Chippy Tea for Leanne
A British classic I am almost too afraid to emulate. It is so simple to do at home and is, even to my surprise, cheaper than the chip shop variety we are so accustomed too. Fish and chips is something I will always relate to my mate Leanne. A Lancashire girl who, one cool autumn day was feeling a little home sick and lamenting the loss of the northern chippy. While I have scarcely been further north than Watford, I see what she means. In general fish and chips in London are somewhat lacklustre. However, that same autumn day – afternoon by this time – I took her to my favourite place in the whole wide world: Borough market. We visited the Fish! Kitchen for some beer-battered seasonal plaice. It is without a shadow of a doubt the best fish and chips I have ever had (apart from my own of course). It is pretty pricey, but I recommend a visit for a little treat. And the portion sizes are certainly substantial for one-between-two, even with my mighty appetite. When I made these chips for her for the first time, I did so with great trepidation. This girl knows her chips. “Mo, these are the best chips EVER,” she exclaimed. She may well have been humouring me, but Leanne is destructively honest the rest of the time, so I shall take it as the truth. Now whenever Leanne goes home and I am left all by myself in noisey old London, I turn to this recipe to console me and remind me that she will be back soon, with a bottle of wine and stories about silly boys. She is a smart girl if ever I met one, a very smart girl indeed.
Ingredients (Serves 2 as accompaniment):
Six maris pipers
Copious amounts of olive oil
Good sea salt
Cider Vinegar (malt, if you must)
Wash and peel the potatoes. Ever since I invested in a good peeler this has been one of my favourite tasks. So satisfying. Moving swiftly on… Now slice the potatoes into rough chip shapes, I like a chunky chip personally, that way you get the crisp coat and squidgy insides we all dream about. Well, I do at least. Par boil the piece, but for no more than 10 minutes, otherwise they will go fluffy and in this instance that is not what we want. Drain and plaice the potato pieces onto a baking tray and douse with olive oil. You can use other fats, I have tried and they all had there own pros, but with a good homemade mayonnaise olive works best. Now pop into a preheated oven at 200C for 30-40 minutes dependent on how golden you like them. I lean towards the 40-45 mark personally, but that is not to everyones tastes. While they are cooking, check on them every 10 minutes and give the tray a little shake so they get tossed around and get a nice all over glow when they are done. Now sprinkle with a good sea salt, piled high This is how to do 50% of this great classic. Lie back and think of England, or Leanne, and enjoy!