Last night we enjoyed mussels, bread, red wine, and an after dinner snack of home made potato chips.

While in the past, I’ve mentioned (and so has Jessica) how frustrating FreshDirect can be, I’ve also said that I would continue using them just due to convenience. Our recent order was yet another example of what can go wrong. There were minor issues like receiving the smallest parsnips either of us had ever seen; while more impactful was the taste of the mussels.

Jessica ordered two pounds of mussels, which were great in that few (if any) were dead, but they had almost zero taste and were not cheap– as opposed to the mussels we picked up in Chinatown. We didn’t realize that until tasting the dish– how could we? Anyway, I went for an Asian taste prepared in a traditional French manner.

I am not formatting this recipe as I didn’t measure and am documenting by memory. I sautéed about half a cup of diced yellow onion in two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Once soft, I added 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes and a pinch of kosher salt. After letting the red pepper infuse the onions and oil for about 30 seconds, I added three cloves of sliced garlic and a knob of diced ginger (about 1 tbsp.).

About 30 seconds later I stirred in 2 tbsp. of tomato paste, which carmelized for two minutes, before I deglazed with a wonderful Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon (Vino de Eyzaguirre), which later accompanied our dinner. Once saucey (that’s a technical term), I added the two pounds of mussels, 2 tbsp. chiffonaded cilantro, and a 16oz can of diced tomatoes (from my emergency kit). And covered.

We enjoyed the mussels with a par-baked bread from FreshDirect, a salad with an asian dressing recipe Jessica found online, and the red wine.

But then after dinner, nicely buzzed (read: drunk) from 2.5 glasses of that wine (hey! don’t make fun of my tolerance, or lack thereof), I got a craving for potato chips. Fortunately we have a sack of potatoes laying around– who doesn’t?

Potato Chips
I peeled (with my trusty Oxo peeler) about eight medium and small russet potatoes and floated them in a large, stainless steel bowl of acidulated water. Then I set my mandoline to the absolute thinnest setting I could attain and got to slicing potatoes. After each potato I placed the slices back into the water, making sure they were separate.

At the same time I heated vegetable oil to 375 degrees in a relatively narrow sauce pan (six inches maybe) to use less oil but maintain depth in the liquid. And I set up a drying rack over a baking sheet in the oven, set to 300 degrees F.

Once I finished slicing potatoes, I grabbed a handful at a time and dried them in a salad spinner. Before dropping them into the hot oil. Using a spider, I gently tossed the potatoes in the oil to prevent them sticking together. After about three minutes, I removed the potatoes in a bowl with a few paper towels in the bottom. After starting another batch of potatoes in the fryer, I seasoned those in the bowl using a mixture of salt, garlic powder, cayenne, black pepper, and parsley. Once seasoned I placed the cooked chips onto the rack in the oven.

I repeated that process until all chips were done, and I left them in the oven for about ten more minutes, before Jessica and I couldn’t take it any longer and ravaged them. For more images of the cooking adventure, check out the Flickr photoset.

posted by Lon at 10:48 PM Filed under Un-Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.