as to whether you need two different frying containers or appliances. One of the happy consequences of frying potatoes is that they tend to soak up the flavors left in the frying medium. Also, if Arthur Treacher's is anything to use as a reference, then peanut oil would be the frying medium of choice. Clearly, opinions will vary on this.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:46 PM

Seriously, the electrics are easier to use. It should have a good temperature regulator, but a frying thermometer is still useful. If the fryer doesn't have a good cover, get one of those circular fry-screens with a handle. That will stop spatter and oil droplets from drifting all over the place.
We used clean lard or oil, but Never use grease used for fish with any other product. (We no longer fry, but I think we still have fryers in the basement)
The secret is to have the oil very hot so that it doesn't absorb into the fish or chicken or whatever (of course there are those who like that greasy taste).
Oils used vary with taste. Olive oil is popular in Europe and is being used more and more here in the States and Canada. Diet-concious use vegetable oils but the diet gurus are finding out that olive oil is as good or better. Lard is a favorite with others.
Mcgrath, I believe some of the fish and chips places in Britain use 1/3 beef suet and 2/3 lard.
Old method for checking temperature. If a 1" cube of bread browns golden in 40 seconds, the temp. is 390 degrees F., if it takes 60 seconds, the temp. is 370 degrees F.
Uncooked foods such as fish fillets, breaded fish or chops, potatoes will take 4-8 minutes. Always fry in small batches to avoid cooling the oil. Pre-cooked mixtures take only 1-2 minutes.

Fish- a good place to start (beginner's mistakes will show up rapidly).
1. dry fish with paper towels
2. Batter. Sprinkle with salt, dip in flour, egg and cracker crumbs (in that order). Some like salt mixtures with various herbs, chili powder mixes, etc.
3. Fry in deep fat at 370 degrees F.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: ballpienhammer
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:53 PM

I don't deep fry nothin' 'cept in peanut oil. Very high burn temp and doesn't leak different flavors. Strain it when yer done and use it again in 7 days. Use electric fryolator or very very carefully use propane (LP)fueled fry set-up. I toss a little Cajun seasoning in the
last dipping. Bone apeteet!


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 05:59 PM

Some cross-posting here, but no real contradictions.
A "hood" is a ventilating hood with a fan which exhausts to the outside, and is required over cooking stoves (ranges) in the States and Canada.
Beef dripping is called suet over here. A good butcher will help you out.
Re-using fat. When you pour the used fat into a container, spoon off the top layer with impurities. Don't mix fat used with fish with fat used for chicken. Fishy chips are OK with the fish but taste bad with other foods.
Over here, fried chicken is preferred ten to one over fish.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Helen
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:17 PM

Well, I hate to get all healthy and that, but I love chips fried in olive oil. Anything after that is just second rate, IMHO. Lard clogs the arteries - what you see when it coagulates in a pot is what you get in your arteries.

A couple of tricks to help you:

Chips

Heat the oil on a medium to high heat (hot, but not *very* hot), and when one uncooked chip dropped into the oil floats/stays on the top and sizzles immediately then the oil is just right. This is just at the stage when the oil starts smoking. Don't turn the heat down after putting the chips in.

Put only a portion of the chips in at one time. With the amount of oil I use, I would say a cup & a half of chips is more than enough. You don't want it to bubble over when the chips hit the oil and start fizzing. You need a lot of space in the pan to allow for that. Also try to get the whole portion in at one time - gently, without dropping them in and splattering yourself with oil. They will all cook evenly then.

Someone I once knew who worked in a Fish & Chip shop (here in Oz, the second fish & chip centre of the world, after Britain) said that frying them first on a slightly lower heat and taking them out after a couple of minutes (before they turn brown or start to colour) and then re-frying them on higher heat makes them crisper. This helps too with getting the full load cooked quickly because, on the second frying, the first batch hardly has time to cool before the last batch is ready.

Another health tip: although they don't come out quite as crisp, I dry-steam my uncooked chips for 2-3 minutes in a bowl in the microwave. The theory is that they don't take up as much fat as they do when fried. Then I fry them once on the medium to high heat.

