Mc Donald’s. Two little words that shouldn’t really appear on a food blog. Big corporate, boo! Food of dodgy provenance, boo! High levels of saturated fat and salt, double boo! Yes, I know but there are times (admittedly very rare times) when a Maccie D’s hits the spot nothing else can reach.
Whenever I visit the golden arches, my burger of choice is a fillet o’ fish. There should be something inherently wrong about fish in a roll with a slice of plastic cheese and a dollop of tartare but for me it is the pinnacle of burger heaven. Plus, apparently Mc Donald’s fish is Marine Stewardship Council accredited which makes me feel slightly better about my choice.
So I took to wondering, would it be possible to replicate Mc Donald’s famous fillet o’ fish at home? Well you will be pleased to hear that the answer is “yes” as I think this recipe comes pretty darn close. Don’t be alarmed by the cornflakes in the fish coating. I wasn’t keen at first but having tried a polenta only crust and a breadcrumb crust, the cornflake-polenta combo provides the most authentic texture and colour. Plus it has the advantage of cooking well in the oven without having to rattle the frying pan.
I made my own burger buns using Dan Lepard’s carrot and cumin recipe here (and also from “Short and Sweet“) which were delicious if a little heavy. For a lighter, plainer altenative you could try Dan’s soft white bap recipe here. Or alternatively just buy shop bought buns.
Because I am still to master the making of a decent homemade chip, I served my burgers with some delicious crispy potato skins. These were quite spicy so if making for little people, go easy on the cayenne and paprika.
As I don’t reckon you could get a much more family friendly dish than this, I am entering my recipe into the lovely @BangerMashChat’s “Care to Cook Challenge“. The challenge aims to raise awareness of TACT, a wonderful charity which provides fostering and adoption services to help some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK. TACT has launched its very own cook book called Care to Cook packed full of delicious recipes which costs just £3 with all proceeds directly benefitting adopted children and their new families.
Homemade fillet o’ fish and “chips”
- 100g cornflakes
- 50g polenta
- 4 skinless white fish portions (I used hake)
- 50g plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp gherkins, chopped
- 1 tsp capers, chopped
- 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley,chopped
- 4 burger buns
- 4 slices mild cheese (I used emmental)
- salad (optional)
For the potato skins:
- 4-6 large baking potatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- salt and pepper
- salsa and sour cream to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C/gas 5. Bake the potatoes for 1 hour. Leave to cool.
2. Blitz the cornflakes to fine crumbs in a food processor and mix with the polenta. Dust the fish portions in the seasoned flour and brush off the excess. Dip the fish in the egg then coat liberally with the cornflake and polenta mixture. Refrigerate.
3. Mix the mayonnaise with the gherkins, capers and parsley to make a tartare sauce.
4. Cut the potatoes into 4 or 6 pieces lengthways and scoop away the middle of the potato, leaving a 1cm layer of soft potato inside the skin. Mix with the olive oil, spices and seasoning, transfer to a baking tray and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
5. Cook the fish portions in the oven, alongside the potatoes for a further 15 minutes. Turn the fish half way through cooking.
6. Slice open the burger buns and place a slice of cheese and some salad (if using) on the base. Top with the fish and a good dollop of tartare sauce. Serve with the potato skins and some salsa and sour cream for dipping.