You may or may not know that we are smack bang in the middle of one of the best weeks of the year.
Not only is it my birthday this week, it's also National Chip Week.
Yes, that's a thing.
The lovely people from The Potato Council (also a thing) heard I was a big fan of Heston's Dinner restaurant, so invited me to a chip masterclass with head chef Ashley Palmer-Watts.
Heston's chip recipe is a serious undertaking.
We started with a chat about potatoes, there were even diagrams involved.
Apparently the best potatoes for chips change every season, but as a general rule, go for Maris Pipers.
Peel your potatoes & chop into chips (2cm x 6cm).
Wash under cold running water for 5mins, to remove the starch.
Then add to a big pan of cold, salted water. Put on a medium heat and cook until the chips just start to fall apart (around 20mins).
Drain your (now very delicate) chips. Ashley thought you'd probably lose a little more than a third during this process, don't sweat it, the ones that survived will be delicious.
Lay them out to dry on a rack.
Put the rack in the freezer for 1 hour to dry the chips out.
Or if, like Heston, you happen to have a freeze dryer, feel free to use it!
Using a deep fat fryer or being very careful with a pan, heat rapeseed oil to 130C.
Cook the chips in small batches for about 5mins, until they start to brown & crisp.
Now place your chips back on the rack and pop back in the freezer for an hour.
When you're ready to serve, heat oil to 180C and fry the chips for 5-7mins.
Sprinkle with really great salt & serve.
We sat up at the chefs table (I took a date with me) and watched Ashley do his thang.
We paired the little badboys with steak (naturally) and used the crunchy, delicious chips to mop up all the gravy.
All that was left was to worship at the alter of Tipsy Cake pineapples...
It was an incredible afternoon.
You already know I love dinner, love Heston & think Ashley is pretty much the bees-knees.
I really did enjoy the chips...
I just honestly don't think they're worth all that effort. Sorry, sorry, I know. Heston is king, who am I to disagree with him?
I just think that chips are so deliciously naughty, they should also be easy to whip up at a moment's notice.
Mine may not be thrice cooked by a Michelin starred culinary hero, but they are much quicker, easier, healthier & just frickin' delicious.
So there, Heston.
If you fancy making mine, pre-heat your oven to 220C/420F (no deep fat frying on my watch).
Don't bother peeling the spuds, just chop 'em into chips.
Grab a non-stick baking tray or even better, line a tray with a silicone sheet.
Spread your chips out into one flat layer.
Drizzle enough olive oil to very lightly coat your chips, but not so they're sitting in puddles of it. You want to bake these, not fry them.
Sprinkle with salt.
Throw in some rosemary (fresh or dried) and 2 or 3 of cloves of garlic (unpeeled).
Toss to make sure all the flavour gets around.
Pop into your oven for 30mins. Resist the urge to move them around, do not touch!
After 30mins use a spatula to flip them over & shove them back in for another 10-15mins, keeping an eye on them so they don't burn.
When they're done they should look something like this:
Crisp on the outside, soft & fluffy in the middle.
Serve in good ol' fashioned newspaper cones with lots of ketchup & mayonaise.
We'll see who's is the face that launched a thousand chips, mine or Heston's!