January 4th, 2011 | brainjuice
This was a half-arsed experiment committed the other day due to it having been 7pm and I realised I needed to make dinner for Lili and there wasn’t a whole hell of a lot of stuff in the fridge.
A game chip is like a big potato crisp, basically, only hot. Usually deep-fried. Some people will show you deep-fried potato wedges and call them game chips. The way you know they’re not game chips is that they’re deep-fried potato wedges. Anyway. I don’t like deep-frying stuff if I can help it. So I tried this.
So what you need for this is a large baking potato (or a couple of small ones), like Maris Piper — and I had half a bag of Maris Piper in the cupboard, left over from Xmas when we made roast potatoes out of them. Bugger peeling it. Just wash it. Get a saucepan two thirds full of cold water. Now what you need is a mandolin or a big sharp knife and a steady hand, because what you’re going to do is slice the potato thinly. It is fairly important that they’re all roughly the same thickness, because you’ll make extra work for yourself later if they’re not. Slice them and immediately throw the slices into the water.
It’s okay to leave chunks of unsliced potato left. Don’t go gonzo and try to slice it all, you’ll cut your fingertips off.
Let them sit in there for twenty minutes doing nothing while you glue your fingertips back on. The starch is leeching out of them into the water.
(It’s been suggested to me that you could blanch the potato slices: bring the water up to the boil, cook them for four minutes, get them off the heat, drain them and then plunge them back into cold water. My personal feeling is that the slices would probably be more prone to breaking up after blanching them. But I might try it next time if I can find my good mandolin, because my slicing with the crappy old one was terrible.)
Get the oven heated up to 200 degrees C, which is 400 degrees F, with a baking tray in there ready to go.
Your next trick: get lots and lots of kitchen paper. Make two layers, then lay your slices on it, then gently mop and press all the water out with another layer of kitchen paper. You want them good and dry.
Open the oven, get the tray out, cover the tray with a single layer of your slices. Now drizzle some olive oil over it all. Use one of the slices to push the oil around if you like. Now scatter some salt on there. Now slam it in the oven.
You need to watch it. Check every five minutes. When they start going gold, flip them. You’re probably looking at fifteen or twenty minutes’ work. If some are clearly cooking too quickly — which will happen if they’re not of a uniform thickness — pluck them out, wrap them loosely in cloth or more kitchen paper and lay them in the bottom of the oven.
You should end up with a big pile of nicely crunchy potato slices. Put a bit more salt over them, and the fresh herbs of your choice if you want them.
Next time I’m going to toss some crushed dried chillies in oil and honey and drizzle that over them as they go in the oven.