David Nix, an Atherton potato grower.
David Nix, an Atherton potato grower.

Top tips for creating the perfect chips

Ah, the spud. Is there another any other food that is so geared for comfort or so versatile? My beloved and I are heading to the great Canadian expanse next week and I fully intend on undoing all my gym work and immersing my self in buckets of the quintessential Canuck snack - poutine. In honour of that potato, cheese and gravy confection, I wanted to get down to eye-level with that wonderful nightshade.

Tablelands farmer David Nix knows his spuds - he said the current potato market was subject to the whims and buying powers of the major supermarket chains.

Many unfamiliar 'boutique' varieties on the shelves are the results of marketing efforts, he said, and were nothing more than familiar varieties.

 

 

David Nix, an Atherton potato grower.
David Nix, an Atherton potato grower.

 

That said, there are some pitfalls to avoid when it comes to picking the right 'tater for you.

"Avoid the Sisra," Mr Nix said.

"They don't mash, they don't chip or roast. They go straight to water, but they are cheap to produce."

He said the pontiac variety- maligned for its looks and deep eyes - had an envious shelf life and wouldn't go to seed if given a sideways glance.

However when it comes to all-round use and versatility, this potato Yoda recommended the sebago, a white fleshed allrounder commonly used for chipping.

"It is the gold standard," Mr Nix said.

"They can do anything - they cook well, have a creamy white flesh, can make potato chips, can be baked or roasted."

The sebago is renown as for its versatility
The sebago is renown as for its versatility

Storage is equally important - burying them in the vegie drawer might not be the best option.

"People put them in the fridge so they don't spoil," Mr Nix said.

"But at two degrees the starch converts to sugar and they become very sweet.

"Anything below 12C changes the sugars. Then when you cook them they go black around the edges - but some varieties go black around the edges too."

 

Chef tips - Aaron Habgood, The Backyard

 

The Backyard's Executive Chef Aaron Habgood gives the good oil on the perfect spud. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS
The Backyard's Executive Chef Aaron Habgood gives the good oil on the perfect spud. PICTURE: ANNA ROGERS

 

"My all time favourite go to potato is the royal blue - it has a distinctive looking purple skin and white flesh.

It holds well for roasting, frying and produces a great mash. Red rascals are another good all rounder."

 

For the perfect roast potato - peel them and part boil them in salted water till half cooked, drain then and leave to dry for 10 minutes in a colander.

Add them to a hot frying pan with a healthy amount of rice brand oil, give them a small toss then turn the heat down and roast them in the pan on the stove for the next 30 minutes or until golden and crunchy and season... this will produce a wonderful crispy spud with a fluffy texture inside.

 

For the perfect chip- follow the same part above. Cut spuds into shape, part boil till half down drain, and leave to cool down for 20 minutes.

Place into a deep fryer at 130 degree and blanch for 5 minutes.

You want to create a skin on the chip without colour. Cool down again till ready to serve. The last step is to place into a hot deep fryer at 180C till golden and season before serving.



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