Cheftalk is a treasure trove of info on fish and chips, but why doesn't anybody address what Parts o

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by the novice, Apr 12, 2016.

  1. the novice

    the novice

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    Introduction:  I am a relatively young restaurant owner, basically, i am open minded and have a friend who is a red seal chef, who has gone out of his way to teach me almost everything from how to blanch fries to what knives to use and how to steel them and with what and what to watch out for.

    I learned most of my recipes from my mom (not afraid to admit it) and i have put them to good use in my restaurant

    I will be introducing a new menu in my restaurant, (mall-food court) and i want to do fish and chips.  I upgraded my fryers to the biggest electric fryers available, but throughout RFPs from different food wholesalers i keep running into the same problem.

    What are the best parts of a fish to use?  The loin?  The fillet?  FLT Cut (don't even know what this means?) Sq. Cut (Same with this abbreviation?)

    What i have deduced is that a quality F&P does not come out of the package battered, thats on the chef/preparer w/e, but it saves a lot of headache and trial and error, and time.

    Thank you for any info you have to offer
     
  2. jimyra

    jimyra

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    Welcome to Chef talk.  What white fish is available in your area?  Cod is used in a lot of places but many white fishes are used around the world.  When you don't understand the terms your purveyor is using ask the sales rep to explain what a product is and where it comes from.  If they won't or don't know, get another purveyor. 
     
  3. justa chef

    justa chef

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    Here in New England Fish is a big thing, obviously. We use mostly Cod and Haddock for Fish and Chips. Some Chefs like to try to get away with Pollock but I'm not one of them. All the terminology can be looked up. The Filet is the boneless side of flesh running the entire length of the fish from the tail to the Gills. If you cut that filet in half the front thicker part world be the loin or Captains cut and the tail piece is obviously the tail piece. The loin is usual used for the Baked cod or Haddock, specials and such and the tail is usually used for frying as it's thinner and will cook through faster. 

    Now, what r u going to coat the fish with for frying. A dry batter like seasoned clam fry of fritter mix or a wetter coating like a traditional english beer batter fry? Final word to the wise. Use fresh fish not frozen and keep it washed and iced down always!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  4. the novice

    the novice

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    So is a FLT. cut a fillet cut?  then what is a sq. cut?

    I am looking to use Atlantic IQF cod loin, which i will thaw and make the batter for.

    I am in North Central Canada, so the availability of fresh fish is few and far between.

    What is the difference between frozen fish and fresh fish (yes, stupid question i know).

    Second, question, how can i put a mediterranean twist on it?
     
  5. justa chef

    justa chef

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    The FLT and sq. are probably something that has to do with code-ing from your vender. The biggest thing you need to watch out for when it comes to frozen fish is that it sogs out big time when you fry it. it also has tendency to get rubbery. The difference between fresh and frozen will be obvious to you when you look and feel them side by side. Also the difference between the 2 is about 4 dollars a pound...lol

    As far as a Mediterranean twist to fried cod?.....you could add some Tuscan, Baharat or Advieh herbs or sweet wine to the batter, possibly serve it with some sort of Med herb tarter sauce or yogurt sauce on the side....play around with different things. Create a signature dish unique to you..if all fails...google it!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  6. fablesable

    fablesable

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    Where about in north central Canada??
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2016
  7. the novice

    the novice

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    is their a workaround to ensure it doesn't get rubbery? and when you say sogs out, you mean a lot of water is released during the frying?  and again, can that be helped or am i SOL?
     
  8. the novice

    the novice

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    /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif
     
  9. justa chef

    justa chef

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    All my experience with IQF is that if you overcook it it gets Rubbery undercook it...it soaks right through your batter. To me it's Cafeteria food. Mabe try a fish native to your area your local fish monger might have at a reasonable price. Arctic Char, Grayling, maybe some Pacific Cod out of Alaska or even Walleye!. It fries up nice. Why the Mediterranean twist?
     
  10. the novice

    the novice

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    Northern Ontario
     
  11. someday

    someday

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    I agree, don't use frozen fish unless you have to. Surely there must be someone who delivers fresh fish?

