Fish and chips and minted mushy peas by Tim Hughes


Serves 4
haddock fillets 4 x 170g
salt and freshly ground black pepper
plain flour 50g

For the batter
lager 330ml
self-raising flour 160g
cayenne a pinch
soy sauce a dash
salt and ground white pepper

For the minted mushy peas
unsalted butter 50g
onion 1 small, finely chopped
peas 500g, shelled or frozen
vegetable stock 100ml
mint ½ small bunch
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the chips
maris piper potatoes 1kg
sunflower oil for frying

For the batter, pour the beer into a large mixing bowl and gently whisk in the flour until you get a smooth and silky consistency (you may need to add more or less flour). Add cayenne, soy sauce and seasoning. Leave in the fridge till ready to use. This can be made an hour before needed.

To prepare the peas, heat half the butter in a saucepan and gently cook the onion until soft but not coloured. Add the peas, vegetable stock (a good quality cube is fine) and mint leaves and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend in a food processor, taking care to prevent it from becoming too smooth. Season. You can also prepare this in advance. Just before serving, reheat the peas and stir in the remaining butter.

For the chips, peel the potatoes and cut chips 1½cm wide and 7cm long. Wash the chips in water, drain on kitchen paper and pat dry. Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan or deep fat fryer.

Heat to 120C. If using a heavy-bottomed saucepan, please be careful as the oil will be very hot. Blanch the chips, 2 or 3 handfuls at a time, until they are soft but not coloured. You can test them with a knife by carefully removing one while cooking to see if it is soft. Once ready, remove and drain.

Turn up the deep fat fryer to 160C. Season and lightly flour the fish, dip into the batter and fry in the hot fat. This will take about 8 minutes. Drain and keep warm. Re-fry the chips until crisp. Season lightly with salt. Spoon the mushy peas onto plates, place the fish on top and serve chips on the side.