When I was about 15, I went in the chip shop with a mate and asked for a portion of chips. Not the most scintillating start to a story but bear with me… I stood there feeling pretty pleased with life – I was young, we were spending the day hanging out teenagerly, the world was our oyster and I was about to be handed a cone of hot fried potato on which a heavy shower of salt was about to fall. My mate then asked for his…with scraps.
Scraps?!? I had no idea. I scanned the overhead menus for this unpromising sounding accompaniment, but nothing. I was quietly blown away when the chip shop owner loaded my friend’s chips with a big heap of greasy crispy batter bits.
It took me days to get my head round the whole thing. When did this start happening? Does everyone have a right to claim freebie leftover deep fat fryer debris? I mean if I went in another fish and chip shop and requested scraps would the guy look at me as if I was crazy? Who was the first ever person to ask for them? They must have been pretty peckish.
So in honour of this important food memory, I decided to make a delicate steamed fish dish adorned with a rough topping of salt and vinegar beer batter.
I accompanied the fish with butter braised leeks, a sauce of some of the whizzed up leeks with crème fraiche and the cod juices from steaming, as well as diced chorizo. Then I added a proud topping of scraps which were drizzled in to hot oil from a mixture of flour, yeast, salt, sugar and beer, seasoned after frying with plenty salt and vinegar.
Ingredients: cod, leeks, flour, yeast, beer, salt, sugar, oil for frying, butter, crème fraiche, chorizo