“One of the fondest memories I keep in my pocket is having picnics with my mum, dad and older sister when I was around two years old. We would find a small patch of grass next to the Oral Roberts University campus in Oklahoma and chomp on Burger King burgers and potato chips. Now that I’m older, I don’t eat many chips, but when I get a craving for this comfort food (or nursery food as comfort food is sometimes called), I infuse the oil with garlic and rosemary. Caution: they are more than slightly addictive.”
- canola, vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
- 1 garlic bulb, unpeeled, cloves slightly crushed
- 4 rosemary sprigs, gently rubbed between palms
- 4 small starchy potatoes, scrubbed
- salt, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Pour the oil into a large saucepan – you want the oil to be at least 8–10 cm deep. Toss in the garlic cloves and sprigs of rubbed rosemary. Turn the heat to medium-high. The oil is ready when a thermometer reads 190ºC and the garlic cloves have browned slightly and the rosemary has become crispy. Carefully remove the garlic and rosemary, and set aside to serve with the chips.
Using a mandoline, thinly slice half of 1 potato and carefully place in the infused oil. Occasionally turn the potato slices to make sure they are not sticking together. While it fries, slice the other half of the potato. Take the chips out of the oil whenever they are golden brown. Place on the paper towel-lined tray and season with salt. Continue frying the chips in batches.
Serve the chips with the fried garlic and rosemary. Consume immediately or store in an airtight container or zip-lock bag for a few days (although they have never lasted more than one day in my house!)
Recipe from For the Love of the South by Amber Wilson, with photographs by Amber Wilson.