Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Triple Cooked Chips


culinary bear
 Share

Recommended Posts

I read in the Tough Cookies book about the triple cooked chips and you no doubt get the impression in that book that the triple cooking is Heston’s discovery. It is not. It is a very old practice. Heston’s more recent use of modern technology to reduce the humidity in the potatoes may be his contribution though, although the need for it may be superfluous in practice with the selection of the best potato variety and considering the relatively little need for keeping the chips crispy indefinitely.

How old, exactly?

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read in the Tough Cookies book about the triple cooked chips and you no doubt get the impression in that book that the triple cooking is Heston’s discovery. It is not. It is a very old practice.

Heston has talked and written about the trial and error he went through to perfect the final process - boiling the potatoes until they almost fall apart, drying them out in a descicator, blanching them in fat and then a final deep frying - but you are saying that process was already established? Is it documented anywhere as I'd be very interested to read it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read in the Tough Cookies book about the triple cooked chips and you no doubt get the impression in that book that the triple cooking is Heston’s discovery. It is not. It is a very old practice.

Heston has talked and written about the trial and error he went through to perfect the final process - boiling the potatoes until they almost fall apart, drying them out in a descicator, blanching them in fat and then a final deep frying - but you are saying that process was already established? Is it documented anywhere as I'd be very interested to read it.

Triple cooking of chips is nothing new. I have used it for as long as I can remember. I cannot remember when or where I was taught it. I have always taken it for granted and I have seen it mentioned in books. In his cooking series on French television, Robuchon has always described the triple cooking as the best way to get crispy chips.

Heston's drying them out in a descicator may as I said be his contribution. I do not question that Heston has spent time perfecting the technique to a certain detailed level he wants the chips at but that is true for most "known" techniques used by chefs. I was just remarking that triple cooking of chips is nothing new.

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew Robuchon was famous for his mash, but the chips are a new one on me! If you come across the recipe in the books you mention, please let us know, the only ones I have describe the two stage method - blanching in oil and then a final deep frying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always taken it for granted and I have seen it mentioned in books.

You will, of course, forgive me for pressing you on this.

Which books?

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am at a remote location right now, but I seem to remember the technique also being mentioned in one of Loiseau's pocket books with cooking tips. I could be wrong on this though.

Kitchen Arts and Letters in New York had a copy of Loiseau's cook book (in French) when I was there about a week ago, so if anyone happens to be passing...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is not in any of his large cook books I have seen it. It is in a small pocket book with cooking tips that I think it is mentioned. But since I do not have it here...

As I said I have used triple cooking for more than 20 years. I have no idea where I picked it up. The triple cooking after thorogh washing off the starch is done first in water and then twice in oil.

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Degusto is right. Thrice (?) cooked chips is nothing new. I remember many years ago buying some fish and chips, taking them home and microwaving them. I didn't get chance to eat them straight away, so I microwaved them again. In fact they could have been cooked FOUR times !! Feel free to copy my methods but an acknowledgement on your menu would be only fair. Are they better than the chips at The Fat Duck ? Well that's a matter of personal preference isn't it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the only ones I have describe the two stage method - blanching in oil and then a final deep frying.

I suspect that many have applied this method on the chips they may have bought frozen at any Tesco or Sainsbury store. Since theses chips are pre-cooked once or twice, it seems reasonable to assume that triple or four times cooking may be widly used by a large number of home chefs. Maybe you have tried it too Andy? I have anyway done it a few times.

Edited by degusto (log)

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's Heston's recipe for  chips . Strangely, this piece also includes Loiseau's fried egg recipe, but his claimed influence on Blumenthal's chip method is not mentioned.

I think this article is a perfect example of how a chef applies his adjusments or interpretation of a specific technique to obtain the desired result. I have no doubts whatsoever that Heston actually spent years perfecting these chips to obtain a texture just like he wanted from the chips, which are quite large by the way. I never questioned that. I only said that the use of triple cooking as such was not new.

Edited by degusto (log)

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the only ones I have describe the two stage method - blanching in oil and then a final deep frying.

Maybe you have tried it too Andy?

