I’m not a super big potato chips fan, I must admit, so we rarely have them at home. But self-made ones are a different story. I got inspired by a new cookbook (“Kartoffeln” by Lyndsay and Patrick Mikanowski, p.77) that mysteriously found its way into our apartment now sitting on N’s cookbook shelves (with a smirk on its face) – probably at a late hour, in dimmed light, it sneaked in via the front door unseen – a cloak- and- dagger operation. My take is, it must have had an inside person on the job. So the latest cookbook addition focuses on potatoes only and the very first image that caught my eye inspired me to keep an eye out for the blue Vitelotte potato.
It’s an old French kind, already cultivated before 1850, with a longish oval shape, medium sized with little tubers and a deep blue peel (due to the naturally occurring anthocyanin pigment). Unfortunately it’s not a very fruitful kind. I’d say that these relatively uncommon potatoes have a subtle nutty flavor (a little like chestnuts, too). I also accidentally came across an online shop that primarily ships to the US and Canada. So if you can’t get them at your favorite
luxury local farmers market it may be an option. Despite the various specialty stalls at Viktualientmarkt we couldn’t find it there and finally got lucky at a restaurant supplies store which you have to have a specific permit for – gladly a good friend of ours helped out and got them for us (usually, anything you buy there, you buy in large and very large quantities).
The ingredients part I skipped, since outside of peanut oil, blue potatoes, coarse sea salt and optionally some Cheddar or old Mimolette cheese, there is nothing else to add.
Wash and cut the Vitelotte unpeeled in thin slices – the thinner the more crispy they get while maintaining their great color. Soak slices in salt water for 5 to 10 minutes, then pad dry.
Deep fry in peanut oil at about 160°C (you can spot little bubbles on a wooden spoon, but the oil should not be smoking… ;). The thinner the slices are, the less time they need to be deep fried. If they start to develop brown patches better get them out quick and drain on paper towels. I’ve also tried to double deep fry them (with a bit thicker slices I had left over), with an interesting result: They became even more crispy and started to throw bubbles.
Then arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle some cheese crumbles over the chips. Bake for 2 minutes (or until the cheese melts) at 180°C with additional top grill on. Optionally add some sea salt or other spices to the chips.
Resume: That night we had friends over and barely a little plate with a handful of chips was left for them to try. We made a promise to make more soon and behave… :) . Definitely the best chips we ever had, with a not too spicy, but delicious and natural taste. And a great eye catcher, too. O.