Monday, 23 January 2012

How to: make your own crisps!

The British Isles love crisps (and in this I am speaking geographically and including the Irish). American author Greg Gutfeld in 'Lessons from the land of pork scratchings' writes about our socialist approach to eating crisps in pubs:

"When a bag is purchased, it doesn't matter who buys them, they are for everyone. And this is underlined by the method in which the bag is opened. (One) tears the bag down the seam on the rear of the bag, splaying it out flat so that the crisps are available from all sides by anyone at a table...Generally Yanks open them from the top, and pull from the inside. Only the purchaser can get at them."
I'm a recent fan of Irish fried offerings...Tayto's and Chipsticks, the latter wincingly vinegary. I'm still upset about Walker's reversing the traditional colours for Salt and Vinegar (green!) and Cheese and Onion (blue!). The extant Smiths crisps (they still trade in Australia) with their characteristic blue paper teardrop shaped twist of salt were invented near me in a garage in Cricklewood. 
The best crisps I ever ate were cooked on a street stall in Madrid outside the Prado museum: I emerged from peering at gloomy Goya oils to scoffing hot fried disks of thinly sliced potato, scooped from a metal basket into brown paper bags. To eat them was to experience a delirious orgy of bubbles of olive oil breaking like mini dams on your tongue, the crunch and the salt... the sublime mouth feel, soft then sharp, pain then pleasure.
The continentals favour paprika on their snacks, we, on the other hand, famed for our street fashion vulgarity, discard minimalism and embrace Prawn Cocktail, Worcester Sauce, Roast Chicken, Steak & Onion, Smoky Bacon, Lamb & Mint, Ham & Mustard, Barbecue, BBQ rib, Tomato Ketchup, Sausage & Ketchup, Pickled Onion, Curry, Branston Pickle and even Marmite. 
I don't like posh pub crisps, all that home-spun 'Kettle' fried nonsense, costing £1.50p a bag, so thick that they cut your gums to shreds.
But I would recommend making them at home....especially easy if you have an electric deep fat fryer.
Recipe:
1 kilo of good frying potatoes such as King Edward, Russets, Maris Piper or Sante, scrubbed. You can peel or not peel, up to you.
1 litre of good oil 
Sea Salt


Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible, using a mandolin. 
Soak the potatoes in cold water for a couple of hours.
Then dry the potato slices thoroughly with kitchen towel or tea towels.
Prepare a counter with kitchen towel laid upon it to soak up oil.
In your fryer bring the oil up to 90 degrees.
Place a layer of the dried potato slices in the fryer. Not too many. Yes this is time consuming but you want crispy crisps don't you?
Fry until golden and transparent.
Leave in single layers on the counter prepared with kitchen towel.
Sprinkle good sea salt on them.
Keep going, layer after layer.
If they have been carefully fried and drained the crisps should keep a month in an air tight container.

63 comments:

  1. The use of the term British isles is offensive to citizens of the Irish republic.

    It would be tantamount to saying that Mexico or Canada are part of the United States.

    We prefer UK and Ireland if we are to be grouped at all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's only offensive to narrow minded folk. I'm Scottish but still come under the "British" banner. It's people with those opinions that keep sectarian violence going.

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    2. But Ireland isn't part of Britain. Even N.I is only part of the UK

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    3. Ireland is part of the British Isles but not part of Great Britain " The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europethat include the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. Two sovereign states are located on the islands: Ireland (sometimes called the Republic of Ireland) and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (commonly known as the United Kingdom)"

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    4. This is a blog entry about making crisps. Calm yourself! :P

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    5. just reading this and cant believe that the only thing to be commented on is about being or not being part of the british isles. what about different flavourings?

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    6. Haha... what a douche!

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    7. I 100% agree but unfortunately you're not going to win this one. Personally I prefer West European Islands, which is a translation of the Icelandic and Manx names, but I don't see that one gaining favour any time soon.

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    8. anonymous you thick irish paddy fucker

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    9. I'm interested in how to make crisps. Not listen to ignorant idiots argue. Go elsewhere.