I just use a deep and reasonably large saucepan with about 2-3 inches of oil.

I also have a wire mesh splatter guard contraption to cover the top of the pan in case the whole lot sizzles up too much and bubbles over. Just quickly whack the splatter guard onto the pan, as you carefully lift the pan away from the heat, or turn the gas down.

Safety: Never, ever leave a pan of cooking chips or boiling oil. Most common cause of minor and major kitchen fires. Scary. We even had an ad campaign on tv over a decade ago: "Oh my goodness, the chips!"

Take the chips out when they are golden brown - not too light, not too dark, and my Mum used to say not to turn the heat off until you get all the chips out otherwise they go soggy. I drain them on a plate with a couple of layers of kitchen paper.

My hubby (whose Dad owned a fruit & veg shop) says that old, drier, floury potatoes are better than the moist, crunchy ones like pontiacs and desires.

My favourite accompaniment is lightly seasoned guacamole.

As for fish, I don't do it very often, but beer batter is the best, and I like crumbed fish as well.

Beer batter is fairly simple, basically replacing water with beer. The beer has yeast in it and makes the batter crisp on the outside. I once stayed at a licensed club which had a motel attached. The restaurant had the loveliest beer batter fish I have ever tasted. Obviously they had unlimited access to beer for the batter. Most Aussies have a real crisis of conflict over whether it is worth wasting good beer on making batter, but I think it is worth it.

For example, this recipe
http://www.kavenga.com.au/rec/rec%20beerbat.htm

Aussie Beer Batter Fish

4 fish fillets
cornflour
2 cups plain flour (note: I think I heard a tv chef say that self raising flour is better for seafood batters)
salt and pepper
310ml (10½ fl oz) beer
oil for deep-frying

Dust fish fillets with cornflour. Mix flour, salt and
pepper, add beer gradually, stirring well until
smooth.
Dip the fish fillets into batter. Cook in hot oil until
golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper.
Serve with lemon wedges, tartare sauce and hot chips.
Serves 4

You are probably fairly close with the crumbing technique, but I won't try to make any suggestions there.

Helen

P.S. Stop it, you are making me hungry!


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Helen
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:22 PM

Oh, another trick my Mum told me: the first time you use the oil it probably won't make the chips very crisp, but the second time is better.

Also, there is a limit to the number of times you can use the oil, so use one batch a few times, or until it looks worn out or smells a bit gluggy, and then use a whole fresh batch. Don't keep topping up the old oil with new oil.

Helen


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:31 PM

The breading sounds good. I believe my mom only did eggs and seasoned flour or bread crumbs - nothing before the eggs. Some folks use corn meal.

I believe the secret, as Q said, is getting the oil hot enough. If you don't, the food absorbs a lot of grease and overcooks inside before it turns brown on the outside.

Rick, for entertainment purposes, could you please describe the "disaster" part of your experience?


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:32 PM

I have used peanut oil in stir-frying, but not for deep frying. No reason why not, it is a good light oil. We use mostly olive oil now for stir-frying. Chinese cooks use canola in addition to peanut oil now, but don't like lard or olive oil taste or finish.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Sorcha
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:51 PM

Lard is pig fat. Suet is beef fat. Suet will probably need to be melted and strained before using. If using animal fat as opposed to vegetable oil, please refrigerate the animal fat. Veg only needs to be strained when cool and covered. Yes, it does eventually go rancid. I use a thin unsweetened fitter/pancake batter for deep frying.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 06:57 PM

I do breaded chicken strips for the kids, but it is always messy and the house smells like grease and chicken seasoning for a day or more even WITH a good hood. I fry these in shallow oil on the stovetop, with a little margarine added to the oil for extra flavor. I use olive oil or peanut oil--and one reason peanut oil is so good was mentioned above--it doesn't smoke at as low a temperature as other oils.

