KYLE HUGHES’ ULTIMATE FISH & CHIPS!
Depending on your perspective, a camping trip can be the perfect opportunity to kick back and expend close to zero effort on mundane tasks like cooking and washing up…
Or, perhaps you prefer to utilise the relaxed pace and lack of competing priorities to whip up the sort of gourmet creations you’d never otherwise bother with.
Occasional cooking correspondent Kyle Hughes prefers a middle path, choosing to punctuate his frequent camping weekenders with a series of comfort food classics that he’s honed to precision.
“I’ve only got about five dishes up my sleeve,” laughed Kyle.
“But I’ve practiced them all so many times that no one seems to notice!”
Kyle reckons there are just two non-negotiables when it comes to serving up a winning al fresco seafood plate: beer batter and ultra crispy chips.
Fresh caught fish is always best, but Kyle assures us you can get away with any half decent fillets of white fish from the co-op so long as you whip up the perfect batter and get your timing just right.
“The trick to perfect crispy hot chips is to cook ‘em twice, like the French do.”
“Fry them up until they look pretty well done then drain and set aside while you fry up your battered fillets until golden. While you plate up the fish, throw the your chips back on the fryer for another couple of minutes. Works every time!”
Give this one a practice run at home so you’re raring to go and execute the ultimate fish fry-up on your next overnight fishing trip or camping adventure.
Four skinned, boneless fillets of your fish of choice (serves four)
Cup of flour
One egg yolk
Can of beer
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Six large potatoes
Lemon wedges to serve
Fill a large cooking pot with an inch or two of rice bran or vegetable cooking oil – deep enough to fully submerge your chips and fillets while cooking
Roughly chop your potatoes into thin wedges and drop into your pre-heated oil, cook for ten minutes or so, ensuring they’re evenly cooked and looking golden brown all over
Remove chips with a slotted spoon and set aside to dry on paper towel in a mixing bowl
Mix your flour, salt, sugar, egg yolk and a little beer in another mixing bowl to form batter, before slowly whisking in the rest of your can of beer
Coat your fillets thoroughly in batter and drop into the sizzling oil. Make sure there’s plenty of room for your fish to ‘swim’
Remove fillets and dry on paper towel before plating up. Throw your pre-cooked chips back in the fryer for a couple more minutes before removing, drying again and serving
Enjoy with a little tartare sauce and a lemon wedge on the side – perfection!