A certain hillbilly has invited me to take part in what can only be described as a Sandwich Party As regular readers will no doubt be aware, I’m something of a foodie, even being willing to travel great distances to eat a certain product or visit a certain restaurant. What I do not do is prepare food myself. I have been known to prepare toast all by myself, but if a recipe contains more than two ingredients I get dizzy and have to go and have a lie down. I see no contradiction in this attitude. After all, I love music, but I can’t sing or play. I love books, but couldn’t write one.
Anyway, my enthusiasm for this web-happening overrode my lack of food preparation skills, and I decided to make for you, dear reader, a British culinary classic. I give you…The Chip Butty.
First, a word on terminology, for those of you reading from beyond the confines of our green and pleasant land. “Chips” are what Americans would call “fries” (French, Freedom, whatever). What you call “chips”, we call “crisps” (which can also, it should be pointed out, be used in sarnies). In fact, for this version of the recipe I shall be using Belgian “frites”, since, well, I live in Belgium. Also, whatever you believe about the origins of fries and the name “French Fries”, most concur that Belgians make them better than anyone else – tastier and crunchier than the traditionally fatter, greasier British chip.
Step one: the ingredients. The bread has to be white, sliced, preferably cheap and twappy. For the frites, Chez Antoine in Place Jourdan reputedly makes the best frites in Belgium, but they’d be cold by the time I got them home, so Chez Francois in Place Dumon, five minutes’ walk from our house, will suffice.
Step three: Place chips on bread. There are different schools of thought as to precise chip placement/arangement. Some favour a careless scattering, creating a lumpy, irregular sandwich. I prefer a neat ordering which ensures maximum amount of chippage per square slice, with no gaps or overlaps.
Step four: smother liberally with ketchup.
To accompany this repast I have chosen a “Jail Ale”, brewed on my home turf of Devon.
Step five: eat
A healthy (chips and ketchup – that’s two vegetables, right?) square meal.
Post-prandial analysis: British fat chips with hand-sliced crusty white bread would have resulted in a chunkier, more manly sandwich. Oh well – there’s always next year…