Personally, I spend a lot of time cooking, but when frying one has to weigh the preparation and cleanup time with the eating time, and decide if they really want to go to all of that trouble before hand and follow up with a lengthy cleanup of utensils from handling batter and fish and grease. So I don't bother with any deep frying. My suggestion: make a point of going to Seattle, and when you're there go down to Alki Point and visit Spud for their fish and chips. The Alki Point Spud (in West Seattle) is marginally better (if for no reason than it's at the beach and the seagulls like chips) than the Greenlake location.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Alba
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:24 PM

Lard or beef dripping for deep frying the fish in batter is the Glasgow way.I don't know if you can get beef dripping here in the US. I was back in Glasgow a few weeks ago to see my Dad and we had Fish suppers as it's called there. Ye canny beat it way a big stick....heartattack waiting to happen (all the fat!!) My Mum also used to keep the fat after she used it in a stoneware bowl with greaseproof paper over it, then use it over again....can't say how long she kept it for though??
She used to drop a tiny bit of batter into the lard to check how hot it was, if it bubbled up the fat was ready.
As for the batter she used, it had eggs flour and milk and a wee bit of salt- all mixed together with a wisk then the fish was dipped in and coated,
I still use a pot with a wire rack in it for deep frying but that just a preferance thing for me.
Good luck with the Fish suppers and if you crack the secret Id love to know how it tasted and perhaps the recipe:>)?
Alba


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:30 PM

Rick, I really like the part where you cover the fish pieces with flower. Your mom must have been a wonderful lady. Bet her kitchen smelled wonderful, too.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:36 PM

Well, suet and dripping are different things over here. I'm not sure what the difference is. Suet you have in mincemeat. (As opposed to minced meat). But I imagine it'd work ok.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 07:59 PM

Rick you have to have a wire baskety thing if you want to get the
chips out before they burn.Other than that I think the advice as above
is fairly adequate.I personally use sunflower oil which can be stored in the fridge til next time(afetr it has cooled down of course)A Pan
with a notch in the lid does keep the smell of frying contained to the
immediate area.I think keeping one pan purely for deep frying is not
a bad idea. And Good Luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 08:04 PM

If the fat is properly hot, the calories absorbed into the food from lard, suet, or olive, peanut, canola, oils are similar. No real dietary difference.
Pie crust and a number of pastries must be made from lard (or butter, not often in crust pastry in the US and Canada), otherwise the taste and consistency are wrong. I am not familiar with the British use of beef fat, or butter in pie crust, but I am sure these aliments do just as well.
The Roman, Pliny, said the use of butter distinguished them from the barbarous peoples (and the rich from the poor); those of us using lard or beef fat must be still counted among the barbarous (or poor).
The Mayo Clinic, in its recipe recommendations, now does not rate margarines over butter, and a number of cautions have been abandoned. The emphasis is back on variety and AMOUNT.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Gypsy
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 09:59 PM

Try using an electric wok...........works like a charm for a small amount. Wouldn't try it for a party, but for the 2 of us, is a champ, and you don't need much frying medium. Until you get it down, try doing your thing OUTSIDE, until you learn the smoke point of whatever medium you are using. Should be no smoke once you get it down. Now splatters, thats another story


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 10:36 PM

Great advice so far...thanks.

So which material, lard suet, peanut oil olive oil etc. has the most tendency to burn (or smoke) first ?

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Miken
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 11:05 PM

Rick,
My experience is peanut oil holds up best to heat without smoking or breaking down. I also like olive oil, but not as hardy.

One of the best breading materials is Panko breading, a japanese product you can find in many supermarkets or in oriental food stores.
It fries up light and crispy at the proper temp. It's also used for calamari in some local restaurants here in Seattle. I agree with Maggie's recommedation of Spuds chip shops should you ever get to Seattle.....and I hope you do!

Mike


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 01:24 AM

They make little pots (countertop appliances, like crock pots) that are dedicated to frying foods--I think "Fry Baby" is one. I would suggest doing what my mother used to do: she liked to shop at places like Goodwill for some appliances (in particular, the old waffle irons pre-Teflon that make much crispier waffles). Find a fry pot that looks like it is in good shape and only costs a couple of dollars to try it out.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 01:34 AM

One good short on a "Goodwill" item and you have a fire.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 03:36 AM

There was a good item on fish and chips in a recent BBC cookbook by two guys named Tony and Georgio - beer batter, definitely.

