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Making Scottish Fare in America: Fish n’ Chips

For ex-pats missing traditional Scottish fare, or for Americans wishing to give the cuisine a try, it can be difficult to recreate Scottish recipes with only American ingredients. But hae nae fear! The American-Scottish Foundation has written up a three- part guide to cooking up Scottish eats- even here in the USA.

Time For Lunch!

Scotland is famous for its fish and chips. From gourmet restaurants to the local corner store, there are countless places to pick up a quick “Chippy” throughout the country. 

Image via flickriver.com

Image via flickriver.com

Although there are restaurants in the United States that try to recreate the famous British dish, few can come close to the kind of fish and chips you’d encounter at a sea-side shop in Scotland. 

The American-Scottish Foundation has collected recipes for you to try at home, so you can fry up your own Scottish lunch. Just remember before you serve up your “Chippy” that newspaper wrapping is essential!

Many delicious fish fries use a beer-batter technique, in which thin filets are deep-fried in a tasty batter with a beer base. Try your hand at this simple recipe for Beer-Battered fish from rampantscotland.com.

Ingredients:

Thin fish fillets (Cod, haddock and flounder are all good options.)
Oil with a high smoke point, such as groundnut oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil.
One egg white, whisked.
One cup of all purpose flour.
½ pint of beer or lager.
½ teaspoon baking powder.
Extra flour to dust the fish.

Image via dailymail.co.uk

Image via dailymail.co.uk

Recipe:

1. Heat the oil and prepare the batter ingredients for mixing. Microwave the fish, flipping it while it heats, so the inside is hot. Microwave until the fish is hot and looks half-cooked.

2. Mix the flour, egg white, and beer. Pat a fish dry with a paper towel, then lightly dust it with flour, making it truly dry. Dip the fish, and your hand, into the batter, coating them well. (The batter will help protect your hand from splatter.) Hold the fish above the oil and gently slide it in. Use tongs to nudge the fish as needed, keeping it from sticking to the bottom. Turn the fish over as it cooks.

3. Remove the fish when it looks nicely crisped. It is ready to serve with a bit of lemon juice.

No fish fry is complete without a hearty helping of Scottish chips! Use this recipe, from food.com, to make your own chips, so different from American french-fries!

Ingredients:

2lbs of “old” potatoes, peeled and cut into thick sticks.
Oil for frying (You can also use deep fat.)
Salt.
Vinegar.

Recipe:

1. Take your potatoes (which are peeled and cut into sticks about 1cm thick and 8cm long) and soak them in cold water, removing excess starch before frying. Drain and dry.

2. Heat oil or deep fat in a chip pan. Put a layer of potatoes in the bottom of a wire basket and lower into pan.

3. Fry until the chips are pale golden. Remove them from the pan and drain on soft kitchen paper. Repeat until all potatoes are fried.

4. Just before you serve, re-heat the oil and fry all the chips until they are very crisp and golden. Serve with your battered fish, adding salt and vinegar to taste.

Some chip-shops serve their fish and chips with a side of mushy peas. Allrecipes.com provides an easy recipe for this side-dish.

Ingredients:

Image via telegraph.co.uk

Image via telegraph.co.uk

1 10 oz package of frozen green peas.
1/4 cup heavy cream.
1 tablespoon butter.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Recipe:

1 Boil a shallow pot of lightly salted water over medium-high heat. Add frozen peas, and cook for 3 minutes, until peas are tender.

2. Drain the peas and place them in a blender or large food processor. Add cream, butter, salt and pepper to peas, and process until blended, but still thick with small pieces of peas. Season to taste.

For that extra Scottish flair, wrap your fish and chips up in newspaper before you serve them. Add a heaping helping of mushy peas on the side, and there you have it: a delicious, Scottish fishy-fry for lunch!