Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Patatas Fritas Artisan

I love reading restaurant blogs, I really enjoy seeing what other people have eaten, and the question, "what did you have for your tea?" has always been a common one in our house. (As it is in The Royle Family on TV.) But I wanted to start a blog that would not just be about eating out, but reflect everything I liked eating and drinking, from the very bottom up -  so not just restaurants but take-aways, shops, pubs, products, everything really. I can't necessarily claim any special culinary knowledge, I'd just like to share my love of food, eating both in and out. So with that in mind, I'm now going to review a simple packet of crisps.
I love crisps, I'm even partial to cheap maize snacks on occasion such as scampi fries and bacon fries. (Apart from Doritos that is, in my mind if you need a dip with it, it's not a real crisp.) I remember the holiday quite clearly when me and my sister discovered Frazzles for the first time. It was a revelation! (We made our own entertainment in those days.) I recently went to Spain where I ate quite a few bags of what they call Patatas Fritas Artisan.
You cannot get these sort of crisps in the UK as far as I'm aware. The closest I've had are Tyrells, but these are not ' posh' crisps, they are simply thinly sliced fried potatoes, a little salt (not too much) and often cooked in olive oil, (which makes a difference to the taste I think.) They actually taste of potato as well which is how I remember crisps from when I was a kid. There were many different manufacturers then, not just the huge conglomerate Walkers. Anyone remember Rileys, Smiths, Golden Wonder or even KP?
So the simple formula of these 3 ingredients with no additives or E numbers (just look at the ingredients on a bag of Walkers in comparison) make them far superior to anything in the UK I think.
We simply cannot buy anything like them because the snack market has been so industrialised and homogenized like so many others in the UK. These taste home-made from a small producer rather than industrially made in a massive factory.
Every local manufacturer in Spain seems to make these to this very simple traditional recipe (even Lays the international Walkers make them in this style.)  But they most often come in a brown paper bag, wrapped in plastic (often a 2 bag pack.)  I Iove munching them on the beach, they go nicely with an ice cold coke or a beer.
This is not generally a recipe website, but here's a way of using these traditional Patatas Fritas from "The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria."

Crisp Omelette
Serves: 2 adults
Start to finish: 10 mins
6 eggs
70g (2 small packs or one large bag) of salted crisps
4tsp olive oil
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk them with a balloon whisk for a while, until they are frothy. Add the crisps, taking care not to break them. Then leave them to soak in the egg for 1 minute.
Place a 25cm non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then add 2 tsp olive oil.
Pour the mixture into the pan and stir gently with a rubber spatula. Use the spatula to loosen the omelette from the edge of the pan.
After 40 seconds, when the base of the omelette has set, cover the omelette with a plate. Hold on the pan with one hand, then carefully turn over, so that the omelette slides onto the plate.
Remove the pan and return to the heat. Add another 2tsp oil.
Slide the omelette from the plate and back into the pan.
Cook for another 20 seconds and serve.

I've not got round to doing this myself yet, so if you do try it, let me know how it turns out!

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