01 March 2009

Fish and chips, not fries

Last week I headed to the kitchen to make dinner, looking forward to cooking the cod fillet I'd picked up. I looked at a couple of potatoes daring to me they'd take root if I didn't do something with them immediately. I planned on throwing the fish in a foil packet in the oven with lemon, butter and salt and pepper.

And right then, my healthy fishy meal was diverted. I pulled out the mandolin and started slicing potatoes. Maybe, I thought, I'll make them au gratin, layered with cream and cheese. That seemed like a lot of work. Plus, my fish was going to cook so quickly, why would I want to wait on potatoes to cook? Then, without a thought, I pulled out a large pan and the vegetable oil. I would make chips to go with my fish. Yeah, chips. If I'd have thought about it too long, I would have probably thought that sounded like a silly idea, too. There's the whole I've-never-made-potato-chips factor combined with the I-never-buy-potato-chips motto. But hey, just because I don't eat McDonald's doesn't mean I don't like hamburgers.

So, I heated oil and, working in small batches, slipped the thin slices of potato into the pot. I turned the chips as needed to help them brown better. I was a bit nervous about them not being crisp enough, so I let them get pretty well-browned. I wasn't bothered by this, though, because think about how different a Kettle chip looks compared to the thin, pale Lay's version. As the chips came out of the oil, I placed them in a bowl lined with paper towels, dusted them generously with salt and tossed.

They were a divine burst of crispy, salty yumminess. And what a treat. Plus, the already heated oil gave me a great excuse to fry the fish. So, we had fish and chips for dinner. It was the kind of meal I remember being very excited about coming home to as a kid.

I'd give you a more formal recipe if I thought I had any expertise with this dish, but I don't. But I will say, it's not as hard as you may think, and, if you approach it like I did, with very little thought, I think you'll find it's actually easier than you could imagine. Just heat some oil (I'd suggest some type of veg or peanut oil) and slice potatoes using a mandolin. Once the oil bubbles rapidly when a potato slice is added, it's hot. Turn to brown and remove when golden. They will continue to brown slightly once removed from the oil. Salt immediately after removing. Serve 'em warm or room temp. I'd give you advice on storing them if I thought you'd need it, but I'm guessing you'll finish them before the day is done!

1 comment:

... said...

Amy you inspired my dinner tonight. Thank you! I posted pictures on my blog.