Suet is the fat from round the kidneys of cattle. Dripping is the fat which drains out of the meat during roasting - (if you collect it in a pot, and a little gravy sits under it when it cools, and you spread it on bread and eat it....childhood confort food - I feel hungry.....and you don't get as much from joints now!) - but butchers, and supermarkets, sell dripping which is white and clean, and probably indistinguishable from suet which has been melted and resolidified in the tubs they sell it in.


Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:41 AM

I think Penny's probably right about the dripping that's sold being pretty well the same as suet. Real dripping I haven't had for years, since the Mad Cows decided me not to risk beef any more.

Here's a page with a fish and chips recipe and tips - and the batter includes beer. Maybe worth trying. (It reads like a Scottish page, and they are said to be hot on the fsh and chips.)

But the idea of home made fish and chips still seems a bit radical to me. The essence of fish and chips is that it's the original takeaway meal, and really needs to be wrapped in newspoaper (though they don't do thta in these decadent days).

The Dutch go in for fish and chips with mayonnaise, which I don't think tastes too good. But not bad with Salad Cream, though better with salt and vinegar.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 09:49 AM

Tony's recipe from the book of the program, 7 oz self raising flour, 8 oz beer (Heineken suggested as type) 1 pinch salt, 1 teaspoon vinegar. No egg. Whisked, and then the floured fish dipped in it.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: My guru always said
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:21 AM

I remember my Mum used to 'clarify' fat (dripping, lard, oil, whatever). She'd boil used fat up with water - when it cooled the impurities would stay down in the water & the 'clarified' fat would stay on the top. At least I think that's what she did - anyone know?


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Penny S.
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:28 AM

That sounds right, unless you want the gravy bits on your bread! They had something about it on the TV program on the Victorian Kitchen. I think I might go and get some really fat laden mince specially for dripping manufacture.

Penny


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:49 AM

Anyone else feel their arteries hardening just from reading all of these methods of rendering heart-unhealthy fat useable? McGrath has a good point. Part of the charm of fish and chips is that someone else cooked them.

Q, you can have a fire from any old (or new!) appliance you already have in your home also. Much of what turns up at Goodwill is the result of Americans' desire for newer better things and supplanting old reliable stuff for the simple reason that it is out of fashion. (But perhaps chartreuse and harvest gold appliances can be put out of sight when not in use).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Beccy
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:35 PM

Okie Dokie, Rick. You've kickstarted me. I am the food evangelist. I am a former chef turned stay-at-home Mom and I welcome the opportunity to opine, at length, about food. For deep frying? Go to Walmart and get a Fry Daddy or Fry Baby. Anything more expensive is unnecessary unless you have a REAL affinity for frequent fried food.
For deep frying? Go with peanut oil. It has a VERY high smoke point. Why is that important? Cause you want your oil to be reusable.

How do you reuse stanked up oil? Someone touched on it earlier. Potatoes have a wonderful capacity for filtering oil... Fry your fish first, then do the potatoes. Here's the key, though. You need to start your potatoes BEFORE you do the fish. The traditional fish and chips have the potatoes dunked in a lower temp oil until they're limp, removed and drained. Then you crank the heat up on the oil and add the fish. You then add the potatoes IN WITH the fish until the chips are golden and crispy.

Why go to the trouble? When you cook the potatoes at a lower temperature, it allows the chip to cook all the way through. Thence, you avoid the icky problem of a crispy on the outside and crispy/starchy raw on the inside chip. When you drop it in the ultra hot oil to finish it up, it gets that lovely crispy exterior.

I've included a traditional, delicious beer batter fish and chips recipe. This is VERY simple to prepare and it tastes like a good pub fry.

My best,
Beccy

For the chips:
3 3/4 pints (2 liters) peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
2 pounds (950 grams) floury potatoes, like russets, peeled and cut into large chips

For the batter:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup beer
2 egg whites, whipped to soft peaks
Salt

4 (9 ounce/250 gram) fillets haddock or cod, skin on, and pin boned
Pour all the vegetable oil into a deep pan or deep fat fryer, and heat to 300 degrees F (160 degrees C.) Blanch the cut potatoes in the oil until soft, but not colored, about 4 minutes. Remove and drain.

