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Saratoga chips, potato bugnes

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The NY Times has an Amanda Hesser article about the evolution of potato chips and how some of the early recipes used olive oil for cooking. Now, she and Dorie Greenspan explore new ways to create potato chip like foods. One recipe even calls for Hungry Jack instant potatoes...


I gave The Times’s Saratoga potatoes recipe to Dorie Greenspan, whose book “Around My French Table” was just published. I figured anyone who spends a lot of time in France knows how to navigate a potato. She loved the Saratoga chips and was taken by the use of olive oil for frying.


As she began to ponder transforming the recipe, she said, “I was thinking about kreplach and ravioli and stuffed potatoes, and then it just came to me.” She didn’t so much modernize the potato chips as take what she calls a classic French “snacky sweet” — fried dough called bugnes (a k a merveilles) — and turn it into a savory potato cracker, fried, of course, in olive oil.


Greenspan’s Crackery Potato Bugnes have the swagger of a potato chip — loamy, a little sweet and crisp — while remaining a thin, bumpy, deliciously potato-scented cracker. And they’re so easy to make and they turn out so professionally that you’ll soon be whipping them up for every dinner party. Or you may just plan a dinner party so you can show off your potato bugnes — and surprise your guests with the secret ingredient: Hungry Jack potato flakes.



NY Times

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For me, an interesting juxtaposition. I'm reading Upton Sinclair's The Jungle published 1904-6 and here's the Times as per Hesser:


"The Times recipe from 1904 is unusual in that it calls for olive oil, a smart modification that gives the potatoes a nutty flavor and less heft. If you can’t achieve fairylike thinness, then aim at least for hobbitlike thickness. They’ll be chewier, but just as great.


Olive oil was covered extensively in The Times long before Rachael Ray began espousing “E.V.O.O.” — extra-virgin olive oil. In 1897, William Drysdale wrote in detail about olive oil being pressed at J. E. Blanc in Velaux, Provence. And in 1904, another feature cited producers in France, Italy and even California. “In the kitchen it has come to supersede, where its cost is not regarded, all fats for frying,” the reporter wrote."


Always two worlds: those in The Jungle didn't use EVOO.

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