Saturday, February 25, 2012
Potato chips at home
Sometimes, this should be lunch. Once a year, maybe.
They don't have to be blue. But if you are sharing them with someone you know very well, or with someone you don't know at all, it gives you something to talk about.
Slice the potatoes thinly. Rinse in water and pat dry. Very dry, or there'll be oil spatters, later.
Heat a lot of vegetable oil in a wide-mouthed pot. You need a depth of at least 4". That's why I can't make this too often. All that oil, and what to do with it afterwards? When the oil is making interesting swirling patterns from the heat, drop a sliced potato in it to see what happens. Little bubbles should start to fizz at its edges when it is hot enough. If they do, add a handful of potatoes to make a single layer, and cook them, turning once or twice with a slotted spoon, until very pale brown. Lift them from the oil, drip as much as you can back into the pot, and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the potatoes have been cooked.
If you want them super-crispy and souffled, return the cooked potatoes to the hot oil, and cooked till puffed. Drain again and salt, or:
Toss a mixture of finely grated lemon or lime zest, salt and garlic over the hot chips. At a restaurant called Cafe Lebowitz, which existed on Spring Street in Nolita for about two minutes, years ago, they did this with the French fries.
Eat with a green, peppery-leafed salad in a sharp, mustardy dressing and drink cold red wine.