There are 2 recipes in 1 here, so they could be used together with grilled meats or fish, or split apart to go with many other things. The aioli truly packs a punch, being heavy on the Mustard but with a mellow sweetness coming from the roasted garlic. Whilst not using a deep fryer, the chips follow a similar method of 2 stage cooking, which help produce a crispy outside and fluffy interior.
3 large garlic heads
1kg white potatoes, Maris Piper work well
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped (optional)
1 ½tbsp polenta
1 free range egg
1 ½tbsp Dijon Mustard
100ml sunflower oil
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat an oven to 150C/Fan 130C/Gas Mark 2. Bash the bulbs of garlic with the flat of your hand so they open out then place on a large piece of foil. Drizzle over 1tbsp Olive Oil into the centre of each bulb and season with salt. Wrap up tightly, place on a tray then put in the oven and cook for 90 minutes. Remove from the oven then check the garlic – it should be soft enough to squeeze and a golden brown colour. When cool enough to handle, separate the cloves and squeeze the garlic from each one into a bowl.
While the garlic is cooking, prepare the potatoes by peeling them then cutting into long chunky chips, getting around 6-9 per potato, depending on size. Place in a colander and rinse under cold water to remove some of the starch.
Place the chips into a large pot of heavily salted cold water (similar taste to sea water) and put on a high heat. Bring up to a boil and cook for 2 minutes then drain into a colander. Place on a tray and allow them to steam dry until ready to cook.
When the garlic has been removed from the oven, increase the temperature to 210C/190C/Gas Mark 7 and place a sturdy baking tray inside, so it is hot when you add the chips to it. Toss the chips in 2tbsp Olive Oil, rosemary, polenta and a decent amount of pepper. Remove the hot tray from the oven and add all the chips, Olive Oil and coatings. Place back in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and turn the chips over using a spatula and bake for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and test 1 chip to check that its cooked through. If they feel that they could be more crispy, bake for a further 5 minutes.
While the chips are in the oven, make the aioli. This is very easy if you have a small food processor, but you can also make it in a bowl or in a large pestle and mortar. Mash the garlic and combine with the egg yolk, Mustard, Vinegar and ½tsp salt. Blitz until well combined then slowly add the remaining Olive Oil a few drops at a time increasing to a very slow stream once the aioli starts to thicken and then continue with the sunflower oil. If you are concerned it is getting too thick, add a little of the lemon juice to loosen. You can add the lemon juice at the start, which will make it harder for it to split, but the aioli will never be quite as thick. Taste and add more salt if necessary, then scrape everything into a bowl. Cover with clingfilm or paper if intending to make ahead of time, as a skin can form on the top.
Serve the aioli with the chips as soon as they are cool enough to eat!