Feb 27, 2010

Garlic Chip and Cheese

I need onion rings and a grilled cheese (with onion) when I'm hungover. I need cornflakes with hot milk when I'm tired. I need garlic chip and cheese when my father dies.

I can't say I needed it because it was something we usually ate together, or because it was his favorite thing to eat. Truth is, I don't even know if my father liked garlic chip and cheese. But three days after burying my father, and the night before I left my home in Ireland to come back to my home in New York, all I could feel was the absence of garlic chip and cheese. I always eat garlic chip and cheese when I go home, and this time I hadn't.
It was nothing and everything.

My brother's house is a twenty-minute drive from the nearest chipper, and no-one else wanted chips. We were all tired from a long week of shaking hands and shaking heads. I was too tired to force the issue. I wish I'd insisted, because maybe then I wouldn't have spent the night in my room crying (that I might never have garlic chip and cheese again). If I'd had forty-minutes alone with my older brother and that hot steamy mass of chips and mayo with melted cheese, I would have slept better. I wouldn't have argued with my mother the next morning. I would have been less angry at everyone around me. I would have shopped in Duty-Free. I wouldn't have cried like a lonely immigrant as the plane pulled away from Ireland.

It's my father's month's mind mass today. I can't go, so I made myself garlic chip and cheese (even though I have a feeling he probably hated garlic). For something consumed so widely in Ireland, it's impossible to find a recipe for it; I'm wondering now if it's an Irish culinary secret (like the fact that no-one eats corned beef and cabbage).

I decided to wing it.

I sliced up some russet potatoes. Tossed them with a little oil and salt. Baked them in the oven for ages and ages (1 hour) ...

... until they were crispy.

In the meantime, I kept adding minced garlic to a bowl of mayonnaise until the garlic was borderline overpowering the mayo (4 tbsp to 1 cup). I added a little warm water to thin the dip/sauce a little. I might have added a little lemon juice, but I didn't have any.

I put some of the garlic mayo in a bowl to dip the fries in, and sprinkled a little parsley on top.

I love how rugged homemade chips look when wrapped in brown paper.

In fact, I think these are downright sexy salty chips.

I put some fries back in the oven with a little garlic mayo on top and a handful of shredded cheese. I'm not actually sure you're supposed to cook mayo. If I had a cooking sense, it might have been waving a red flag right about there, but I don't, so it didn't, and I shoveled it all into me before I could tell if it was going to make me sick, or not.

Actually, it was half-decent.

It didn't make me feel sick at all.
Though, it didn't make me feel better either ...


MISS B said...

Oh these look delicious! BTW, your answer was so smart on The Bright Side Project today! I would love an 8th day as well.


Miss B.

Smbumblebee said...

Hi Jacinta, just discovered your blog recently and wanted to say sorry to hear about your Dad. Those chips look delicious by the way ;-)

Jacinta said...

Hey, thanks Miss B. I love the Bright Side's giveaways, and I'm convinced that one of these weeks I'll find that eighth day (wouldn't mind finding that I won that bag in the meantime!)
And thanks Smbumblebee. Welcome, thanks for stopping in, and yes the chips were decent! Wish I could offer you some. I'm thinking I need more chips on my shoulder/hips, so I'm planning more chipper recipes soon!

Anonymous said...

can you make a recipe and not just vague instructions?

Jacinta said...

Hi Anonymous, as mentioned in the post I couldn't find a recipe for "Garlic chips and cheese"; my instructions are indeed vague, but that's because it was experimental. Seems as you ask so nicely however, I have since discovered that Garlic Chip and Cheese is actually an Aioli Recipe with cheese on top. You can find an easy (and precise) aoili recipe here http://bit.ly/iuuFf4 and then add cheese on top. Enjoy!

Alison said...

i wouldn't have done the cooked mayo...but i'm about to move back to the states after a year in ireland and i'm desperate at the thought of not having garlic chips + cheese at the end of a night out. did they 'feel' right to you? i think i need to go into a chipper and bat my eyelashes and ask them for a recipe. i'll let you know what happens...

Gracey said...

Hi I like your post... I spent 2 weeks in Ireland last April and since I just had a baby I was hell bent on going on losing weight... Anyway, I haven't had garlic chip and cheese ever, though I've been to Ireland with my partner several times... But his nephews kept going on and on about it and when I finally gave in OMG I was addicted to them... My diet's out of the window and when I got back to London I started making my own... What I did was almost the same as your recipe except for the mayonnaise... I used sour cream with minced garlic or garlic powder when I'm lazy... I would put the chips and grated cheese in the oven then top it off with the garlic sour cream after... :-D

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