“When you acknowledge, as you must, that there is no such thing as perfect food, only the idea of it, then the real purpose of striving toward perfection becomes clear: to make people happy, that is what cooking is all about.”
— Thomas Keller (The French Laundry Cookbook)
Dear Thomas Keller,
If you are reading this than please understand I am your biggest fan, and not in a creepy way at all. Your photo’s are divine, your food transformative, and the culture you create in your restaurants is singular and unusual.
And you make a mean potato chip.
Please hire me.
I am obsessed with the French Laundry, and if you don’t know what I am talking about I beg you to go to the link immediately and feast your eyes on the sublime beauty..you can almost taste it through the screen. I have been obsessed with the French Laundry Cookbook for quite a long time now, and last weekend I curled up with it again at Border’s while Izzie narrated the very riveting new Barbie story she found.
I have not yet been able to afford the French Laundry Cookbook (it is quite the gigantic tome) but one recipe caught my eye this time around and that was the recipe for potato chips. In the restaurant they are used as a garnish and consist of paper thin slices of potato with a shaved truffle in between..can you imagine? Unfortunately my budget this week does not cover truffles, but I wanted to try out this method because it is totally genius. So I present the poor man’s version of The French Laundry’s potato chips.
Basil Leaf Potato Chips
1 medium sized potato
2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 handful very pretty and fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
The trick to this recipe lies in using very fresh and fine quality ingredients and in using the technique I will now describe.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil and salt and pepper on the parchment.
Slice the potato using a mandoline, keep track of the adjoining pieces!
Lay a potato slice on the sheet, top with a basil leaf, and press the potato’s partner slice on top. Repeat.
Drizzle with remaining oil, salt and pepper. Cover with another sheet of parchment and a second heavy baking sheet.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until chips are golden but not too brown.
I guess they were good because this is what the baking sheet looked like less than 2 minutes later;
I will be tempting you with more versions of these in the near future…especially because we are four days from our move and we only have potatoes in the house.