Mix together the flour and the beer, then fold in the egg whites. Turn up the heat of the oil to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Dip the fish in the batter and fry for a few minutes with the chips until golden brown.

Drain on newspaper (Yes- I know it's been banned- BOO)and serve with bread and butter, wallys (battered, deep fried pickles served with ranch dressing), and pickled eggs.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Beccy
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:38 PM

One other thing on fish selection. You can use just about any firm fleshed white fish. I've enjoyed tilapia in place of cod, but cod remains my all time favorite.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: leprechaun
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 05:41 PM

Well, I'm a real man, and I make one hell of a fine mushroom-spinach quiche.

Rick - Go for that smoker! and bon apetit!


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: catspaw49
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 06:20 PM

I'm with leprechaun.........I'm about to barf just reading this. I still like deep fried stuff but anymore a little goes a long way........When you wanna' talk again about smokin' some chickens or a good beef roast, lemmee know..........I may need to take an extra Pravachol just because I read this thread!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: michaelr
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 07:40 PM

Rick -- no matter what fat/oil you use, a food thermometer is essential. Your oil should be at 355-370 F. Any lower, and your batter will absorb it and become greasy; any higher, and the oil will begin to burn/break down/taste unpleasant.

Peanut oil is recommended because it can withstand high temperature. Olive oil will start smoking/burning before it's hot enough.

If you want to go the beef fat route, Mexican stores sell it in tubs (can't think of the name right now).

Beccy is right on about frying the potatoes twice, although I would up her temperatures by 15 to 20 degrees.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:06 PM

Calamari with the fish is a good suggestion. Have to try it. But a confession. We bread, or dress, then broil fish in the oven. Had some lovely fresh salmon tonight, broiled with a coating of herbs, lemon and olive oil, basting with a brush.
Get some good haddock occasionally. We probably won't be getting cod much longer- the talk here in Canada is that the cod fisheries will be closed next year.
The British Isles-Canadian habit of putting vinegar on their chips turns my stomach. My sons (raised in Canada) have picked up the barbarous habit.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:33 PM

Well, you won't find squid in many chippies over here, Q!

As for clarifying dripping , shame - the impurities are the best bit. Wholefood!

I'd miss Cod - though Rock Salmon (which is really dogfish, a small shark) isn't bad.

Or we could follow the lead of the chippie in London Zoo:

"We now have state-of-the-art frying range to produce high quality freshly battered fillets of fish, and crisp fresh-cut thick chips.

Serving Hoki fillets rather than Cod or Haddock, because (believe it or not) both fish are now listed on the Endangered Species List as they are being over fished and numbers are in decline around the world!"


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 08:57 PM

Some years ago we were taking the sun and surf-fishing on the Texas Gulf Coast. Everyone was catching small hammerhead sharks. I wonder if they were edible? We would knock them in the head (following local advice) and toss them up at the line of dunes behind us for the scavengers to eat. Now, I understand the decrease in sharks is also worrying.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:55 PM

OK, so what about FROZEN FISH? Am I missing something here? It's about One quarter the price of fresh...but doesn't taste that bad at all. Is it OK to get?

One package of frozen halibut (this isn't Capt. Hi-liner or something like that....just fish pieces in a clear sealed bag.....is 3.50 Canadian. Same for Catfish, Sole, and Cod.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 12:27 AM

Rick, I use frozen fish a lot, because I go by the theory that when it is caught to be frozen it is frozen very quickly. If it is shipped here (the Dallas/Fort Worth area) from someplace hundreds or thousands of miles away as "fresh" then it has been out of the water for at the least a couple of days, probably more. Look at the eyes if you're buying fresh fish (they should look good, not sunken) and they should NEVER SMELL FISHY. If they froze it to ship it here then thawed it to sell it in the butcher case, then you can't take it home to freeze again. So save the guesswork. If you can't get it fresh not frozen that is truly fresh, frozen is better. If you use frozen fish, cook it right away, and be careful how you defrost it. You don't want to grow bacteria in it as it thaws at room temperature. I thaw in the fridge if I can make it fit, or in the sink in water.

