We all need our share of junk food. Let me rephrase: We all crave our share of junk food. If you don’t, congratulations! You’re lucky, and I envy you! But the rest of us mortals need some not-so-healthy treats every now and then. Whether it’s ice cream, chocolate, onion rings or fried chicken, it’s harmless when eaten in moderation! :)
My weaknesses were always potato fries/chips. I would trade all the chocolate in the world for some salted plain fries! Or some cheese fries…or some chili fries… or even some sweet potato fries! There’s a burger joint where I’m from (in São Paulo/Brazil) that has those chips fried with garlic and rosemary that are absolutely to die for! I think people go there especially for those chips, although their burgers are also very good. (If you’re curious or if you plan to one day visit São Paulo and wanna check this place out, the name is Lanchonete da Cidade and it’s so worth the visit!)
So I’ve decided to recreate those wonderful chips, motivated by the fact that I’m a 10 hour flight away from that burger joint. Therefore, I either make them at home or I keep dreaming about them forever (or at least ’til my next Brazil trip)!
My grandmother and my mom always make homemade fries/chips at home, and they always fry them with some garlic to give some extra flavor. I looooove chips fried with garlic! And the smell… Oh my God, the smell! I can smell it right now and it transports me to my grandmother’s apartment. I can usually smell it from the elevator and I immediately know we are having stroganoff (my favorite dish in the whole world) because she always serves it with some homemade garlic chips!
However, the chips we are making today are a little different than my grandmother’s. My grandmother slices her potatoes paper thin so her chips are incredibly crunchy. Today we are making chips that are crunchy on the outside but chewy on the inside, so put away your mandolin ’cause you won’t need it!
I can never understand the people that say that making chips at home is time consuming. While I do agree that making fries can be a little time consuming – with the whole double frying and all – making homemade potato chips is not! At least not this recipe!!! C’mon, it’s cutting the potatoes, letting them cool in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for a few hours and frying them in hot oil. Other than having to plan to prepare them the night before, or some hours in advance, I don’t see how this is time consuming. It’s not like a Turkey that you have to roast for 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes. And it so worth it because you will be eating incredibly delicious homemade chips – Yay! (versus packaged version full of preservatives! Boo!)
Anyway, things to keep in mind when making this at home:
1) Make sure you wash and scrub your potatoes really well, because we are leaving the skin on and you don’t wanna eat dirt, do you? (If you do, I won’t judge! I used to eat ants out of the ground when I was little…Oh, wow, I can’t believe I just shared this with y’all!)
2) Cooking the potatoes the night before will make your chips chewy on the inside! :)
3) The thermal shock is what makes your chips crunchy on the outside while chewy on the inside. That is why you have to make them beforehand and let them cool overnight in the fridge or in the freezer for at least 2 hours. (I even go an extra mile and put them again in the freezer for 30 min after I slice them!)
4) The original recipe – from the Brazilian burger joint Lanchonete da Cidade – tells you to fry the garlic and the rosemary separately. No, no, noo! Fry them with the potatoes so the flavor can be even more intense! The only downside is that the rosemary will get ugly… :( So I just dispose them after frying and use fresh ones to decorate the chips! It’s not like you’re going to eat the rosemary anyway… (Again, if you are, no judging!!! Be happy, eat whatever you want!)
So that’s it, kids! Go and make lots of homemade rustic chips! With lots of garlic and rosemary!! Serve them with ketchup and mustard, or with mayo, or with whatever sauce you like… Or just eat them as they are! But make sure they are hot!! Nothing worse than cold fries! Ugh!
P.S. I have a recipe for Roasted Garlic Aioli on deck that would be great with this Rustic Chips recipe! Garlic with more garlic? YES! Just make sure you are not going on a date afterwards! ;-)
- 3 large Russet potatoes (about 2lbs), scrubbed and washed
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 6 springs of rosemary (plus 2 or 3 for decoration)
- Sea salt
- Vegetable oil for frying
- The night before, cook the potatoes in water seasoned with salt and 2 springs of rosemary, over high heat, for 20 minutes or until they are semi fork tender.
- Drain the potatoes, let them cool and put them in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, slice the potatoes (not too thin, about 0.2 inches), leaving the skin on. Put them in the freezer for 30 minutes before frying.
- In a dutch oven, put the vegetable oil (enough to cover the chips), the garlic and 4 springs of rosemary and let it heat.
- Once the oil is hot, fry the chips - making sure you're not crowding the pot - until they are golden.
- Set the fried chips on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Once your chips are all fried, take the garlic cloves and serve them with the chips.
- You can dispose of the fried rosemary and use fresh ones to decorate your chips.
- Sprinkle some sea salt over the chips and serve hot.