|Sandra from Christchurch, New Zealand wrote me yesterday: “Hello Kurma, do you have any secrets for making chips that are crisp outside and soft inside? I love your website by the way.”
My reply: “Thanks Sandra. I receive a lot of letters on this subject. Here’s the step-by-step process”:
Step One Begin by choosing the right kind of potatoes. This is the most important step. In different countries the ideal chip potato has different names. The best potato for chips should be neither too watery nor too high in sugar, which respectively give it a crispy texture and a light golden colour. In Australia, many feel Bintjes are the best, in UK it’s King Edward. Not sure about USA. Or New Zealand for that matter. But you get the picture. Whatever the name, choose a floury potato.
Step Two Peel the potatoes, slice, and cut the slices into even batons. In different countries, the preferred chips can be thin or thick. Again, it’s a matter of taste.
Step Three Once you have cut the chips you should rinse them thoroughly to remove the excess starch. Pat them dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Some even soak them in water first, before rinsing. Either way, they must be completely dried.
Step Four This step is called blanching; the chips are fried at 160°C (some prefer 170°C) for 4-6 minutes and lifted out just as they start to colour. Make sure you use clean oil to fry in (sunflower is good as it has a high smoking point). Personally, I like ghee. It has an even higher smoking point, and tastes divine. Not cheap, but the very, very best, taste-wise. To assure the correct oil temperature: if you do not have a mini deep-fryer at home it’s worth investing in a thermometer to take out the guesswork.
Step Five So we’re frying the chips in batches, allowing the oil to recover its heat before submerging the next batch. Don’t overcrowd. The chips will be cooked on the inside but not crisp. Crisping comes next.
Step Seven After the initial batches of chips are all fried and set aside, increase the oil temperature to 180-190°C.
Step Eight Cook the chips a second time, again in batches, allowing the oil to recover its heat in between batches.
Step Nine Continue to fry until the chips have a nice crispy golden exterior.
Step Ten Drain on some paper towel, lightly season with sea salt and serve immediately.
Posted by Kurma on 23/9/10; 7:07:19 AM