Are you in search of the perfect chips, well here’s how it’s done according to Heston Blumenthal.
The science of cooking chips is revealed by Heston. I’ve tried this a few times and it certainly makes for a different result to the regular method.
Heston does not recommend cutting the potatoes too thick.
He also suggests blanching the potatoes in lightly salted water before you deep fry them to create fluffy potato chips that will be very crispy once they have been fried.
You also need to allow them to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes which allows them to dry out and the starch crystallise.
From there do a first fry for about 5 minutes, remove and dry out in the fridge before the final fry.
Try it out and tell us what you think.
A little wiki about chips
Belgian journalist Jo Gérard has claimed that a family manuscript dated 1781 recounts that potatoes were deep-fried prior to 1680 in what was then the Spanish Netherlands and is now present-day Belgium, in the Meuse valley: “The inhabitants of Namur, Andenne, and Dinant, had the custom of fishing in the Meuse for small fish and frying, especially among the poor, but when the river was frozen and fishing became hazardous, they cut potatoes in the form of small fish and put them in a fryer like those here”. Gérard has not produced the manuscript supporting this claim which, even if true, is unrelated to the later history of the French fry, as the potato did not arrive in the region until around 1735; also, given the economic conditions of the 18th century: “it is absolutely unthinkable that a peasant could have consecrated large quantities of fat for cooking potatoes. At most they were sautéed in a pan….”Some Belgians believe that the term “French” was introduced when American soldiers arrived in Belgium during World War I, and consequently tasted Belgian fries. They supposedly called them “French,” as it was the official language of the Belgian Army at that time. At this time French fries were growing popular. However, in the south of Netherlands, bordering Belgium, they were, and still are, called Vlaamse Frieten or “Flemish fries.”
“Pommes frites,” “frites”(French) or “frieten” (Dutch) became the national snack and a substantial part of several national dishes.
“Chips” in the British Isles (and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand), are cut much thicker. Since the surface-to-volume ratio is lower, they have a lower fat content. Thick-cut, or beefsteak, British chips are occasionally made from unpeeled potatoes to enhance their flavour and nutritional value and are not necessarily served as crisp as the European French fry due to their relatively high water content.
As with all members of the deep-fried chip family, they are cooked twice, once at a relatively low temperature (blanching) to cook the potato, and then at a higher temperature to crisp the surface, making them crunchy on the outside and fluffier on the inside.
Chips are part of the popular take-away dish fish and chips. In the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, few towns are without a fish and chip shop. In these countries, “fries” can refer to the narrower-cut (shoestring) items that are served by American-style fast-food shops.
The first chips fried in Britain were on the site of Oldham’s Tommyfield Market in 1860. A blue plaque in Oldham marks the origin of the fish and chip shop and fast food industries in Britain. In Scotland, chips were first sold in Dundee, “…in the 1870s, that glory of British gastronomy – the chip – was first sold by Belgian immigrant Edward De Gernier in the city’s Greenmarket.”