Serves: 2 - Time:
I decided to try out a gluten-free batter for fish, not out of any dietary need but because it occurred to me that gluten-free flour would make a wonderfully light batter. I am happy to report that I was right. So, don’t make this one just for coeliacs-everyone will love the incredibly crisp, light batter. Salting the cod for a few minutes before cooking firms the flesh and, of course, adds flavour so don’t skip this part. I love mushy peas but felt they were a bit de trop when I was trying to make a lighter, more modern version of a classic. These peas are a cross between a salsa and pea purée and you can serve them hot or cold. I advise using an electric deep-fryer for the fish as it takes the mess and hassle out of frying.
- For the peas
- 300g frozen petits pois
- 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon good quality ready-made mint sauce
- For the fried fish
- 4 teaspoons Maldon salt
- 2 x 180g skinless cod fillets
- Oil for deep-frying, about 2 ½ -3 litres
- 150g gluten-free self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 160ml soda water (or sparking water)
- ½ tablespoon vodka
- Put the peas in a mixing bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover them. Leave for 5 minutes then drain. Put them in a food processor with the oil and mint sauce. Add some salt and ground black pepper and blend in short bursts until you have a coarse purée. Taste and season again if necessary. Scrape into a bowl and either keep warm in a very low oven or serve at room temperature.
- For the fish, sprinkle the salt over the fish and turn it over once or twice so both sides are salted. Leave for 15 minutes. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry.
- Heat the oil to 175˚c. Put the flour, paprika and a good pinch of salt in a mixing bowl and pour in the fizzy water and vodka. Roughly mix together but don’t worry about beating out lumpy bits of flour-you want to keep it fairly unmixed as this will help the lightness of the batter. Dip the fish into the batter and carefully lower into the hot oil, waving it through the oil three or four times to prevent the batter sticking to the base of the basket. Obviously be very careful and use tongs to avoid burnt fingers. Fry for about 3 ½ -4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cod fillets. Drain on kitchen paper.
- Serve the fish with the peas and a wedge of lemon and perhaps some tartare sauce.