Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Easy Hand Cut Chips

I just love potatoes...  mashed, baked, roasted, even boiled, pan fried to name a few .  Or as in this post , deep fried.   I call them chips, potato chips to me are crisps  :)   but to most they are fries or french fries.  Probably due to years of advertising on TV, whenever I hear the word fries, i think of red cardboard sleeves stuffed full of salty / greasy mass produced shoestrings.  

Growing up we had chips a fair bit , Almost every Monday night it was cold meat & chips night ( the cold meat being the leftover Sunday roast )    always hand cut and deep fried in vegetable oil on a big pot on the stove.  I used that method until I nearly caught the stove on fire , and severely burned my hand avoiding just such a disaster.  After that I bought a little hot pot deep fryer, not the automatic ones but a nice simple bucket with no exposed elements , and a quick release power cord.  Ive also switched the oil over to sunflower or canola oil , currently its a blend of both I'm using. 

 This post was requested thru my FaceBook Food Page ( link at bottom of page ) on which I regularly post my dinners,  and keeping with tradition . I really enjoy my Monday night cold meat and chips dinner.  Its a nice simple, and fast way to get food on the table . Okay , on to the chip making. 

Start with a washed potato, I like russets, or Yukon golds, but any will do.  Simply cut it in half lengthwise, and then cut each half lengthwise again. ( Quartering it )  
Don't forget to get your oil warming up , I like 375F for mine.   

Normally cutting in half , and then slicing into quarters is good enough, but this year the spuds are HUGE , this one topped 1lb (450gm) .  So i cut a 1/2  inch (1 cm) slice from the cut side. 



Stack them back together for slicing .  ( This also shows exactly where I cut the extra slice )

As you start chopping , 1/2" slices , the potato will become chips. 
Continue on and repeat with the other half. 

For this method, its straight into the chip pan, no rinsing, soaking or boiling required.
Just to be sure : The oil MUST be preheated , to at least 355F,  or you will not have crispy chips.

Keep and eye on your pot!  It will bubble up considerably .  This unit does not have any exposed elements , so there is no risk of fire... but I can tell you 375F HURTS!! Ice pack for 8 hours kinda hurt.

After a minute or so , lift out your chips and give them a shake, this should loosen them up so you don't have any stuck together, or to the bottom of the basket. 

Continue on for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how well done you like them, and how much you have in the pot. A good guideline is when you start seeing a few floating .  Taste tests are a good method too..  watch out they are HOT . 

Tip them out on to something absorbent, paper towels, napkins, leftover brown lunch bags :)  This is also a good time to season them with some sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

That's it , nothing left to do but plate them and enjoy.  In this case it was with cold bacon wrapped stuffed pork tenderloins, garlic mushroom hummus, and a fresh tomato.

There are dozens of different methods for making chips,  including soaking the cut potatoes, rinsing , par-boiling, deep frying a second time,  finishing them in the oven . Those all require extra steps,  I have tried quite a few of them ,  and the only one I really liked was finishing them in the oven, which is also a neat tip if your making more chips than your pot will hold.  Simply keep them in a 250F oven on a tray, with parchment paper.  This method I showed you here is the quick and easy , no fuss method.  Just wash , chop,  cook, and eat :)   I hope you have enjoyed it. Comments and Feedback are welcomed.

Happy Cooking   
Rich