Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You want *what* for dinner?

I came home tonight, through the freezing rain and ice and puddle-filled sidewalks, and pondered dinner. Spouse said he wasn't feeling great (headache) and wasn't that hungry but I asked him what he wanted and ran down a list of things we had: sausages, Quorn fillets, cabbage, potatoes, baked beans. He said sausage, beans and chips would be fine. Excuse me? Chips? Did I at any point mention chips? No, I didn't, but I did say potatoes and to an Englishman that's just chips-in-the-raw.

Well, I wasn't opposed to a bit of a challenge tonight, so I pulled out the old Fanny Farmer again. It failed me on boiling eggs on a modern range, but I figured something involving deep frying had to be easier. Scrub, slice, soak, boil, cool, dry, fry. Easy-peasy.

How do you make crispy chips? Can anyone tell me this? Everything seemed to go well, and they tasted great (spouse: Ooo! It smells lovely! Me: That's hot fat.) but were soggy. I drained them and kept them in a hot oven while I did the several batches, but even right out of the fat they were kind of soggy. Spouse said they were like what one makes in England, so I don't think it was an issue of the potato variety (I used Russet as we don't have King Edward), so maybe it was fat temperature? I really don't know.

Still, this was my first chip (fry, French-fried potato, whathaveyou) making experience. The Englishman approved, so I guess it was a success.


edrie said...

I bake mine - never have had luck with deep frying

Teru said...

Baked seems too much like roasted potatoes and I do those all the time. Frying was quite an adventure though! Lots of sizzling and spattering! And smoke!

50sgal said...

I think you have to make sure the fat is really hot but not too hot so it fries FAST. In one of my 50's books or magazines I read that if you drop a ball of bread dough in and it browns in 6 seconds, its the right temperature and then, I find at least, if you put them into the oven (that has previously been set at broil ) on a cookie sheet they will crisp up nicely, but watch it cuz broil can turn ugly fast! They sound yummy though. Also, any fun addings, such as garlic salt or sprinkles of olive oil and rosemary etc you can do as soon as they are out of the fat and still wet and before baking, then u can make all kinds of yummy 'gourmet' chips.

Public Artist said...

The fat probably wasn't hot enough, and really crispy chips are fried, set aside to cool, and fried again.

But British chips are floppy balls of grease, so you probably gave your Englishman what he wanted.