From roast aubergine to cheesy gratin: Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for crisps

We love crisps in the UK – in fact, we got through about 162,900 tons in the 52 weeks ending March 2021, cual es a lot of lockdown crunching. Crisps make a great snack, por supuesto (I’m a ready-salted guy, de paso), but they’re also a wonderfully useful ingredient to build into your cooking. Texture-wise, they’re a fast track to crunch, while flavour-wise they’re a fast track to dialling up the seasoning. Satisfaction-wise, that combination is very hard to resist.

Why make your own crisps when there is already such a huge range to choose from in the shops? Bien, they’re fun, para uno, and you can also tailor-make both the vehicle (potatoes, raíz de remolacha, jerusalem artichoke) and the flavourings (whatever spices you have around), to suit your mood. Oh, and the results are irresistibly moreish.

Deberes 25 min
Sumergir 1 hora
cocinero 40 min
Sirve 4 as a snack

For the crisps
250g red potatoes, skin on
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 limón
, reducido a la mitad
250g jerusalem artichokes, skin on
1 litre sunflower oil
Soured cream, servir

For the salt
10g chipotle chilli flakes
2 tbsp coriander seeds
, ligeramente tostado
1½ tsp flaked sea salt

Fill a large bowl with cold water, then one by one cut the potatoes into 3mm-thick slices, ideally with a mandoline. Put each sliced potatoin the the water bowl straight away, before cutting the next.

Once all the potatoes are sliced and in the bowl, drain them in a colander and wash under the cold tap until the water runs clear. Return the potatoes to the bowl, cover with 700ml fresh cold water, add the vinegar and set aside for an hour (and up to two hours), while you get on with the rest of the dish.

Fill a second large bowl with cold water and squeeze in the juice from the lemon halves. Cut the artichokes lengthways into 3mm-thick slices, again ideally using a mandoline, then wash them of any debris and drop into the bowl of acidulated water (the lemon juice stops the slices from turning brown, aunque, unlike the potatoes, they do not need to be left to soak in the water).

To make the salt, put the chipotle chilli flakes, coriander seeds and flaked sea salt in the small bowl of a food processor or spice grinder, blitz until the salt is very fine and flecked with the chilli, then tip into a small bowl.

Drain the artichokes, then pat the slices between sheets of kitchen towel to get them as dry as possible.

Have ready an oven tray lined with more kitchen towel, ready to drain the crisps on once they’ve been fried. Put the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium-high heat, until it hits 170C (if you don’t have a temperature probe or thermometer, test by dropping in one slice of artichoke: it should sink to the bottom before bubbling back up to the surface within 10 segundos). Fry the artichoke slices in three batches for five minutes a batch, until lightly golden and starting to curl, and don’t worry if any of the crisps still have white patches on them, because they’ll crisp up as they cool down. Transfer to the lined tray and, while they’re still hot, sprinkle generously with the salt; repeat with the remaining artichoke slices.

Now for the potato crisps. Drain the sliced potato, then pat between kitchen towels so they’re as dry as possible. This will help ensure crisper crisps. Fry the potato slices in three batches at the same temperature and for the same length of time as the artichoke crisps. Transfer to the lined draining tray and again, while they’re still hot, sprinkle generously with the salt and leave to cool and crisp up further; repeat with the remaining potato slices.

Serve the crisps in a large bowl with the soured cream in a small bowl alongside, for dipping. If you’re not serving them straight away, once cooled, store the crisps in an airtight container for up to three days.

The same artichoke crisps from the previous recipe add a fantastic textural contrast to roast aubergine: crunchy (crisps) meets soft and melting (berenjenas). The aubergines and salsa will both sit well for a few hours, ready to be assembled when needed. Omit the urfa if you use the chipotle salt from the first recipe.

Deberes 20 min
cocinero 25 min
Sirve 4 as a side

900g aubergines (es decir, sobre 3 o 4), cut widthways into 2cm-thick slices
120ml de aceite de oliva
Sal y pimienta negra
artichoke crisps (see previous recipe; or shop-bought crispy shallots)
¾ tsp urfa chilli flakes (Opcional)

For the salsa
20g parsley leaves, picado muy fino
20g chives
, picado muy fino
1 large red chilli, picado muy fino (pith and seeds removed and discarded if you prefer less heat)
2 dientes de ajo, pelado y triturado
1½ cucharadita de semillas de comino, toasted and lightly crushed
1 limón, zested, to get 1 cucharadita, and juiced, to get 2 cucharadita

Heat the oven to 240C (220Ventilador C)/475F / gas 9. Put the aubergine slices on one (or two) large oven tray(s) lined with greaseproof paper, add three tablespoons of the oil, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a good grind of pepper, and toss to coat. Arrange the aubergine slices in a single layer, luego asar por 25-30 minutos, rotating the tray once halfway, until deeply golden. Remove and leave until the aubergine slices are cool enough to handle.

mientras tanto, mix all the salsa ingredients in a medium bowl with the remaining 75ml oil and a half-teaspoon of salt.

Arrange the roast aubergine slices on a large platter, so they are slightly overlapping, then drizzle over the salsa and top with half the artichoke crisps (or onions). Sprinkle over the urfa chilli flakes, si usa, and serve warm or cold, with the remaining crisps on the side.

Use shop-bought crisps for this, as we do, or make the potato crisps from today’s first recipe.

Deberes 25 min
cocinero 1 hora 30 min
Sirve 6 as a side

400ml de crema doble
200ml whole milk
50g de mantequilla sin sal
, plus 15g extra for greasing
2 banana shallots, pelado y en rodajas finas (100gramo)
10g rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped (6gramo)
7 dientes de ajo, pelado y en rodajas finas
¾ tbsp black mustard seeds
Sal y pimienta negra
800g king edward potatoes
, peeled and cut into 1mm-thick slices (on a mandoline, idealmente)
150g salt-and-vinegar crisps (store-bought)
100g gruyere, finely grated
10g chives, picado finamente

Heat the oven to 190C (170Ventilador C)/375F / gas 5. Put the first seven ingredients in a medium saucepan with a teaspoon and a half of salt and half a teaspoon of cracked black pepper. Put on a medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutos, until the shallots and garlic have softened. Keep on a low heat while you get on with the potatoes.

Grease a 24cm x 14cm rectangular baking dish with the extra butter and arrange a slightly overlapping single layer of sliced potato on top. Ladle over some of the warm cream mixture, then repeat the layers until the potatoes and cream mix are all used up. Cover tightly with foil and bake for an hour and a quarter, until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes are baking, put the crisps in a medium bowl and crush them roughly. Add half the grated gruyere and a good grind of black pepper, mix to combine and set aside.

Once the gratin’s time is up, lift off the foil and turn up the oven to 200C (180Ventilador C)/390F / gas 6. Sprinkle the remaining 50g gruyere on top of the gratin, then scatter over the crisp and cheese mixture and return to the oven, descubierto, for another 15 minutos, until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Remove from the oven, leave to settle for 15 minutos, then sprinkle over the chives and serve warm.

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