Friday, 25 January 2013

Handcut Chips with Garlic Aioli

So, who watched the tennis last night? Wasn't it good? I know most of you will be disappointed that Federer lost and I totally get it - he seems like a really great guy. While I feel your (and his) pain, I must confess I was cheering for Murray in that match. You see, two Scottish people brought me into this world (thanks mum and dad!) and I suppose it makes me feel like I should show some sort of loyalty to Scotland when it comes to duels such as that between Murray and Federer last night. 

So, there we were - me, Harry Rachel and Dan all glued to this tennis match and we were starting to get super hungry. Now, when you are glued to the television as the second set is taking place, you don't have time to go to the shop for anything. And that's a shame because us students don't really ever have anything readily available in the fridge or pantry. But last night I swear the gods were smiling upon us, just as they were on Murray. And I know this because, after a cavity search of our pantry, we discovered we had potatoes! And what is the cornerstone of your average Scottish diet? Deep fried potato chips, wrapped in newspaper just like our grandma used to make them.

We gave our fried friends a little "Modern Australian" twist with our garlic aioli. And before you correct me, I am aware aioli didn't originate in Australia, but we've totally adopted it as our own, just like the pavlova, barbecues and Thai food. 

What will you need for this simple, effective dish?

Oil - hopefully you have a deep fryer with used oil but fresh in the fry pan is also OK

3 teaspoons of crushed garlic
2/3 cup of virgin olive oil
2 eggs yolks
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of American Mustard

Prepare your aioli by separating the yolk of two eggs and adding to a bowl with garlic. Using your electric beaters, mix on a low setting for about one minute. 

Next, you are going to need to SLOWLY add oil to the bowl in droplets. If you add too much oil at a time, the aioli will not emulsify (fancy word for egg and oil not being able to mix together - you can tell that guy/girl you want to end things with that you didn't "emulsify" properly and they'll look at you like you're mad and hey presto you'll probably never see him/her again). You can slowly start increasing the flow of oil 'til it is a thin stream as you are beating the eggs - it will take about ten minutes for you to add all the oil. 

Then you can add a couple of teaspoons (I added three myself) of garlic, salt and pepper and if you're after a bit more zing in your life, add an extra teaspoon of American mustard.

Now for the chips - start by peeling your potatoes then slicing them lengthways to resemble french fries. Actually, screw that, cut them as thick as you like. I like them thinner but that doesn't mean I can't accept your preference for a fuller figured chip. Different strokes. You can soak the chips in water beforehand if you want but I don't have time to wait when I'm hungry and need sustenance to get me through the next set. A simple rinse is fine for me.

Set your deep fryer to 190°C. If you don't have a deep fryer, heat 3 cups of oil in a large saucepan on high - the chips ready when they float to the top. You can keep them floating there for longer if you like a bit of extra crunch and colour. 

When the chips are done, place the chips on paper towel to soak up any extra oil and give a really generous shake of salt and they're ready to enjoy!

Bon Appetit! And Happy Burns Night to all the Scots out there! (Thanks to my sister Rach for the hand modelling - she has a great set of paws, no?) 

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