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November 27, 2009
Fingerling Potato Chips and Pecorino-Chive Cream
From the book Araxi © 2009, by Chef James Walt . Photography by John Sherlock (photo shown is detail of that published in book). Published by Douglas & McIntyre , an imprint of D&M Publishers Inc. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.

Fingerling Potato Chips and Pecorino-Chive Cream*
Serves 4 as an amuse-bouche (Yields 2 cups)

At the restaurant, we sometimes serve these “chips and dip” as an amuse-bouche when guests arrive. There is something comforting about the familiar potato chip, and pecorino Romano is a favourite of mine—I like the saltiness of the cheese and its hayfield smell.

Potato chips :

8 oz. large fingerling potatoes (about 7 to 8)
12 cups peanut or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
1 Tbsp fleur de sel
1 Tbsp chives, cut in 1-inch sticks, for garnish
2 to 3 fresh bay leaves, for garnish

Method: Rinse and scrub the potatoes. Using a mandoline, slice the potatoes as thinly as possible. Do not allow the slices to break. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, cover with cold water and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.

Pecorino-chive cream :

1 2/3 cups whipping cream
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
7/8 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
3 1/2 oz. goat cheese
2 Tbsp chopped chives

Method: Place the cream, garlic, bay leaf and rosemary in a small pot on medium heat. Once the cream is hot, remove from the heat and allow it to infuse for 20 minute

Combine the pecorino Romano and goat cheeses in a medium bowl. Warm the cream infusion on low heat, then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve over the cheeses. Discard the solids, then whisk the cream and cheese mixture until smooth. Fold in the chopped chives and refrigerate the dip for 2 hours, or until it becomes firm.

Finish potato chips Fill a deep pot or a wok two-thirds full with peanut (or vegetable) oil and heat it to 330°f (use a deep-fat thermometer to check the temperature). Drain the potatoes and carefully pat them dry with paper towels. Fry the potatoes in small batches for 3 minutes, until golden brown, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the chips to paper towels and season with fleur de sel.

Exclusive to CityFood : To see the cocktail created by David Wolowidnyk of West restaurant to match this recipe click here .


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