The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

FISH & CHIPS

  Date: Septemeber 01, 2016
  Favorite: Fish
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For a number of years I have wanted to try deep frying on my Big Green Egg since seeing Eric Mitchell, author of SMOKE IT LIKE A PRO, do it at various Egg events. My new diet means I will be trying to work more fish into my diet and deep fried haddock is one of my favorites. By making my own I can control the sodium content and use a relatively healthy oil like canola oil. Granted I won’t be making this often, but it will be a special treat every time I do. Another advantage to doing this outdoors is you don’t stink up your house with fried fish smell. The recipe called for a beer batter and where I am restricted in my alcohol use, I had to substitute for the beer in addition to removing the salt. I will let the pictures tell most of the story, but I will cover the main highlights here. The fries were deep fried first at 350 degrees until the edges were just beginning to crisp and brown a bit, The fries were placed on paper towels to drain and the oil temp was raised to 375 degrees. While the oil coming up to 375, the haddock fillets were double battered and placed on a wire mesh rack on a baking sheet. The fillets were deep fried for about 7 minutes until the were a nice golden brown. They were transferred to a cooling rack covered with paper towels to drain and rest. The fries went back in the 375 degree oil to finish browning. This meal was excellent, probably some of the best fish and chips I have ever had. The fries were perfect, The batter was tasty with a slight crunch and the fresh haddock was moist with a nice subtle flavor. This is definitely a keeper and something I will do many more times. The only negative is the 5 quart Dutch oven can only make small batches and I know if I make it for more than people I will need to make two or more batches. But if you are going to have a problem, this is the kind of problem to have.
Recipe Source:
Alt image
Cooks Illustrated-Sept-Oct 2006
Cook's Illustrated TV Show:
Here is the recipe from the Cook's Illustrated as shown on the America’s Test Kitchen TV show:

FISH & CHIPS*.

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Low Sodium Diet Changes:
As of July 2016 I need to be on a very low sodium diet. Six days a week I am limited to 1,000 mg. of sodium and on Saturdays I am allowed to have 1,500 mg. I have been learning how to adapt certain recipes to make them very low sodium. I also need to watch my intake of potassium chloride which is used in some salt substitutes to replace sodium chloride. I figured for anyone else trying to watch their sodium intake, I would describe some of the changes I made, together with any comments about the relative success or failure of the tweaks I made. Those of you who can handle more sodium can certainly make the recipe as originally written.
Alcohol: When I first went on this diet, I was told no alcohol too. I could live with (literally and figuratively) without drinking a beer now and again, but I thought what about when alcohol is used in a marinade or a recipe? For this recipe I substituted for the alcohol, but I have since been told I can have one beer or wine a week and it is ok to use alcohol in marinades or other recipes calling for it. This makes things easier for sure. But I plan to run some tests to see which substitutes work well and which don’t. If there is a good, successful substitute I will continue to use it and give my system a rest.

Big Picture:
This meal had some initial challenges to begin with. I used a 4 oz serving of haddock fillet to help with both calories and sodium. I had to use a sodium free baking powder in the batter, because baking powder is relatively high in sodium. BTW and for the record: baking powder is worse, its sodium content is as high as salt. The sodium content was 80mg. The fries didn’t add to the sodium content as long as I didn’t salt them. So there was a bit of work to do.

Changes:

  • I used apple juice in equal measure in lieu of the beer
  • I used Hain Sodium Free Baking Powder instead of regular baking powder.
  • I used Mrs. Dash Table Blend in lieu of the table salt called for in the batter.
  • I used Mrs. Dash Table Blend at the table in lieu of salt.

Comments: The fish & chips turned out excellent. The batter was slightly crispy had good somewhat yeasty flavor even without the Beer. Now that I found out I can use alcohol in cooking, I shall have to run an experiment where I make a batch with apple juice and a batch with beer. As long as the flavor is close, I will skip the alcohol. The fish batter used some paprika and cayenne pepper which may have served to make the lack of salt. In any event while I did season the chips with some Mrs. Dash Table Blend, I did not feel the need to season the chips any more. Even with the various substitutions, this was some of the best fish and chips I have ever had.
Grill:
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Big Green Egg

Deep Fried:

Using the Big Green Egg Kamado Cooker with the Cast Iron Dutch Oven
Gear:
  • 1/4 Sheet Pan x3
  • 1/4 Sheet Pan S-S Cooling Rack x3
  • W-S Cotton Kitchen Towels x2
  • BGE Cast Iron Dutch Oven
  • BBG-Cyber Q WiFi Pit Controller
  • Spider
  • W-S Candy Thermometer
  • Stump Chunks Fire Starter
  • Rockwood Lump Charcoal