Fish and chips

Baked fish and chips, served with pickled cucumbers, tartar sauce and thyme.

I, like most Americans, adore fish and chips. I, like most Americans, also suffer from too much oil and fat. Welcome, then, to a new age marvel, the air fryer, I believe a healthier alternative to deep frying or a pan of hot boiling oil.

I must give credit to those deserving. Laurie Anderson, as many of you know, has been my wife and partner for 43 years. Laurie sees to the healthier aspects of our diet. She sees to an elegant salad on most nights with plenty of fresh veggies. I am a Francophile and adore butter and cream, although I often substitute olive oil for butter and coconut milk for cream. Hope springs eternal, we are what we eat.

Air fried potatoes

Air fried, seasoned potatoes are a perfect accompaniment to fish and chips.

Baked fish and chips is a favorite, accompanied with a cucumber salad and a homemade tartar sauce with chopped dill and pickled shallots, accompanied by air fried potatoes.

Ingredients

• 2 pounds of white fish fillets

• 3 cups panko bread crumb mixture

• 2 teaspoons of chopped, fresh thyme or

1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme

• 1 teaspoon marjoram

• Two garlic cloves, finely minced

• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

• 4 tablespoons dijon mustard

• Four large eggs

• 2 tablespoons whole milk

• 2 cups all purpose flour

• 4 tablespoons of olive oil

• Horseradish tartar sauce, to taste

• 1 cup of mayonnaise

• 1 tablespoon of shallots, pickled and

finely chopped

• 1 tablespoon of capers, chopped

• 1 tablespoon of horseradish

• 1 tablespoon of parsley, chopped

• 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

• Salt and pepper, to taste

• Pinch of cayenne pepper

• Splash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco

Preparation

In one bowl, place flour, in the second, combine four eggs with the dijon mustard and whole milk. Prepare the panko bread crumb mixture for the third bowl. Heat olive oil, then saute the minced garlic. Toast the panko bread crumb mixture in oil briefly until it becomes slightly golden. Add thyme and marjoram and continue to brown. Place in the third bowl to dredge the fillets.

Cut up the fish into serving size fillets. Salt and pepper each side and then dredge the fillets through the flour mixture, next into the egg and mustard slurry. Roll into the panko mixture until the fish is fully covered. Lay on a stainless steel wire rack over a small sheet pan. Spraying the rack with pan release will make for an easier cleanup. Place in the air fryer for 15 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake in an electric or gas oven for similar results.

Laurie’s cucumber salad is simple. In a bowl, place 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon of dill weed. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Grate thin rounds of the two English cucumbers into the bowl. Serve with the fish.

Consider adding 1/4 inch rounds of potato, tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper with finely minced fresh rosemary. An air fryer will cook these perfectly in about 15 minutes, completing a dinner of fish and chips with fanfare.

David Campiche is a potter, poet, writer and lifelong resident of the Long Beach Peninsula with a keen interest in adventure, fine and culinary arts. Find more about his work at davidcampiche.com.

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