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  2. I do wish you wouldn't comment anonymously!
    I don't take offence to being argued with!
    Perhaps the term Pretanic isles or Western Isles is preferable.

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  3. No, it would be tantamount to saying that Mexico and Canada are part of North America.

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  4. Besides which, Anon's analogy is wrong. This group of islands off the coast of mainland Europe is called "the British Isles" and consists of two countries: UK & Ireland.

    So it would be tantamount to saying that Mexico or Canada are part of North America. Shocking! After all, "North America" contains the word "America" just like "British Isles" contains the word "British".

    I'm such a pedant. : )

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    Replies
    1. You're also an incorrect pedant.... the UK is not a country...England, Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland...they are countries...

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  5. Geography aside, I love the sharing of crisps in the pub they do here! In the Netherlands these little bags are rare, crisps (chips, we call them) typically come in large bags for which sharing is the obvious thing. If one on occasion would get a little one people would covet it and keep it for oneself. It took me a while to get this pub rule of sharing, but now think it is great! And boy, do you people like your crisps...
    Like to idea to make your own, might try one day!

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  6. Who cares about who's called what! I just love crisps. They are so bad for me, which makes them even more yummy!

    I'm moving to Canada this year, so I hope they have good ones there!

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  7. Wow! If only I can cook as well.
    I also have a food blog please let me know what you think.
    http://i-eat-london.blogspot.com/

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  8. I love these and who would not like crisps eh? Delicious!

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  9. The reverse flavour crisp packet colouring annoys me too! It just makes no sense. That being said the best cheese and onion crisps have red (King) or Red and Blue (Tayto) packs which might be considered equally confusing, but I'll let them away with it as a point of national pride..

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  10. yum. I remember my dad once (and once only) made homemade crisps at home when we were kids and they were the stuff of legend. I am so going to try this (and hopefully impress my kids at the same time.) Crisps with bags split open in pubs - just a great way to spend time with friends and family - a symbol of fun and sharing.

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  11. Walkers have never sold cheese & onion in green packets or salt & vinegar in blue. They say as much on their website.

    You can all get over it now.

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    Replies
    1. They are aren't they. Cheese and onion should be green.
      Salt and vinegar should be blue, like the sea, because you have salt and vinegar on fish n chips.

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  12. No, but other companies do. Walkers are the only company who sell Cheese and Onion crisps in blue.

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  13. Cant believe you have someone trying to bring political correctness into a blog about crisps! Too many arseholes like this is whats destroying BRITISH culture!! Rant over!
    Alex

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  14. Mmm,,Cheese and onion were always in green'ish bags by Golden Wonder and blu'ish for salt and vinegar....Chomp.

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  15. Can you oven bake the crisps and if so what is the difference in flavour?

    I want to attempt making crisps this weekend. I live near Cricklewood you're sort of my neighbour. Great posts!

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  16. Can you oven bake the potatoes? If so is there a big difference in flavour?

    I want to attempt making crisps this weekend. Great post!

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  17. Hello flavours France,
    I really feel if you are going to have crisps, they should be bubbling in oil.
    I mean if you are going to do junk food, do it properly none of that low fat nonsense!
    xx

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  18. To the undergroundrestaurant- don't be ridiculous! If you are going to ruin a home made thing like this by putting it in oil then there is no point in making it! Home made crisps are MUCH MUCH nicer made in the oven, you can do sweet potato crips sprinkled with cinnamon, the possibilities are endless....

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  19. Anonymous said...
    The use of the term British isles is offensive to citizens of the Irish republic.

    It would be tantamount to saying that Mexico or Canada are part of the United States.

    We prefer UK and Ireland if we are to be grouped at all.

    First of all, The British Isle's consists of all Isles of Britain, or UK, whichever descriptive word the Author so chooses to use to share a homemade crisp method.

    It is not equal in 'seriousness' as saying Canada in in North America. Because Canada IS in the continent of North America, you Irish fool. It's no wonder you get made fun of traditionally!!

    If YOU want to segregate Ireland from the UK by calling it UK and Ireland, that is up to you. But don't start getting all political on this website.

