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How to make chips (fries) healthier?

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  • How to make chips (fries) healthier?

    I eat Primal; husband (who is naturally skinny and lacking incentive) does not. He likes chips (English for fries) - the kind from a packet, partly pre-cooked in vegetable oil. The grill pan after cooking them is swimming in the stuff.

    Yellow. Yum.

    I'd really rather not do this to him any more, but how do I replace chips? Substituting rice or mash isn't always going to go down well. Any way of turning potatoes into something reasonably chip-like using a healthier fat?

  • #2
    Cut the potatoes into chip shapes as he likes. (If your husband will eat them, use sweet potatoes or yams instead of white potatoes to become more primal.) Toss the potatoes with olive oil, or melted lard, or melted chicken fat, or melted duck fat, or melted suet, or melted tallow (basically, use any primal friendly fat; if it's one that is solid at room temperature, heat it enough to turn it to liquid so you can coat the potatoes).

    Bake it on a cookie sheet in a hot oven (425 F; 220 C). Stir them around/turn them over (depending on the shape you've cut them into) after about 15 minutes. Bake for a total of about 25-30 minutes, or until crispy.
    Last edited by liza; 09-18-2010, 03:53 PM. Reason: spelling

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    • #3
      Yesterday I made real french fries in lard and they were fantastic! I double fry per the traditional way but don't use buckets of the stuff, just enough to coat the pan plus a bit more, turning potatoes frequently. I'm pretty sure *anyone* who likes fries (chips) would prefer the real deal over pre-cooked, veggie oil crap.

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      • #4
        double fry per the traditional way
        - you mean, cook chips, remove them, heat fat further, brown chips?

        I like the idea of not bothering with a chip pan. Back when I used that, it was always touch and go whether the oil would boil over onto the gas flame and engulf the kitchen in flames, and everything (especially me) would be coated in a fine layer of grease afterwards. Yes, they were preferred to the bagged kind if they turned out right - and that seemed to depend on getting the right kind of potato, or the right day of the week or something.

        This is great - thank you. I'll try both ways (and with some sweet potatoes for me) and see which works better.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Hilary View Post
          . . .
          This is great - thank you. I'll try both ways (and with some sweet potatoes for me) and see which works better.
          Please report back with your results!

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          • #6
            [QUOTE=Hilary;214308]- you mean, cook chips, remove them, heat fat further, brown chips?

            Yes exactly. Just one more step I forgot to mention - if using regular white potatoes, cut first then soak in water for 30 minutes. Helps draw out the starch.

            hm - tried to 'reply with quote' but not turning out the same way?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hilary View Post
              I'd really rather not do this to him any more, but how do I replace chips?
              Take cold parboiled potatoes, slice them, then shallow-fry them.

              I think most people would probably like those just as much as chips. It's safer - and less wasteful - than traditional deep-frying, since you don't need so much hot and potentially combustible fat (healthier, too, since you don't keep reheating and reusing fat and can use a lower frying temperature). And it's a great deal healthier than modern "oven-ready" chips, since you need not use vegetable fat.

              A mixture of olive oil and butter would be suitable. So would lard or beef dripping. Many people reckon that the best fat of all for cooking potatoes is goose fat. You can find jars and tins of goose and duck fat in most supermarkets these days.

              You can also add some cold boiled shredded cabbage for that old-fashioned favourite Bubble and Squeak. (It bubbles in the saucepan, then squeaks in the frying pan). You can put onions in, too, like the Two Fat Ladies:

              http://www.food.com/recipe/two-fat-l...d-squeak-32216

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              • #8
                Why not go for the beef dripping? It's really good for you, cheap as, er... chips, and after all, all fish and chip shops used to fry in that before they realised it was killing us and we got the healthy vegetable oils.
                My primal journal
                You might find these handy: Free gluten free restaurant cards in 50+ languages
                In Praise of the Primal Lifestyle

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                • #9
                  You know, I had no idea what they used before the yellow stuff. I don't have a source for beef dripping... any suggestions?

                  In fact the only cooking fats I have are ghee, coconut oil and olive oil, and only the first two of those are going to work at chip-frying temperatures. I wonder what (on earth) they taste like with TigerJ's method using a ghee/coconut oil mixture??

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                  • #10
                    I got my last batch of dripping from Tesco in Glasgow, but my local tesco has just started stocking it (what an uplifting moment that was!). 50p for 1/2 kilo - health food. And with goji berries at 20 a kilo too.
                    My primal journal
                    You might find these handy: Free gluten free restaurant cards in 50+ languages
                    In Praise of the Primal Lifestyle

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                    • #11
                      Don't know quite how useful this is, but last night the wife fried up some breaded pork cutlets in a very primal way - naturally raised pork butt, rice flour for the initial dusting, egg of course, then panko (which I know is not primal), then fry in coconut oil in a shallow pan. Coconut oil is really great - just makes food taste fantastic and the house smelled like fresh coconuts. They turned out amazing. I am now wondering how much I can re-use the oil, I'm concerned about oxidation and rancidity but that stuff is expensive too.
                      I would definitely try to find tallow or lard to fry your chips in, and soak them first for sure. They will probably taste amazing.
                      If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                      • #12
                        Success! Maris Piper potatoes; cut, soak and rinse. Add enough ghee and coconut oil to a large frying pan to cover the base in a few mm (ie about 6x more than you'd normally fry anything in). Add chips, cover pan, cook 5 mins or so until just cooked through; remove; heat oil; add chips and cook until brown.

                        Result: crisp chips that stay crispy (I don't remember them doing that from a chip pan full of rapeseed oil), and don't taste noticeably of either coconut oil or ghee. Verdict from he who eats chips: 'conspicuously good'.

                        Sweet potato chips? Nah - frying just makes them soft and fat-soaked, not crispy. Won't bother with that again.

                        I suppose the next question would be how to improve on battered fish from a packet - which is also swimming in vegetable oil, of course. Any primal or semi-primal battered fish recipes?

                        I wonder if there's a market for a recipe book along the lines of 'How to save your partner's health without them noticing'?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by racingsnake View Post
                          I got my last batch of dripping from Tesco in Glasgow, but my local tesco has just started stocking it (what an uplifting moment that was!). 50p for 1/2 kilo - health food. And with goji berries at 20 a kilo too.
                          Hooray!

                          Reading round... seems what you really need for chips is tallow, which comes from a specific part of the animal and isn't the same thing as generic beef fat. I'll look out for it - though I'm now under instructions not to change anything .

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                          • #14
                            I need battered fish or crumbed fish recipes too- my husband is an Aussie and it's really something he would like done healthier. I was thinking egg dip it and roll in almond flour and fry in coconut oil?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                              Hooray!

                              Reading round... seems what you really need for chips is tallow, which comes from a specific part of the animal and isn't the same thing as generic beef fat.
                              It's a term I've usually come across in connection with candles (in old novels and suchlike). The online definition from Oxford Dictionaries (possibly not the same as what's in the OED) says:

                              a hard fatty substance made from rendered animal fat, used (especially formerly) in making candles and soap
                              http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/e...m_en_gb0842700

                              I think mutton fat was more commonly used for those sorts of things - and greasing cart axles, smearing boats, and so on. That may be down to beef fat being usually preferred for cooking because of its flavour.

                              The "hardness" could be down to which part of the carcass the fat comes from, since some would be more highly saturated. If you want more highly saturated fat, you probably want that from around the kidneys - that may be sold under the name beef suet:

                              the hard white fat on the kidneys and loins of cattle, sheep, and other animals, used to make foods such as puddings, pastry, and mincemeat
                              http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/e...m_en_gb0826890

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