Fish and Chips. This, above all things*, is the most quintessential British meal.
I know there are arguments about where it started. People will tell you that the Belgians made chips first and that Polish Jews were the first to batter fish. But it was here, on these sceptred isles, that the wonderful British mind brought the two together, doused them in acid and wrapped them in yesterdays newspaper.
There is something about the ritual of Fish and Chips that I adore. Peeling back the paper to let loose the steam and the intoxicating smell. I'm always disappointed, and seldom go back to a chippy, if my takeaway is served in a polystyrene tray. In an ideal world, every portion I eat would be by the seaside. Particularly, on a harbour wall when the boats are in. No cutlery, just ripping at the battered fish with my hands.
I'm not at the seaside, I'm in Leeds, about as far from the coast as you can get. Neither am I opening a paper parcel. It's Friday so I'm cooking the takeaway meal we would order at home. I have tried to get a deep fat fryer for some time but all of my requests have been vetoed. I can think of numerous things to do with the fryer of my dreams; samosas, wontons, Mars bars. I would of course use it for fish and chips but alas, no.
Thanks to Joe and Jo, I can now make home made oven chips. Shallow fried fish in breadcrumbs is lighter and just as crispy as batter. The finale is mushy peas. Z didn't understand / like mushy peas until we hit the North. Now she's a convert. I will take the dried pulse challenge one of these days but tins are so convenient and soaking veg over night just seams a bit odd.
*with the possible exception of Sunday Roasts and Chicken Tikka Massala.