    As for 'being' offensive as opposed to 'being offended' There is a difference.

    Just because you get offended, it does not mean it is offensive. Don't be an idiot all your life, take a day off, and make some crisps!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But Ireland isn't part of the UK. It's as autonomous and separate as Spain is from France.

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    2. It's the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so Northern Ireland and northern Ireland only is part of the. U.K but it is not part of Britain. source - my passport and every internet search.

      Delete
  20. Anonymous said...
    The use of the term British isles is offensive to citizens of the Irish republic.

    It would be tantamount to saying that Mexico or Canada are part of the United States.

    We prefer UK and Ireland if we are to be grouped at all.

    First of all, The British Isle's consists of all Isles of Britain, or UK, whichever descriptive word the Author so chooses to use to share a homemade crisp method.

    It is not equal in 'seriousness' as saying Canada in in North America. Because Canada IS in the continent of North America, you Irish fool. It's no wonder you get made fun of traditionally!!

    If YOU want to segregate Ireland from the UK by calling it UK and Ireland, that is up to you. But don't start getting all political on this website.

    As for 'being' offensive as opposed to 'being offended' There is a difference.

    Just because you get offended, it does not mean it is offensive.

    You seem to be talking on behalf of ALL Irish republicans. Don't speculate on everyone else, because I know that they are not all like you. I can think of much more offensive things to say to you. But I won't.

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    Replies
    1. No, go on...hope it's not racist, doesnt take long before idiots in this country boil down to racism. Sinead hit the nail on the head with her comment. The term British is offensive to a lot of Irish people because 800 years of rape, pillage and murder at the hands of the British. It's not 'narrow minded' to never forget that. It's our history. All other races or cultures who went through a similar history to the Irish, also never forget.
      So...do some research in future, maybe travel a bit before you feel the need to comment on a subject that you don't understand. Enjoy your crisps

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  21. It is offensive to Irish people to consider Ireland a part of Britain. We fought for our freedom, and Ireland is an entirely different country to England. We have a different currency, a different government, and laws. We are part of Europe. I am sure English people would not like their country assumed part of France for example, as Dover and Calais are a short ferry ride apart. It is not necessary for anyone to be racist "It is not equal in 'seriousness' as saying Canada in in North America. Because Canada IS in the continent of North America, you Irish fool. It's no wonder you get made fun of traditionally!!" I am Irish and I find that comment racist and unnecessary. In saying that, the reason I am on this blog is because of the recipe and it looks great. I love crisps .. Tayto and King cheese and onion rock by far, and im excited to try this recipe.

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  22. Blame Ptolemy. He called Ireland "Little Britain" the best part of 2000 years ago!

    These days British Isles is purely a geographical entity. Noone other than hard-line Ulstermen refers to Ireland as British except in that limited context.

    Anyway, to the important stuff. Home made crisps.

    I found them too oily when I first started making them. Now I line a salad spinner with sheets of paper towel and spin the crisps in it. Much better.

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  23. Oh wow! I didn't realise making crisps would be such a lengthy process. I will definitely give it a go though. Is there Anyway to do this if you don't have a deep fat fryer?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you can do them in a deep saucepan with a chip basket.

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  24. Oh my god!I come on here to look how to make crisps and your going an about its offencive to say the term british isles? Who gives a flying fork,get over it by make some yummy crisps!!

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  25. OK then lets rename them the "English Isles". That should make everyone happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like The English Channel... no wait, the French call it La Manche, 'the sleeve'.

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  26. The United Kingdom is not a country. The United Kingdom is a union. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries which are England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland is also a country but it is not part of the United Kingdom. So the British Isles is not made up of two countries as someone put it. It is made up of at least 5 countries plus the islands around the United Kingdom such as the Channel Islands and Isle of Man. The British Isles is a term to describe all of the land and islands that the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland cover but it does not denote that the Republic of Ireland is British. It’s just a geographical label just like the Middle East is for the region it covers for example. There! Easy! :-)

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  27. This is a Post/Blog/Recipe about CRISPS. I repeat CRISPS

    I would have liked to read through the comments without;
    - People telling me they're taking offence
    - Rants on one side and the other
    - Political Correctness (Go-an Maad)
    - Legal and Political argument here and there

    - I know language is important/vital
    - I know geographical boundaries both physical and political are important
    - I know emotions run high in many of these areas
    BUT
    I have to say CHOOSE YOUR BATTLEGROUND
    A site with a recipe for CRISPS is not it.

