If you were one of those kids that were “addicted” to chips, then you’ll know exactly how I feel about this particular snack food: simply put…I LOVE every kind of chips!
Could it be the saltiness that was the best cure during ‘morning break’?
Is it the size of the packet which always has just the right amount – satisfaction guaranteed?
Is it your friend who dips their hand into your pack of chips and – almost always – takes out more than what’s ‘allowed’?
Is it the salt, vinegar, oregano, paprika, BBQ sauce in the post-modern version of chips which make them so appealing?
Perhaps they remind you of parties from your childhood? Or, maybe, it brings back memories of sharing a packet with your grandmother in open-air cinemas in the centre of Athens?
What is it that gives chips such power they occupy a whole supermarket aisle? Could it simply be a childhood addiction?
FAST FORWARD TO ADULTHOOD: sorry to burst your bubble, but chips continue to rule as a snack food well into our mature years!
We simply find ways of reinventing them as we grow older: we go from choosing packs of highly processed chips, full of chemicals and preservatives, too much salt or an ingredient that’s unidentifiable, to the Paradise of homemade chips from aubergines, courgettes, sweet potatoes, beetroots and, of course, the humble potato.
You can easily combine them with a homemade yoghurt and spearmint dip, hot paprika or mustard, while ‘downloading’ the movie “Café de Flore” starring Vanessa Paradis on your laptop and, whilst watching the film, convince yourself that, although your childhood addictions might not have a hold on you any longer the way they did, what does continue to be of the utmost importance, is keeping your inner child alive. It always knows. Without fail!
Wash the aubergines and cut them into very thin slices without peeing them.
Salt them well on both sides, let them rest on a rack for about an hour and then place them in a bowl of cold water for half an hour.
Remove them from the salt water and squeeze them well between your hands. Don’t worry about them losing their round shape. Chips don’t ever have a perfectly round shape, do they?
Place them on a clean tea towel and leave them there for at least another hour, pressing on them with another clean tea towel to remove all the moisture.
Pour olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and wait until it’s super-hot, so hot that it’s sizzling.
Fry the aubergines in the oil over a very high heat for a couple of minutes or more if thicker. Use two forks to gently turn them over, until they’re golden brown. Don’t leave them on their own, not even for a moment, as aubergines can burn easily.
Once fried, place on some kitchen paper so most of the oil is absorbed.
Prepare a quick yoghurt/herb dip using: one small tub of greek strained yoghurt, a level teaspoon of Dijon mustard or chilli sauce (you can find this in Asian supermarkets) and a handful of chopped spearmint leaves or chives (chives are a good match for the aubergines with their garlicky taste). Sprinkle a little olive oil and stir.
Serve on a platter, crush a little fresh sea salt over the chips (optional) and place next to the dip. *
Press PLAY… Treat yourself!
* (Of course, it goes without saying that these chips are great to garnish simple pasta or meat dishes with tomato sauces)