Beccy, your fish sounds good.

Hey, Spaw, I have a real good brine recipe that I put my salmon in before I smoke it. Is that the kind of smoking you're interested in?

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Beccy
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:40 AM

Rick- Fresh is always better than frozen. Watch your grocery sales. My store in Western New York (not exactly coastline...) can get Tilapia and Cod down as low as $2.99lb. That works out to quite a few nice fillets for a nice price. Frozen is a close second though. They do marvelous things with freezing meats these days. It's a much kinder process to the meats than it used to be. If you need to use frozen- it shouldn't be too disappointing.

I'd like to add to SRS's words on thawing frozen fish. For thawing, you want to make sure it's covered nicely so that it doesn't dry as it thaws. Additionally, thawing overnight in the fridge is preferrable, but there are other ways.

You can put the fishie fillets under COLD water (keep that bacteria away) in the sink. You need to make sure to change the water about every 15 minutes. This keeps it fresh AND bacteria free.

If you are feeling brave, just pop your fillets on an aluminum pan and set that out on the counter (obviously this is riskier in the summer.) The aluminum speed-thaws the fillet. (This method also works with anything that needs thawing.) Just be sure to flip the fillet about every 5 minutes so that the whole thing can come in contact with the pan.


Ciao and chow!


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Beccy
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:44 AM

SRS- I'll take that brine recipe if you're sharing! I love smoked salmon but I'd have to second mortgage my home and give up one of my kids to buy it 'round here.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 10:02 AM

Thanks for the the thawing advice. Verrrry interesting. Nothing is EXACTLY like it seems. I'm learning a ton of stuff here.

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 01:56 PM

I haven't tried aluminum, but I usually set meat I will use (still in it's plastic wrap) in the next hour or so on an iron skillet. The metal conducts the cold out very quickly. I turn it a couple of times. So aluminum works faster?

Okay, my directions will be cut and pasted into this post because I don't have a link to send you to. IF you're interested you might want to print this up, just in case it gets lopped out later. I wrote this for my next door neighbor, who wanted to try my recipe (I made a convert of her--she thought she didn't like smoked salmon until she tried some of mine!) and send it to a friend. So pardon any personal references, but I have to go feed the kids so won't stop to edit.

Here goes:

This is the recipe (more or less) that I use for the brine for my smoked salmon:

1/4 cup non-iodized salt
1 cup soy sauce
3 cups water
1/2 tsp (or a little more) onion powder
1/2 tsp (or a little more) garlic powder
a few grinds fresh pepper, till it feels right ;-)
1 cup white wine (whatever is in the house, usually chardonnay)

This is by default a recipe with reduced salt, though I think this is PLENTY salty already, and someone restricting salt should probably halve both the salt and soy sauce in this mix. You'll see (by comparing with the original) that I also make it more watery. It covers a good sized fish (any that you'll find around here frozen whole--up to about 10 pounds). You can use the brine a second time if you're going to use it within a day or two and if you have to stagger smoking and curing your fish due to fridge and smoker space.

The fish should be covered with brine (I use a Tupperware bowl so I can seal it in the fridge) and left for at least 8 hours. You might want to take it out and nudge it around a bit if there are pieces in the top of the bowl that aren't completely covered. After enough brine time, carefully lift each piece of fish from the brine, rinse it under a gently running faucet, towel off extra water with a wad of paper toweling, and place it one layer deep on a plate. When all of the fish is arranged so the air can get to the top and sides, place this back in the fridge and let it sit for several hours. The surface of the fish forms a kind of shiny surface and is ready to place on the smoker racks.

I use a Little Chief Smoker, which works at a low temperature with an element in the bottom and a small pan of wood chips that rests on it and smokes inside the case. My smoker has three racks, and I put the largest chunks of fish on the bottom and graduate it so the smallest pieces are on the top. A pan of chips takes about 20 to 30 minutes to start smoking and then continue to smoke for the next hour. If you plan to go add a new batch of wood chips every 1 1/2 to two hours you'll have plenty of smoke on the fish. I sometimes stop at two pans, but more typically use three pans of chips, though the last one might be a smaller measure. It depends entirely on how smoky you like your fish.