    As a psychotherapist I would say 'Anon' has problems other than those evertly expressed here - but that's another story ...

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  28. The British Isles are the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and the all the little islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands and Northern Ireland which flys the Union Jack). Ireland is a complete island just that there is sadly a divide on our land .. so we do prefer, the UK and The Republic of Ireland as we did fight our independence and won..

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  29. I would consider Dave Yearsley's comment far more offensive .. Ireland mourns the loss of those who fought for our independence and respects what they did for us; just as many respect those who are part of the coalition forces fighting against terrorism .. it's never good to hear when any soldier loses their life .. and to be fair - for a more crispier crisp; I prefer to use a potato peeler rather than use a knife to slice potato thinly .. very hot oil, salt and pepper .. flash fry and dry on kitchen paper.. You could use onion salt and cheese powder for that "cheese and onion" taste and add some parsley or a little herb; even coarse black pepper..

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  30. To the blogger: this is a new "Anonymous" and one prefers to maintain their anonymity .. it is option available and I am a new poster .. May be you could edit the above and repost the crisp recipe!?

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  31. To anonymous: the British Isles is a geographical not political term. Ireland is not British politically.
    Brythons or Britons were a celt tribe.
    Brythons also lived in Galicia, Northern Spain.

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  32. Walkers DID infact sell cheese and onion in Green packets, many years ago.

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  33. Shut up Irish no one cares, i dont understand drunk......... im suprised you can even reach the keys to type you leprechaun.. England!!!

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    Replies
    1. You are obviously drunk yourself?? I'm a bit leprechaun myself actually. I don't think there is any such thing as a purely English person, we are all mixed!

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  34. What a Bunch of Un - Educated Idiots As Said it a Site For Making Crisps!!!
    NOT FOR RACIST COMMENTS! SAD ALL OF YOU!

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  35. Soooooo....no helpful posts suggesting how to add a marmite flavour to crisps!

    I type in search bar "how to make marmite flavour crisps" and land up in a war zone....yea thanks then google!

    Gem

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    1. I need to work on marmite flavour crisps

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    2. I think my comment got swallowed.... I reckon I know how you can make Marmite crisps. There is a method for reducing stock to a very thick paste before drying it, which would work. If you spread Marmite on a sheet and dehydrate it in either a dehydrator or a low oven until it's hard and glasslike you can then grind it to a fine powder for sprinkling on crisps. But I'm sure you've thought of that.

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  36. Blimey, crisps start anti British backlash! Crisps were in fact invented by a Tibetan monk named Llundup Jampa in the 8th Century and then were adopted by the Chinese Emperor Shang of Tang who used them to scoop up caviar and then visiting sailors took the recipe with them to Easter Island where different tribes warred with each other over are cheese and onion or salt and vinegar flavour crisps the best

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  37. Best comment so far Chick Copp!

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  38. Thought I was reading The Guardian Word of Mouth comments stream by accident. Salt and Vinegar crisps are the best. Can't agree with you on the posh crisps Kerstin - love the kettle type...far too much. Cheese and onion are like old socks (hope this doesn't offend anyone).

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    1. Nooo hate kettle chips, too hard, they hurt your mouth, causing injuries whenever you crunch, lacerations to the palette even....
      I think I like the taste of old socks.

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  39. Get a grip god! Poor guy writing about crisps and it turns to war over his geography..

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  40. Seriously who cares about the geography stuff?! It's an article about crisps for gods sake! Get a grip

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  41. Oh sweet I've never tried it this way. ON IT! Thanks for sharing!

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I would love to hear what you think of this post! I try to reply to every comment (if there is a delay, I am probably away from an internet connection or abroad)