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Fish for Friday: Fish and Chips the Irish Way

Grace Neill's Bar

From what I’ve seen and read, and heard from folks in Ireland on previous trips, there’s little love lost between the Irish and the English. Setting aside history and politics, though, and there’s at least a bit of common ground: Fish and Chips.

Ireland consumes quite a bit of seafood and fresh water fish and shellfish per capita. They’re surrounded by the ocean, of course, and they don’t overlook her bounty when feeding the population. And there are plenty of rivers and streams there as well.

Potatoes are a key staple of the Irish diet, and my experience is that dinner can see three or four potato dishes served at once. Baked, mashed, fried, or even some combination, with sauces and, nowadays, cheese and crumblies.

All of this means there is plenty of opportunity to eat fish. With chips. Not our style chips, which they call crisps. We’d call them fries, of course. (The French are not a part of this discussion.)

Cod is one type of fish that makes excellent fish ‘n’ chips. Of course, you could eat these the English way, with malt vinegar and such. But why not have a great-tasting dipping sauce? Say, an aioli. Lemon-flavored, for instance.

Grace Neill’s Bar and Grill in Donaghadee claims to be the oldest pub in Ireland. They make a great batch of fish ‘n’ chips, and they serve them with lemon aioli. The recipe can be found here. If you don’t like double-frying chips, then get some from the freezer case and prepare according to directions. Of course, something might get lost in the translation, but it won’t take quite so long. Your call.

Want something with a bit more zing to it? Try adding 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper to the batter fixings. The fish will be so tasty it’ll sit up and sing! (Almost.)

Whatever you choose to do, make plenty, this stuff disappears with alarming speed…

Enjoy the (Fried Finny) Heat!

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