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I have such happy childhood memories of Friday evenings, where we would visit the library in Dovercourt and after I had selected my books for the week and checked them out, I’d run down to the road to the corner, where I would hand over a shiny sixpence (this is pre-decimal/1971 when 6d bought one a bag of chips, that’s about £0.03p) for my bag of chips in their greaseproof bag and newspaper. Times change, Gages is not there any longer and my waistline expanded as my love of chips and anything else that could be fried added to my girth and slowly but undoubtedly furred up my arteries. So, how to come up with a healthy alternative?

I got the inspiration for these from the Forks Over Knives cookbook.

These potatoes were cooked using the same method as described.

These potatoes were cooked using the same method as described.

Okay, (here is my disclaimer) these aren’t “chip shop chips”, but they are the best alternative that I found to creating chips without any fat or frying.

The potatoes you use need to be cooked, so you can either do this recipe using leftover potatoes, or you can cook some specifically to make the chips. Don’t cook them to the point where you could mash them but to where they can still be cut, I’d describe it as tender. The stage that you cook new potatoes to, when you serve them. I tend to be quite lazy, and rarely peel potatoes; anyway a lot of the goodness is in the skins, so I just wash them. This approach works just as well with peeled or unpeeled potatoes.

If you don’t have any leftover potatoes that you can use, then choose some potatoes, rinse and dry them, and then pierce them with a knife in a couple of places. Place them covered in a microwave oven and cook on high for about 10-12 minutes depending on the power of your microwave oven. If you want to use the potatoes straightaway, plunge them in cold water and let them cool.

Once the potatoes have cooled, cut them up in whatever shape you want, they could be fat chips, thin chips, sauté, or just a little cubes.

Take an oven proof tray or your oven’s grill pan, and place a non-stick sheet or Teflon sheet in the base. Scatter the potatoes evenly in one layer, onto the sheet. You can at this point add some seasoning, I sometimes use hot sauce, or a dry spice rub mix, or just some salt. You don’t have to do this as they taste just as good without.

Set the grill pan on a shelf which is about 2 inches away from the heat source. I have an oven which has a setting called “hot air grilling” which I use with a temperature set to about 200 C.

The 1st time you cook these it’s a bit hit and miss and important that you monitor them so that they don’t burn. In my experience and with my oven, they take about 10 to 12 minutes to come to a nice crisp golden colour. You can then turn them and cook them again to make sure that they are browned all over.

If you’re just using the grill, I would suggest checking them fairly regularly.

I have found that these went quite well with pretty much any food that you would traditionally serve with chips, french fries or sauté potatoes. The results do vary depending on the relative waxyness and starchiness of the types of potato. What you won’t achieve is that perfect Heston-style triple cooked chip but what you will have is something that is considerably healthier!

Please try them and if you do, please let me know how you get on and what you think, by posting a comment below.

Maybe i should wrap mine in newspaper and douse in malt vinegar to be truly nostalgic. I would, but we don’t get a newspaper nowadays!

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