Colin Cromar of Cromars, St Andrews, has created this delicious recipe for the ultimate comfort food, scampi and chips

  • 20
  • 4
  • Easy
To celebrate a classic British seafood dish, Colin Cromar of Cromars, the award-winning chippy from St Andrews, has created this delightful recipe for Scampi and chips, using great Scottish ingredients.

Ingredients

  • For the scampi:
  • 15-20 langoustine or prawn tails
  • vegetable or sunflower oil for frying
  • 140g plain flour
  • 85g cornflour
  • 150ml beer
  • 100ml sparkling water
  • lemon wedges and chips, to serve
  • For the tartare sauce:
  • 6 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 gherkin, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp caper, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp chopped tarragon
  • For the chips:
  • 6-8 large potatoes, preferably Maris Piper
  • sunflower oil, for deep frying
  • To serve:
  • flaked sea salt
  • malt vinegar

Method

Scampi and chips

For the scampi

1. To prepare the langoustines, pull off the head and pincers.

Lay the tail flat on a chopping board and use a sharp pair of scissors to cut a line straight down the back of the shell.

Carefully peel the langoustine, score down the back, then remove the grit sac.

2. Get the oil heating in a large saucepan or wok – you will need enough to come 2-3in up the side of the pan.

For the tartare sauce, mix all ingredients in a bowl and season.

3. Place the flours in a bowl with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

Add the beer and sparkling water, and whisk to a smooth batter.

4. To test if the oil is hot enough, put a drop of batter into the pan – it should crisp and brown within 30 secs.

Dip each langoustine or prawn tail into the batter, then carefully drop it into the oil.

Drizzle a little extra batter over each one while they are cooking – this will give you a really crispy coating.

Cook them in batches, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. When golden and floating to the surface, scoop out and drain well on kitchen paper.

Sprinkle the scampi with salt and serve with the tartare sauce, lemon wedges.

For the chips:

1. Peel the potatoes and cut lengthways into roughly 1cm/½in slices. Cut each slice into fairly thick chips and rinse in a colander under plenty of cold water to remove excess starch.

(If you have time, it’s worth letting the chips soak in a bowl of cold water for several hours, or overnight.) Pat dry with kitchen paper.

2. Heat a deep, heavy-bottomed saucepan half-full of the sunflower oil to 130C. Alternatively, use an electric deep-fat fryer heated to 130C.

3. Using a large, metal, slotted spoon, gently lower half the chips into the hot oil and stir carefully. Fry for ten minutes, or until cooked through but not browned.

4. Remove the chips from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on plenty of kitchen paper.

Repeat the process with the remaining chips. (The chips can be left for several hours at this stage.)

5. When ready to serve, reheat the oil to 190C. With a slotted spoon, lower all the par-cooked chips gently into the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.

Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

6. Tip into a serving dish and sprinkle with salt and vinegar to serve.

• To try the Colin’s own, why not check out Cromars fish and chip shop in St Andrews

Scampi Cromars

Picture: Cromars

About The Author

Colin Cromar

Colin, from Anstruther and now living in Cupar, has been in the fish and chip shop industry for 32 years, having started his career in the Anstruther Fish Bar, where he worked for 20 years, ending up with a partnership in the business. He then sold his share and travelled the world for a years, returning to Scotland to buy a fish and chip shop in Kinghorn. Together with Gordon Spinks he set up The Tail End in Edinburgh, (from an old pub that had closed), which became another well known fish and chip shop. He did the same at the St Andrews Tail End fish bar, with Gordon again. He was approached by businessman William Frame nearly three years ago to open and run an upmarket fish and chip restaurant in St Andrews and Cromars was born. It has attracted numerous industry accolades in its short life so far and is the current Fish and Chip Shop of the Year for Scotland in the National Fish and Chip Awards and a Top 10 UK finalist.

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About The Author

Colin Cromar

Colin, from Anstruther and now living in Cupar, has been in the fish and chip shop industry for 32 years, having started his career in the Anstruther Fish Bar, where he worked for 20 years, ending up with a partnership in the business. He then sold his share and travelled the world for a years, returning to Scotland to buy a fish and chip shop in Kinghorn. Together with Gordon Spinks he set up The Tail End in Edinburgh, (from an old pub that had closed), which became another well known fish and chip shop. He did the same at the St Andrews Tail End fish bar, with Gordon again. He was approached by businessman William Frame nearly three years ago to open and run an upmarket fish and chip restaurant in St Andrews and Cromars was born. It has attracted numerous industry accolades in its short life so far and is the current Fish and Chip Shop of the Year for Scotland in the National Fish and Chip Awards and a Top 10 UK finalist.