The one thing I didn’t want to do when making this blog was wed myself to one topic only. I think one of the biggest mistakes women make in their lives is taking a single identity (mother, career, wife) and running with it, because the women in my life who were the most balanced and successful in life were those who kept their identity on who they are and not what they do. (They were also women from two plus generations ago, which I find to be totally depressing as it seems we have lost our way despite liberation or even perhaps because of it.)
That being said, I have found the easiest way to make homemade chips (french fries) in the Tefal Actifry with no drying:
First, choose a suitable potato variety. I have found that here in South Africa, the Mondial variety is great for chipping. Yes, this does make a huge difference, as different varieties of potatoes (or potato races, as Tefal calls them), contain different amounts of water in their flesh. If the potato is too watery, it will mush up instead of crisping.
Next, peel (optional) and slice your chips. If you’re feeling especially lazy, don’t peel them. I use something similar to this to instantly slice my chips, but a mandoline would definitely be the best way to go, as the cheaper choppers do not give an option for making chips thinner or thicker. (Note: Must buy mandoline….)
Then rinse the chips (fries) until the water is clear (meaning that all the loose starch is rinsed out). Bonus points: Save the water used for rinsing and give to your plants.
OK here is where you deviate from the “official Tefal recipe”, which states that you must dry all the chips with a towel and then dry them again with a paper towel, just to make sure they’re completely dry. I did that exactly ONE TIME and was so frustrated by the end that I wanted to go back to deep frying. Who seriously has the time and the inclination to hand dry each chip twice, wasting paper towels with the second drying? Not me.
Instead of all of that, throw the rinsed and drained chips straight into your Actifry. Do not add oil. Do not add salt.
See all that water? Don’t worry about it. Close the lid and run your Actifry for five minutes. Set a timer. (I actually don’t use the timer on the Actifry as it doesn’t shut off the machine and it’s difficult to hear it over the fan.)
Now if you’re freaking out at this point, let me remind you of something. Tefal is essentially selling a massive hair dryer with a heating element. Don’t freak out. It works.
After five minutes, throw in some oil. I use coconut oil as I find it gives the chips (fries) more crisp than sunflower or olive oil. You can also add your salt now.
Now you pretty much wait the normal time, which for me is usually about forty minutes. I set a timer for thirty and check back every few minutes after that, because potatoes cook differently depending on a lot of factors, such as age, storage conditions, and of course, potato race. (Thanks, Tefal, for that ridiculous phrase.)
When they are done they will start getting brown, like this:
It’s up to you how done you want them to be. I’ve certainly made them more browned than this, but I’ve also pulled them out much blonder as well.
When you remove your chips you then have the option for making slap chips or regular chips. Slap chips are a South African specialty. Simply put the chips in a big bowl, add white vinegar and masala (fine red chili powder or, for the faint of heart, paprika), and any additional salt you want. Mix well and they go limp in a beautiful way. (Slap means “limp” in Afrikaans. One of my favorite phrases in Afrikaans, used for describing a completely unfit and lazy person, is slap en pap AKA limp and soggy.)
If you want regular chips just pull them out, adjust your salt/seasoning, and serve.
Here’s my slap chips two different ways: Served with a killer sandwich my hubby made:
and in a chip roll with garlic polony/bologna (simply throw the sliced polony in your actifry about ten minutes before the chips are done and voila, everything cooks together and it is lazy and amazing):