On any given day, I can ask Poppy what she would like for supper and be quite certain of the response - fish and chips. Luckily, she is flexible in its preparation and doesn’t flinch when it doesn’t arrive battered and dripping excess fryer oil. Don’t get me wrong, she certainly doesn’t mind that variety but she will happily eat a piece of oven baked or steamed fish with a sliced potato baked in the oven and a side of veggies. And by veggies, I don’t mean white coleslaw.
I decided to get a little crazy with the oven chips the other day. We drove through the Annapolis Valley and stopped at our favourite farm market where they happened to still have some blue potatoes hanging around. I was excited by this, and by our horde of Honeycrisp apples which had come through the long winter very nicely, but that is another post. My husband and two half asleep girls were not nearly as jubilant and moped back to the car, the market was all out of the favourite cookies, as I skipped to load our bounty into the trunk.
On Saturday, a couple of days later, I was marinating some flank steak for the barbecue, with the assistance of my almost four year old kitchen helper, when she conspiratorially whispered to me, ‘I know Mommy, let’s have fish and chips for supper and Daddy and Uncle Tosh can eat the meat.’
‘Barbecued fish and chips?,’ I asked.
‘Yep, that would be so good,’ she replied.
I had forgotten about the blue potato bonanza and, when I went in search of something to make ‘chips’ from, was excited about their chipping potential. I thought the blue spuds may have been a bit too waxy and was worried they might not crisp up very nicely. But, after a bit longer than I expected in the oven, the chips were pretty tasty, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. And, as Poppy will tell you, anything that is purple must be good.
I was inspired by some chipotle aioli that I had received in a yummy little care package from Toronto but it has a little too much kick for Poppy so I started making an aioli to eat with the purple chips, flank steak and salmon. I found some fresh coriander/cilantro in our veg box and thought that purple goes nicely with green, so coriander aioli it would be.
As supper was being put on the table, my starving child scrambled up onto her chair to be heard exclaiming, ‘Purple chips and dip for supper!’ and giggling like a, well, like a four year old.
6 medium blue potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
Maldon sea salt
Preheat oven to 475º.
Peel and slice the potatoes into ‘chips’.
Toss with olive oil and spread out on two baking sheets covered with parchment.
Bake, turning a few times, until the spuds are crispy and golden purple, about 30 minutes.
I don’t know if it was the blue potatoes, but it did seem to take ages for these to crisp up.
Sprinkle with sea salt and serve with aioli.
1 egg yolk
2 cloves garlic minced (I used the rasp for this)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup oil (I used 1/2 extra virgin olive and 1/2 grapeseed. You need to use some olive oil but I wouldn’t use all olive oil because it can get almost bitter)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
Whisk egg yolk, minced garlic, lemon juice, pepper and salt together,
Gradually and very slowly whisk in the oil. Make sure you have it in something you can easily pour from.
Check seasoning and add a little extra lemon juice or a few drops of white wine vinegar if you don’t find it tangy enough. Do this slowly and gradually because you don’t want the aioli to split.
Serve with purple chips (or anything else that you fancy).