First time for us to grow blue potatoes. I was extremely excited about it right from the beginning, imagining all the things I'd do with them, oh the possibilities! These blue ones are funny little things though, in all sorts of quirky shapes like twisted monkeys they are.
First I opted for the mash. Prepared with a good chunk of butter, milk and some finely chopped caramelised onions. Caramelising onions in bacon fat adds an extra dimension. Never leave any chunks in the mash, it has to be as smooth as butter.
Grilled lamb chops, blue mash and slaw. Lovely.
Next up were crisps. I fried some in oil, the conventional way, and zapped some in the microwave with zero fat, the health-conscious way. I was naively hoping that the healthier crisps would be almost as good as the fatty ones, but the taste, it's just not the same. Sure, they do crisp up nicely, presuming you cut them finer than 1mm (for which you'll need a mandolin), and the taste is okay, but it is missing a certain flavour nuance and the mouth-feel is a bit on the dry side as well.
The best solution is, I think, to use an oven and brush potato slices with a bit of oil. I have tried and it works quite well without being overly fatty.
I still have some blue potatoes left, for a salad or maybe roast potatoes.. haven't decided yet.
Animals from the Luige livestock show. The young cow on the right didn't want to stop licking our hands.
Making crisps at home
Doesn't matter which method you choose, first you have to peel and slice the potatoes very finely on a mandolin. Wash the slices of extra starch and pat dry.
By far the easiest method is deep-frying. Heat oil in a saucepan, drop slices in the 180°C oil, let bubble until golden and crispy. Remove from the oil and drain. Season to taste.
Next is microwaving. Here it is good to have a layered tray or rack of some sort, because otherwise you can prepare only a small amount at a time, since you cannot crowd them, they will stick to each other. This can be very time-consuming.
Season the dry slices before zapping them. Lay in a single layer on a surface and heat on medium, in about 3 minute intervals (depending on your machine), because you don't want to burn them. When crisp, remove from the microwave and let cool.
The traditional oven method seems to be the most tiresome. Preheat the oven to 210°C - 220°C, line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Brush all potato slices with a bit of oil and season to taste. Lay oiled slices in a single layer on the baking parchment, cover with another sheet of baking parchment and top with another baking sheet, to weigh it all down. The thing is, oven cooked crisps tend to curl up and to avoid this, you need to weigh it down with something flat, preferably metal, as it is a heat conductor.
Depending on how good your oven is, you might need to flip the crisps around after 15 minutes or so.
This method is also tricky because you cannot see whether they are done or not.
If you don't mind them curling up like dried leaves, then there is no need to cover them.