Hope everyone had a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Other than wearing green, we typically celebrate the holiday by having a festive meal. 🙂
This year, instead of making a new soda bread, I made this Irish version of beer bread. I loved the caraway seeds (which I also love in soda bread) and the flecks of green from the fresh herbs in the dough.
We ate it for dinner with shepherd’s chicken pot pie, roasted asparagus, and green salad. It would also be a perfect accompaniment to a traditional celebratory corned beef and cabbage meal.
The recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com. I modified the baking time to bake the loaf in a pullman loaf pan in a convection oven. The bread was delicious with and without salted butter.
Yield: one Pullman loaf or one 9-inch loaf
260 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
60 g (1/2 cup) cake flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 T caraway seeds, coarsely ground in a spice grinder
I served this heaping platter of fried deliciousness for our celebratory St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It was extremely well received. 🙂
I used Irish Harp beer in the fish batter, of course. As I was cooking the fish and chips, my husband realized that we hadn’t included the essential tartar sauce in our menu. He was thankfully able to make sauce with a few adaptations.
The beer-battered fish recipe was adapted from Donal Skehan via today.com; I modified the cooking method. The potato chip recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit. I used gold potatoes, olive oil, and seasoned the chips with sea salt. The tartar sauce recipe was loosely adapted from inspiredtaste.net. It was a treat. We’re planning to eat the leftover fish in tacos!
For the Crispy Potato Chips:
2 pounds gold, russet, or purple potatoes
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
vegetable oil, for frying (I used 10 cups of canola oil with 3-4 cups olive oil)
For the Beer-Battered Fish:
4 skinless and boneless white fish fillets, patted dry and cut into thick strips (I used Alaskan Cod)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more to coat the fish
1 cup cold beer (I used Harp)
coarse salt, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil and olive oil, to fry (see above)
lemon wedges, to serve
For the Tartar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small dill pickle, chopped very small (3 tablespoons)(I substituted 1 tsp white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste (I used the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill (I substituted fresh basil)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Crispy Potato Chips:
Using a mandoline, slice potatoes about 1/8-inch thick.
Place slices in a large bowl, add cold water to cover, and stir to release starch; drain. Repeat until water runs clear.
Return potatoes to bowl; cover with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and about 6 cups water. Let sit at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. (the vinegar helps make the chips more crispy)
Drain potatoes and pat dry prior to cooking.
Fit a large heavy pot with a deep-fry thermometer; pour in oil to measure 3 to 4”. (I used a very deep “pasta pot” to reduce splattering.)
Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 300°. (frying the potatoes at a lower temperature helps to remove moisture)
Working in 4 to 6 batches and returning oil to 300° between batches, fry potatoes, turning occasionally to cook evenly, until golden brown and crisp (oil will have quit bubbling), about 5 to 7 minutes per batch.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined rimmed sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. While hot, season with salt.
Reserve the cooking oil to fry the fish.
Note: Potatoes can be fried 6 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature. (I kept the chips in a warming drawer while I cooked the fish.)
To Make the Beer-Battered Fish:
Top the pot with more oil, if needed, and bring it back to temperature, 300° to 340°, over a medium-high heat.
Coat the fish strips with flour, shake off the excess and set aside in a single layer on a plate.
Place 1 cup of flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle of it and pour in a little beer and whisk. Keep adding the beer and mixing until you have a smooth batter.
Season generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Working beside the pan, dip the fish strips in the batter one at a time and then into the hot oil. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. (I used tongs and cooked the fish in 3 batches.)
Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until golden-brown, turning halfway through the cooking time.
Remove the fish from the pot using a spider or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel–lined rimmed sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. While hot, season with salt.
Serve with some lemon wedges, crispy chips, and tartar sauce, as desired.
To Make the Tartar Sauce:
Combine the mayonnaise, pickles (or vinegar), lemon juice, capers, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl and stir until well blended and creamy.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste then adjust with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Note: For the best flavor, cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week.