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Melanie's Creaole Seasoned Fish in Beer Batter

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As a child Friday nights was always Fish and chips night but as an adult I couldn’t bear to carry on the tradition, so Friday nights just became take-out night. Until I was asked when last did you make fish and chips. Still reluctant to give in I caved in half way and made the fish – but I instead of chips I still made potatoes – Scalloped Potatoes with Ham (the ham is optional). I also made Tartar sauce, which I hadn’t even heard of way back then.

Melanie’s Creaole Seasoned Fish in Beer Batter
6 hake fillets
1 tsp Atlantic sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp fish spice
1 tblsp Creole seasoning
(Season the fish both sides with the above and set aside)
2 cups self raising flour + extra for dusting
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
¼ cup soda water
Enough beer to form a smooth batter (340 ml can) (or omit beer and just use soda water)
Oil for frying
Sift the flour, baking powder and the seasoning. Stir in the soda water. Gradually whisk in the beer until you have a smooth but not runny batter. After you have seasoned the fish, coat with flour, dust off excess, Dip into batter, coat evenly and fry in hot oil. Drain.
Scalloped Potatoes with Ham (Optional)
4 -6 potatoes, peeled and washed
1 cup smoked ham, diced (this is optional)
1 onion halved, quartered, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Robertsons Aromatic Potato Spice
4 tblsp butter
4 tblsp flour
2 cups milk
250 ml cream
Pinch of nutmeg
Cup of grated cheddar cheese.
Slice potatoes thin bout 3mm thick (use mandolin if you have) leave in cold water and set aside, while making the sauce then drain and pat dry.
Melt butter in large pan. Add onions and garlic with a bit of salt and fry till translucent. Stir in the flour and coat till flour absorbed into butter.
Add milk and stir till starting to thicken, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the cream and continue stirring till thick and creamy.
Grease an oven proof baking dish 9×13 and layer some potatoes. Season with salt, pepper and potato spice. Pour some sauce over. Add ham (if using).
Add the remaining potatoes, season again, pour over remaining sauce.
Sprinkle cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 40 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
Tartar Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup chopped dill pickles
1 tblsp capers, chopped
2 teaspoons grated onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tblsp chopped spring onion
Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
6 drops Tabasco sauce or more to taste (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped dill or parsley to garnish
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and chill for ½ an hour before serving.
Prepared, tried and tested by: Melanie Kramar‎

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