My wife told me she was craving “fish and chips”. What she meant was like fish sticks and fries but of course when I think fish and chips, I think the English fried fish and chips. As I’ve stated numerous times on this blog, I don’t have a fryer. It is my excuse to be a little healthier and bake things. So, when I mistakenly thought my wife want good old fried English fish and chips, I set about to make a baked version. In all honest, it didn’t turn out quite as I thought, but never the less it was good.
I came up with baked tilapia with a beer batter and baked fries, local Swiss chard and collards braised in vinegar and homemade tartar sauce (with no mayo in it). Like I said, it turned out to be very good. My wife was disappointed to not have homemade breaded fish sticks, but it all turned out in the end.
The fish was good, the edges where crispy but it was a far cry from good old fried fish. I guess that was the point though. Still, I’ve made baked “fried” items that were darn close. I could have gone with a traditional breading with bread crumbs, but I wanted that light traditional batter. The chips were just my go to baked french fries. The greens were supposed to be a play on the malt vinegar that is used in the traditional fish and chips. The tartar sauce was really good, especially considering that I didn’t use any mayonnaise. I often replace mayo with Greek yogurt and a little olive oil. Is it as luxurious, no, but it was pretty close.
Measurements are approximate.
- 5 tbsp plain greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dill pickle juice
- 2-3 tbsp dill pickle relish
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp[ dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tilapia filet, cut in even strips
- 1 bottle of beer
- 1 cup flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp dill pickle juice
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 bunch mixed leafy greens (I used rainbow chard and collards)
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (malt vinegar would probably be more authentic, but I didn’t have any)
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Directions for Healthy Tartar Sauce
This can be done ahead of time.
- In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, olive oil, relish, relish juice, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, vinegar, mustard and mix.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Directions for “Chip”
- Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Using a mandolin slicer or knife, splice the potatoes in strips. Soak the fries in water for 5-10 minutes
- Remove from the water and dry thoroughly.
- In a large mixing bowel, add the fries, olive oil to coat and season liberally with salt and pepper. Toss until all the fries are coated and the seasoning is distributed evenly.
- Place the fries on a sheet pan with non-stick tin foil and bake approximately 15 minutes.
- Next, remove the pan and flip the fries, bake another 15-20 minutes or until desired crispness.
- In large bowl suitable for dredging, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg, then add it to the flour mixture.
- Next, add the pickle juice and a few tablespoons of the beer at a time, mixing. Clumps are OK, just keep adding the beer until the batter consistency is as you like. It should probably be a little thicken since we are baking this.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper and dust with flour.
- Take one peice of fish at a time and dip them into the batter. Place the fish on a sheet pan.
- Having only one oven, I overlapped the making of the chips with the making of the fish. Lower the heat to 425 degrees F.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the fish is golden brown and crispy.
- In a large pan or stock pot, add olive oil to coat and heat over medium.
- Add the greens and toss to coat. Cook until slightly wilted, approximately 3 minutes.
- Add vinegar, seasoning with salt and pepper, toss, reduce heat and put a lid on the pot. Allow to cook until desired texture (I like then with a little bite).