I don't try to cook the fish all of the way in the smoker, though after six to eight hours a smaller fish can be about finished. The smoker is intended for drying the fish as well as smoking, so it is okay to finish it that way, but time is usually the determining factor for me. I don't want to have to get up in the middle of the night to take it out. After a few hours I put it on baking pan and put it in a 325 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes. (I would normally take only 30 minutes to bake a filet anyway, so this is plenty for the fish). It will be very soft when it first comes out, but firms up as it cools. I refrigerate my fish in a covered cake pan, and if it looks like it will last for more than a few days, I wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap, freeze it, then put several wrapped pieces at a time into a heavy freezer bag. You don't want to dry this stuff out in the freezer! To thaw I try to give it time in the fridge or at room temperature. Be careful thawing in the microwave, you don't want to accidentally cook it any more and the microwave turns the salmon oil liquid. (The oil is what is so good for you in wild salmon).

(Ignore this part if you already know what you're doing when preparing the fish)
Once you have the brine ready, it's time to fix the fish. Thaw it completely and it is best to work with it when it is still a little icy. It's easier to filet. I use a filet knife and take out the spine and ribs, and use a needle nose pliers for feeling along the hump of the filet and pulling out any bones. Leave the skin on the fish. That is crucial to its holding together through all of this handling! The fish should be cut into strips (across the width of the fish) of 2 inches or less. They fit in my bowl better and cook more thoroughly without drying out parts of it before the middle is finished. This depends entirely on how fat the fish is. I attempt to have strips of fish that are as fat as they are wide when looking at the thickest part.

The choice of smoker makes a big difference in cooking. I would suggest experimenting first with a few pieces if you're using some other kind of smoker than a Little Chief, because the key to this recipe is low heat and really slow cooking. Too hot and you just have baked salmon. My smoker is made by the big fishing gear company Luhr-Jensen, and their web site has everything pretty well mixed together. A good site with information on smokers is at: http://www.smoke-house.com/ Their prices are as low as any I've seen online. I don't know what the local market has as far as smokers go. The same company has a good set of frequently asked questions at: http://www.smoke-house.com/smoker_faq.htm


This is the recipe that came with the smoker, for comparison:

Little Chief Smoked Salmon Deluxe (recipe from the smoker box)

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup non-iodized salt
2 cups soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp tabasco sauce
1 cup dry white wine

Enjoy! If you have any more questions, or want me to email the word file, PM me.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Beccy
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 02:49 PM

Thanks, SRS. The recipe looks divine.

Aluminum's slicker'n cat snot. It is the best at conducting cold out of and away from the food.

Did you see those "magic quick thaw" trays that they (they being those who do those things) were marketing a few years ago? They were just colored aluminum trays. You can get the same effect by using an aluminum cookie sheet or baking pan and you save yourself $9.99. Tightwads unite!


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 03:20 PM

I never bought one of those trays, because I had a look at one my mother bought, and figured it was just the metal doing the work, and aluminum was cheapest.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Beccy
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 03:30 PM

Actually- aluminum being the cheapest is a happy coincidence. The fact is, the aluminum IS actually the best at speeding the thawing process.

Don't chuck out the aluminum for fear of Alzheimer's- keep 'em and use 'em to thaw your dinner.


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: JennyO
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 10:04 PM

I bought one of those trays at the $2 shop a couple of years ago for a greatly reduced price, and it works really well. To me it seems a bit heavy to be just aluminium. Are you sure that's all it is?

Jenny


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Subject: RE: BS: RF: Fry Me to the Moon. Cooking advice.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 11:29 PM

The one I saw seemed to have a couple of layers and some airpockets between. It might have been a fairly heavy guage aluminum. It has been a long time since Mom showed me hers, and as I mentioned above, I usually just set anything that need to thaw on a cold cast iron skillet. $2 probably wasn't a bad price for the thing; (and by way of major thread creep) sometimes you can find real values at those dollar stores.

Rick, have you rounded up your equipment and ingredients yet? How is the fish?

SRS


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