No, just the twice cooked method. Blumenthal's method sounds painfully complex for the home cook and its really not something I would want to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the only ones I have describe the two stage method - blanching in oil and then a final deep frying.

Maybe you have tried it too Andy?

No, just the twice cooked method. Blumenthal's method sounds painfully complex for the home cook and its really not something I would want to do.

Well I was wondering if you had done the twice cooking with the frozen chips bought in the super markets. These chips are cooked once or twice before they are frozen. If you have done that, which I have, you would effectively had used a tripple or four times cooking.

I agree that for example Heston's idea of pinpricking the chips sounds tedious to say the least. My favourite chips are made with whole mini-ratte potatoes. Depending on how easy they are to peel (matter of season) they are either peeled first or quickly blanched, then peeled, then cooked in water and after cooling and drying, they are fried twice. It is tedious work but they can be frozen after the first cooking step for a week or two. Salted with seas salt, the resulting fried small potato is exceptional.

Edited by Andy Lynes (log)

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going back off topic again, sorry, which chef (french?) used chips in cold oil, and brought it up to high temperature?

I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I can remember the Galloping Gourmet mentioning something similar  on his show about 33 years ago...

I had to dig through some boxes in the basement to recover this :angry:The Complete Galloping Gourmet Cookbook Copyright 1972. 1977 Printing.

Cut potatoes into 1/8" (3.5mm) slices.

1. Soak in warm water with a piece of lemon for an hour.

2. Cook at 350F (177C) for 10 minutes.

3. cook at 450F (232C) for 3 minutes until crisp and golden brown.

It appears to be a three stage process, but only the last two involve high heat.

Edited to add slice thickness.

Jim

Edited by jmcgrath (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going back off topic again, sorry, which chef (french?) used chips in cold oil, and brought it up to high temperature?

I do or did or use to do.

I also invented the art of steaming couscous 4 times, rather than the usual 2 or 3. I find that poking a tiny whole in each grain of couscous yields superior results.

Triple cooked chips isn't a rocket science, eureka sort of invention. I've seen line cooks do it all the time. Chips were cooked twice, the second one was supposed to be the final one, but the steak wasn't ready, when it is ready, the chips are a little cold, boom back in the fryer for a third cooking.

Using modern technology to reduce the humidity in potatoes has been used by mass commercial producers for a long time.

I imagine Heston;s chips are very tasty.

I can be reached via email chefzadi AT gmail DOT com

Dean of Culinary Arts

Ecole de Cuisine: Culinary School Los Angeles

http://ecolecuisine.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going back off topic again, sorry, which chef (french?) used chips in cold oil, and brought it up to high temperature?

I've seen a Robuchon recipe along these lines.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More than 40 years ago, Henri Charpentier was making "chips" that were long slices done the length of large Idaho potatoes, blanched in boiling water then ice water, dried and briefly cooked in hot oil so they were flexible, then rolled into "cigarettes", chilled and just before serving deep fried until browned and crisp. They were delicious and were served with a tiny cup of mayonnaise for dipping.

I had dinner only once at his restaurant in Redondo Beach in 1959 and as I recall these "crisps" had a particular name and were served with a grilled steak that came with a butter sauce and also with medallions of veal. The waiter (who was dressed as one would expect in a French place, in black suit with a long apron tied around the middle of his chest) said that one could order a side of the crisps to go for $1.00! Quite expensive for that time.

I asked how they were done and mentioned that I was a professional baker. I got a tour of the tiny kitchen and was shown the last part of the process.

It was indeed a labor intensive process, especially rolling the long slicesof potato on a "huck" towel. (I don't know what else to call these towels that have a textured surface and are not as common now as they were back then, prior to disposable everything.)

I did not get to meet Mr. Charpentier as he was very old at the time and seated at a table in the (also tiny) dining room with some important people. I think he passed away a couple of years later.

I didn't learn until much later that he was a world-famous chef and there was an enormous waiting list for the place - as I recall, there were only 7 or 8 tables.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going back off topic again, sorry, which chef (french?) used chips in cold oil, and brought it up to high temperature?

I've seen a Robuchon recipe along these lines.

MobyP, you're probably right. Jeffery Steingarten in "The Man Who Ate Everything" attributes this technique to Joël Robuchon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...