Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Take Away v. Home Made- Fish and Chips

This one is just for the Aussies.

The good old Friday night take away, fish and chips now costs too much for me to be happy to pay.

$6 x 3 (the boys have half a piece each)
$4 for chips
$8 for "bird rings" aka calamari

That's $30 for food that is inconstantly good. Once the twins are eating fish, then the price will only increase.

The Fish 

So, Chris and I have been trialling all sorts of frozen fish fillets to see what's the best.

We've tried everything from Coles crumbed fish portions (who knows what type of fish it it) for about $8 per  kilo, to the Birds Eye Dory fillets, which are about $23 per kilo and a few in between. By far the best frozen fish, goes to Aldi- The Fishmonger frozen (battered) fish fillets for $9.90 per kilo. This fish is delicious. You oven bake it and it goes nice and crispy. The fish tastes like fish, without tasting fishy. I don't know what that means, but you will when you buy it. You can also get it crumbed and you find it in orange big bags in their freezer section.

The Chips 

Of course home made double cooked chips win. Nothing beats them. Grab some normal dirty potatoes (you know the ones?) and peel and chop them into chippy shapes. Next, boil them in some salted water until they are just a bit soft on the outside. Place them on a tray lined with baking paper and shove them in the fridge.

Do that bit whenever you have a spare five minutes (hahahaha). They need to form a rubbery coating anyway. I do this bit in the morning, and then go about my day and do the next bit while the fish is cooking.

Pre-heat your deep fryer to about 170degrees Celsius.

Put the chips into the fryer. Don't overcrowd the basket. If you do, they wont be supreme. Cook them for about 3 minutes.

Take them out of the fryer and then crank it up to MAXIMUM (about 190)! Wait for it to heat to that temperature.

Dunk them back in and cook until they are to your desired crispyness.

If you cant be arsed making them, buy them frozen. More expensive and less awesome, but hey, any deep fried potato is going to be edible.

The Salt 

Right, now here's the thing. I ring my fish and chip store, and ask for extra chicken salt. The woman on the other end of the line frantically scribbles that down. Then I say "did you write down extra?" and she says "just a minute" and writes it down. And then I say, "now I want double extra chicken salt. Write that down. Don't be scared of the chicken salt." She think I'm a loon, and just puts the normal amount and I get all huffy.

Up until now, I have tried all of the chicken salts at Coles and Woolies. Just by chance I was browsing the herbs and spices at IGA and noticed there was a yellow chicken salt. I needed to give it a go...


It tastes just like the one they use in the fish and chip shops. The good thing about it is it's MSG free. I was worried that the awesome taste would be salt, pepper and MSG. So really happy I found it. I'm fairly sure this jar will last a long time. I over salted my chips, and for me, that never happens.

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3 Chicken Salt <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 

The Sauce 

I love a good tartar sauce, and this is my recipe, which is good.

Into the blender, a few blobs of low fat mayo, one blob of lite sour cream, about 20 capers (which last forever in the fridge), 1 dill pickle, salt, pepper, a big squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Wizz it. If you're feeling up yourself, stir in some chopped flat leaf parsley, or my favourite, dill.

Now, you can make a whopping batch of this and store it, or make it fresh when you need it. Once you have the ingredients, it's very quick and easy. Much better than the bought stuff.

The Calamari 

We have yet to find an awesome frozen calamari. Andy likes the Aldi one, but I'm not fussed on the thickness of the coating on the outside.

If you buy awesome calamari rings let me know!


$1 per piece of fish (approx)
$1.66 per kg for potatoes '
$0.50 for a serve of sauce
$3 for the whole tub of salt
$7 for a box of calamari

As you can see, it's going to be a lot more cost effective and delicious than the bought stuff. We have all of this on hand at any given time.

Take away= $30
Home made = > $9

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