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Make a batch of our
tartar sauce early enough to let it sit at least 30 minutes
before serving. Peel potatoes and cut length-wise into 1/2 inch
slices. Lay the slices flat and then cut into 1/2 inch sticks.
Place in a large bowl of water and let sit 30 minutes. Heat
oil to 260° over medium heat in an uncovered, heavy Dutch oven.
Depending on the size of your Dutch oven, you will probably
have to cook the chips in batches. Drain and thoroughly dry
your potato sticks. Carefully add to the oil and fry for 6-8
minutes, until just starting to color on the edges. The potatoes
will be very tender and delicate and break easily. Use tongs
to remove to a cooling rack set on a baking sheet. Bring oil
back up to 260°, drain, dry and fry the rest of the potato sticks.
Allow the par-fried potatoes to sit and come to room temperature.
Heat the same oil to 350°. Cut the cod into 3 ounce pieces,
about 3x2 in size and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the flour,
cornstarch, cayenne pepper, paprika, ground black pepper and
salt. Reserve and evenly spread 3/4 cup on a separate baking
sheet. Add the baking powder to the remaining dry mixture and
mix well. Starting with 8 ounces of the cold beer, pour into
the dry mixture and lightly stir with a fork until just combined.
Add beer one tablespoon at a time, stirring lightly after each
addition, just until the batter combines and falls from the
fork in a thin stream leaving a trail across the surface of
the batter. The batter will be lumpy and slightly thicker than
pancake batter but should be thin enough to fall in a stream
from the fork.
Once again, depending on the size of your Dutch oven, you
will probably need to fry the fish in batches. Use tongs to
dip the fish into the batter to coat well. Drain excess batter
from the fish and then dredge in the reserved dry mixture on
the baking sheet. Cover well with the dry mixture then use your
hands to lightly pat the fish pieces allowing the dry mixture
to coat the batter. Drop into heated oil and fry 8 minutes until
golden brown, turning often to prevent sticking to the bottom
of the Dutch oven or to each other. Remove to another cooling
rack. Place in a preheated 150° oven while frying the remaining
batches, being sure to bring the oil back up to 350° before
starting each batch.
Once all the fish is done, bring the oil back up to 350°
and fry the chips 3-5 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
Toss in a large bowl with sea salt before placing on their original
cooling wrack while preparing other batches. Serve both fish
and chips with malt vinegar and our