Oi oi, we’ve got Canadian chef and all-round food legend Matty Matheson cooking and getting his chops around iconic British dishes. If you think sandwiches without fish fingers in ‘em are a waste of time, get stuck into the first episode of God Save The Food.
1 Large Fresh Cod Fillet (roughly about 1/2kg, ask your fish monger to remove the skin for you)
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup Panko
1 Pullman Loaf
For the Gravy
2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 cup Chicken Stock
½ tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Poultry Seasoning
2 tbsp Double Cream
Salt and Pepper
4 tbsp dried sage
3 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried rosemary
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1. Take your piece of cod and cut your filet into 1” (2.5cm) wide strips, about ½” (1.5cm) thick. You should get about 6 fingers. Set them aside on a rack in the fridge to dry out while you prepare your breading station.
2. Get 3 shallow bowls or dishes. In your first bowl, add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix in 3 tablespoons of salt. In your second bowl, add 6 whole eggs, whisked, with about a tablespoon of water for a looser consistency. In your third bowl, add 1 cup of panko. Line them up in order.
3. Bread your fish fingers by first coating the fish in flour, making sure that there are no wet spots. Then, coat your fish finger in egg. Finally, make sure the fish finger is completely coated in panko, then place on a plate or rack, ready for frying. Repeat for all fish fingers.
4. In a deep pan, fill it halfway with canola oil and set to a medium-high heat, about 177 C-190 C. Remember to turn down the oil if it starts to smoke. Carefully place your fish fingers in the hot oil, the oil should be bubbling when your fish finger goes in. Stir occasionally until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Place your fish fingers on a wire rack to drain off any excess oil, and dust with salt.
5. Next, prepare your gravy. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and stir in 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour, to create your base. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and whisk gently, adding more chicken stock as it cooks to get the consistency that you want.
6. Add in ½ tablespoon of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of poultry seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finish with 2 tablespoons of double cream and stir through. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lemon cheek, and the zest of half a lemon.
7. Once your gravy is ready, take 1 cup of freezer peas and stir into your gravy, so they can heat slowly and bring your gravy back to temperature as you prepare to complete your dish.
8. Cut 2 slices of your pullman loaf, fairly thick, about 1/2” thick each. In a fry pan, melt 2 tbsp butter and put your bread into the pan, slowly frying your toast in the butter. Add more butter as needed.
9. To build your fish finger sandwich, start with a piece of toast, then add two fish fingers. Pile on a small amount of cheese curds, then add two more fish fingers. Top with cheese curds, then using a slotted spoon, add some freezer peas on top. Top with gravy and enjoy.
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