Australia was an English penal colony, so much of their food is heavily influenced by the British. Many of their dishes are made with lamb and mouton, which I wasn't really in the mood for. But it's also located in the Great Barrier Reef, so seafood is plentiful. I decided to make a traditional fish and chips meal, since my family loves fried food, but I rarely make it due to it's obvious health hazards.
My mother used to make homemade fries when we lived in France. She had this really cool fry pot and basket (I think my sister Anna has it now) - I remember it as being yellow and capable of producing kick ass French fries - NOT Freedom Fries. I used the soak, fry for 3 minutes, cool and re-fry method. This yields beautiful, golden, crispy fries that only need salt - although catsup was liberally applied by the dudes in my house.
Soak the Potatoes
Fry them twice
But what would an Aussie meal be without Vegemite? Again, a big thank you and shout out the Bellingham Whole Foods staff who directed me to Marmite, a close cousin, and very popular in Australia. We broke into a moderately good rendition of the Men at Work song, that goes sumfin' like..." She just smiled and made me a Vegemite sandwich..." right there in the isle. I like pretty much everything, and I did not like like Marmite AT ALL. I guess it's an acquired taste, and like anything, if you grow up with it, it grows on you!
For desert, kiwi and mangoes - nothing else needed.
Even though I didn't like the Marmite, I loved cooking Australian food and learning more about this beautiful country.
Recipe for Batter:
- 2 cups self rising flour (or 2 cups flour and 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder)
- 1 1/2 cups beer
- Corn meal for dusting
Dust fish with corn meal
Sift flour and baking powder, whisk in beer till good batter consistency.
Coat fish and fry
- 4 Russet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into French fry length and with
- Soak for 15 min. in cold water
- Fry for 3 minutes at 330 degrees
- Remove and drain on paper towels for 5 mintues
- Return to fry at 360 degrees till golden brown
- Salt and serve immediately