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HOMEMADE CRISPS

Introduction & method

I am always baffled that the English-speaking world can't agree on what is a potato chip, and what is a crisp. But then neither can the Spanish, where 'patatas fritas' means both chips and crisps. I digress. We love to eat these crunchy little things, and they are surprisingly easy to make at home. Why not give it a go!

Homemade Crisps Recipe

About the Potatoes


First off, the very best potatoes for making crisps are Maris Peers - they have just the right balance of sugar and starch. But you hardly ever see them in shops because the big crisp companies buy up the whole crop. Do not despair - any potato described as good for frying will work - Maris Pipers, King Edwards, Russets are all good.

Prep


If you like a bit of skin on the edge of your crisps, give your spuds a good scrub and remove any eyes. Otherwise peel them. Obviously, crisps need to be sliced VERY thinly, between one and two millimetres (3/64 - 6/64 inch). It's almost impossible to do this by hand, so you'll need a mandolin. Not the musical instrument, the extremely dangerous kitchen gadget. Use this to slice all of your potatoes, and make sure you use the guard. Now rinse the slices in several changes of cold water until it is clear, then add 250ml (a cup) of white vinegar to 1½ litres (6 cups) of cold water and soak the slices for at least one hour. This won't make them taste of vinegar, but it will make them crisper when you fry them.

Cook the Crisps


After soaking, drain the potato slices and pat them dry on kitchen paper - you want to get them as dry as you can, so make sure you separate every single slice. Heat some oil in a deep frying pan or wok - you need a good depth - 7-10 cm (about 2-3 inches). Unless you have a giant vat of oil, you'll need to cook the crisps in batches so the pan isn't overcrowded. When the oil reaches 160°C (320°F), add some of the potato - use a spider or perforated spoon so you can lower them in all at once. They'll fizz and bubble, curl up a bit and float to the top. Use your perforated spoon to separate all the slices - you don't want any stuck together. They should be cooked in 3-4 minutes - keep an eye on them because they can turn very dark very quickly. Remove them from the oil and spread them out on kitchen paper to dry. Return the oil to temperature and cook the next batch.

Flavourings


Probably the most common flavour of commercial crisps is ready salted. This is easy to do - just put a handful or two of crisps into a paper bag, add a pinch of salt and give them a good shake. Cheese and onion is another good one - use ready grated Italian hard cheese (what we used to think was Parmesan in the olden days) and some onion granules. Or you could try paprika with a bit of salt. If you want to try salt and vinegar, you're out of luck unless you can track down powdered vinegar on the Interwebz - what you can't do is add liquid vinegar because it will make the crisps go soggy.

And Finally...


The ultimate gourmet treat - make a crisp sarnie (sandwich). Thickly butter some fluffy white bread. Add a generous pile of crisps. Slam the lid on and eat.



The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Homemade Crisps on YouTube.

 
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Ingredients & Info



•  450 grams frying potatoes
•  250 ml white vinegar
•  pinch of salt

PLUS
Vegetable or sunflower oil for frying. Water for rinsing/soaking. Flavourings of your choice.

UNITS:
Metric
Imperial
US (cups, sticks, etc)

Makes 4 packets
Prep time: 10 minutes. Soaking time: 1 hour.
Cooking time: 5 minutes.
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Watch the video on YouTube