    I would try and stay away from cod, also. It is a delicious fish, but horribly, horribly, horribly overfished and there are alternatives out there you should use, IMO. Haddock is good, and there is a fish called cusk out there that would probably work well, though I haven't used it for fish and chips before. Pollack is OK but probably not the best. But I think fresh pollack would be better than frozen cod or frozen haddock. There is also buzz about a fish called "dogfish" which is actually a shark, but it is supposed to be great for fish and chips. My purveyor sells it but I've never used it. 

    Mediterranean twist, lets see. You could sub your fries for panisse, which is basically chickpea flour cooked like polenta, spread onto a sheet pan to cool, then cut into shapes (or fries for you) and then fried. They are delicious, and can be flavored any sort of way you choose. 

    You could make a z'atar spice blend to spread on your fries. Some sort of romanesco-ish style tartare sauce might work. Beet/carrot/yogurt slaw, instead of cabbage. You could experiment with chickpea flour in the batter, you could offer tabbouleh instead of cole slaw. Paprika/espelette pepper for a seasoning on the fries (maybe play on patatas bravas). 
     
  12. justa chef

    justa chef

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    Dogfish is terrible......like chewing on shoe leather. As far as cod Goes...it's making a huge comeback as far as the fisheries go. There have been strict fishing restrictions over the last 10 years and we're actually starting the catch them off the shoreline in the winter again. Pacific cod...all 30 species of them have become more popular on the west coast...But like I said...try some of you local fish especially walleye out of the great lakes....
     
  13. the novice

    the novice

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    "I disagree with your opinion of frozen fish, though. For those not near coastlines, FAS fish actually is higher quality than so-called fresh---which is often four or five days old before your fishmonger even sees it. FAS fish is caught, cleaned, packaged, and flash frozen within two hours.

    More often than not, when there's a loss of quality with FAS fish it's because it was defrosted improperly."

    http://www.cheftalk.com/t/59777/nam...y-used-in-real-english-fish-chips#post_304833

    So who is right and who is wrong? or is it six of one, half a dozen of the other. 

    I will talk to some people, but i can almost guarantee everything is frozen or horribly past its expiry date if it is fresh
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  14. someday

    someday

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    I guess I don't understand your point, because 4-5 day old fish isn't fresh fish. If your choice is between 4-5 day old fish and FAS fish, then I agree that FAS would be a better choice. 
     
  15. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    If you go with IQF then talk to your vendors about 'dry pack' stuff that's not pumped with solution.  I dunno what your distributors carry but Harbor Banks packs most of their fish & shellfish with no added solution.  The difference between their stuff and the crap that's "pumped" is night and day.  If you slack them both out side on by side on two sheet pans the Harbor Banks pan will have just a little bit of water in the bottom but the pumped stuff will swimming in a puddle.  High quality frozen thawed as needed beats "fresh" fish that is nearly a week old by the time you get it.  Cod is kind of the 'gold standard' for fish and chips but Hake is really good too, and a bit cheaper.
     
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  16. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    FLT.....Fillet       SQ........Square cut

    I buy IQF Alaskan Cod for Baja Fish Tacos that are basically trim pieces. They are 2-3 oz portions, very good quality and the price is reasonable, around $3.50lb.

    Not what I would buy if I was running a chip shop, but ok for a special from time to time or tacos.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2016
  17. the novice

    the novice

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    WTH would someone need or want a square cut?  Fillet i get, loin i get, but....you know what...../img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif
     
  18. the novice

    the novice

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    Basically, their is no correct procedure to thaw out frozen fish so it isn't shit?
    I looked at my vendor spreadsheet, nothing with Harbor Banks.......

    So either its frozen and pumped with god knows what, or its fresh and expensive as ****, or its not fresh but i still pay up the *** because they call it fresh.
     
  19. someday

    someday

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    Are there people that sell fresh lake fish nearby? If you are in Northern Canada there must be hundreds of lakes. 
     
  20. the novice

    the novice

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    the lakes around here carry usually bass, pickerel, all the wrong types of fish