I won’t lie, Fish & Chips have never been my favourite meal, particularly the takeaway variety.  I always think I feel like it and afterwards have a heavy ball of regret that feels suspiciously like a ball of batter in my belly.  Not so with this winner!  Lightly scented and crispy crumbed fish fillets take centre stage, but only just.  The hand cut oven baked chips and emmalicious homemade tartare are a very, very close second. Yummo!

Prep time:   30 Minutes           Cooking time:   1 Hour             $$  Medium Budget

Serves 4

For the Fish & Chips:

Olive oil for frying

4 x 200gm Blue Eye Cod fillets, skinned and boned  (Flathead, Ling or Flake would be great too!)

1 egg, lightly whisked with a tbs of water

2 tbs of flour

1/2 tsp of paprika

2 cups of breadcrumbs*

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

2 tbs of grated parmesan cheese

2 tbs of finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Grated rind of 1 lemon

4 large desiree potatoes, skin on and sliced into thick batons

2 tbs of olive oil

Sea salt and cracked pepper

Dill sprigs and lemon wedges for garnish

For the Tartare Sauce:

1 cup of whole egg mayonnaise

1 tbs of baby capers, drained and roughly chopped

2 tbs of cornichons or sweet gerkins, roughly chopped

1 tbs of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 tbs of dill, finely chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 tsp of white vinegar

Sea salt and pepper

Pre heat the oven to 200°C.  In a large bowl toss the cut chips with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper.  Spread them out on a large lined baking tray and place them in the oven for 1 hour, turning occasionally.

To start the crumbing process combine the crumbs, garlic, lemon rind, parsley and parmesan in a bowl.  Mix it really well with your finger tips, even squeezing gently to release the oils and aromas of the garlic, lemon and parmesan.  In a small bowl or plastic bag combine the flour, paprika and season well with salt and pepper.  Set yourself up with an assembly line with the flour first, then the egg mixture and lastly the crumbs.  Dust the fish lightly with the flour, dip it in the egg and then coat it in the crumbs.  Press firmly on each fish fillet  to make sure they are evenly coated and the crumbs have well and truly stuck.  Place them in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the mayonnaise, capers, cornichons, parsley, dill, lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and mix well with a spoon to combine.  Place in a serving bowl and set aside.

Heat a large heavy based fry pan and cover the base with about 1/2cm of oil.  Make sure the oil is really hot before adding the fish fillets and frying on each side until golden brown and crispy.  Place on a rack on a lined baking tray and pop on the bottom shelf of the oven for 5-10 minutes.  The fish is cooked when it pulls apart easily with two forks.

I like to serve this type of meal in the middle of the table with a crisp green salad.  Otherwise, divide the chips between four serving plates, top with a fish fillet and a delicious dollop of the tartare sauce.  Garnish with dill sprigs and lemon wedges.