Fry Bake and Fish

It’s New Year’s Day. It’s cold and dreary outside. It’s my first winter outside of the Caribbean in 12 years and I’m missing Trinidad & Tobago. Pondering that while looking at my new deep fryer I bought myself for Christmas (thanks to a husband who believes I can buy better gifts than he can), I thought nothing would help solve that better than making some Fry Bake and Fish. If I can’t be at the beach, might as well enjoy my favorite beach food.

Now I must admit me and fry bake have a sometime’ish relationship. Sometimes they come out beautifully and sometimes they don’t puff up enough to escape my Trini husband’s criticism.  But say what … they always taste good.

Fry Bake Recipe* 
Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour , plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine (optional)
  • 1 cup water (be prepared to add more if needed)
  • 2 cups vegetable or canola oil for frying the bakes

Instructions:

  1. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  2. Add butter and mix with a fork (or use your fingers) until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs
  3. Make a hole in the center of the flour and add 3/4 cup water while mixing and stirring in a circular motion. Dough should begin to resemble really coarse crumbs.
  4. Add 1/4 cup more water and continue mixing gently for about 5 minutes until you form a smooth, soft dough.
  5. If dough is too sticky, sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour. If the dough is too dry after adding all the water, add another tablespoon or so of water and mix it until the dough is smooth and soft.
  6. Allow to rest for about 3-5 minutes, then dust with flour and knead to form a smoother dough.
  7. Rub some oil on top of dough and allow the dough to rest for 25 – 30 minutes covered with plastic wrap or a damp paper or kitchen towel.
  8. Divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces (depending on how large you want the bakes to be).
  9. Roll them into balls and place on a well-floured surface. Allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes.
  10. Flatten the balls of dough until they are about ¼ inch thick. You can use a rolling pin or your hands.
  11. Slowly add the dough to the heated oil in a deep pan or a deep fryer.
  12. Fry in hot oil until both sides are golden brown, about 30 – 45 seconds per side.
  13. Remove the fried bakes from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  14. Serve it warm with fried fish, salt fish, vegetables or anything you fancy. My kids prefer it sliced with cheese inside. Yum!

I put the bakes in a warm oven until I finished frying the fish.

My father brought back cases of halibut from a recent fishing trip in Alaska and we have been looking for all sorts of ways to prepare it. So I battered up some of that halibut to serve with the fry bake.  I cut the fillets into pieces small enough to fit inside a sliced fry bake and used the batter recipe below.

Fish batter
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
  2. Add milk and water slowly, then beat until batter is smooth.
  3. Dip fish or chicken into batter, allow excess to drip off.
  4. Deep fry until golden brown (I used a deep fryer set on the 320F temperature)

We sliced the bakes and placed a fried piece (or two) of fish inside. We added tomato, lettuce, garlic sauce, tamarind sauce (or chutney or whatever we had on hand) and pineapple chow made earlier that day (I said I was all about my favorite beach food today). And of course my Trini husband added pepper sauce.

Enjoy!

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