It started on Twitter. Everything starts on Twitter. When the astrophysicists finally burrow all the way into the rectum of the Big Bang, they’ll find out it started with a freakin’ tweet.
Anyway, Matthew McBride waxed poetic for a moment on the primacy of tequila and McDonald’s fries, on the central place in one’s life they ought to hold, and their similarity to Chuck Wendig. Something about grease, a complete lack of nutritional value and worms at the bottom of it all. I paraphrase, but that was the gist of it.
Tequila and fries? But of course. The inherent culinary Ying Yang, the sour/sharp tequila against the greasy salty fry. But was dialectic possible? Could the two become one?
To the Bat Kitchen, Robin!
Fries, though, are problematic. First off, I never invested in any of the sundry late-night TV gadgets that promise thousands of julienne fries. I work by hand, with a knife. Also, to achieve singularity, to somehow combine the essence of tequila and fried potato in one entity, I needed transference. Not the fancy, psychological kind, no. The regular old Newtonian physics variety. So I had to maximize surface area and minimize prep issues. Chips! Chips were the answer.
So, some ‘taters. What kind you ask? What do I care. You got a favorite, use it. Russets, Yukon Golds, whatever tickles your happy button. Hmmmm . . . The Daja’s got a boyfriend named Tater . . . sliced thin enough, that might just . . . but I digress. We’ll save cannibal BBQ for another installment.
So I sliced up some taters. How thick, you ask. Needy bastard, aren’t you. Within reason, thickness is another subjective issue. But uniformity matters, ‘cause you’re gonna fry those bad boys up and you want all of them to cook evenly.
OK, so you got your sliced ‘taters. Now, to imbue them with the essence of tequila. To maximize flavor and enhance the sour a bit, I mixed up some margarita, which also gave me something to drink whilst cooking. I then dropped the tater slices in the margarita and let them soak for an hour. Then, a few inches of oil in a kettle and in went the tater slices. Let ‘em sizzle away until the brown up nice, then lay ‘em out on some paper towels to drain, douse ‘em good with salt while they are still slimy so it sticks good, then just let them sit and crisp up.
First batch was OK – definitely got a hint of margarita taste, but I wanted more. So with the second batch, I brushed some margarita and lime on the chips as they drained. Better – stronger flavor, but the added moisture cut into the crunch factor. So batch three. Soak, cook, drain, brush, but then just a minute or two in a 400 degree oven to evaporate out the moisture whilst leaving essence d’margarita behind.
Close, very close, but not there yet. Increased soak time? Perhaps. Thicken the margarita mix for better chip adherence? Possible. I shall keep you apprised of refinements as they occur.