Beastie Choi Clams and Potato Chips

Beastie Boys Book was published in October of 2018 and features a short cookbook by Roy Choi appropriately named 'Ate O Ate'. We wanted to give at least one of these recipes a whirl and some Clams and Potato Chips sounded delicious enough to get things rolling! We definitely recommend picking up the book for its colorful recipe descriptions and the other 540 pages of just general Beastie Boys love and nostalgia. 

Sometimes, in the deepest moments, there are no words. There is only food.

- Roy Choi

The Potato Chips

Making potato chips is a simple process requiring a potato (we choose a peeled russet), oil (we choose peanut), and a suitably deep frying vessel (we chose a Lodge Cast Iron unit). In the book, Chef Choi very eloquently describes how thinly the potato should be sliced. We will not spoil that for you here but suffice it to say that thin-is-in. We lack the dedication and dexterity to slice a potato to a state of translucency so we opted to use a mandoline slicer configured to its thinnest setting.

raw potato slices translucent

Your slices should be thin enough to be translucent as you can see in the above photo. You will want some oil heated to about 300˚. You don't need an obscene amount of oil but the temperature is key. Unless you have an excellent sense for such things a simple probe thermometer is handy. We took care of this with a Thermapen to make sure we were in the ballpark before dropping in a few chips and then again throughout the process as we did a couple of batches.

potato chips oil thermapen

Dropping the chips into the oil is going to lower the temperature so if you overshoot just a bit no need to worry just check occasionally and everything will be fine. So throw in some chips in reasonable batches. This is very easy to manage if you do a single layer and have a bit of patience.

potato chips cast iron oil

As you can see above your chips will hit the oil and begin to bubble as the moisture is released from the potato. Move these guys around a bit throughout the cooking process flipping them over. As they finish cooking, below, they will be a light golden brown and they will be bubbling minimally or no longer be bubbling as they have entered their zen state of crispy. You can use this as a meter of doneness.

cast iron potato chips frying

Remove your batch of chips and place them onto a plate of paper towels. They will get just a bit darker once they are out of the oil. Repeat from here until you have cooked as many chips as you'd like.

fried potato chips paper towel

You made chips. We went to the dark side but experiment with the cooking time and level of color. Sometimes a bit of softness in the middle of a chip is delicious.

bowl potato chips salt

Toss them with some salt and pepper and you are good to go. 

Keep the competition in check
You draft your plans at your drafting desk
You try to play to win but now you lost
Like clams with no tartar sauce

- The Beastie Boys

The Clams & 'Tartar Sauce'

These guys were delicious to make and worked great with the chips above and some fresh bread. We considered putting this over some gnocchi but will have to defer to next time.

Tartar Sauce:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup capers with juice (two typical store jars)
juice of 2 lemons
1 cup minced chives (two typical store packages of .66oz each)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup minced pickles
splash of hot sauce

olive oil
1 1/2 pound clams, washed (NOTE: our print said 1/2 pound.)
1/2 cup minced shallots (one typical store package)
bottle of white wine
salt and pepper
couple tablespoons of butter
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

- Recipe from Beastie Boys Book and Roi Choi

This is all super simple. Your tartar sauce is conceptual therefore it is going to be a lot thinner than actual tartar sauce out of a jar or packet. This is intentional. Your prepped ingredients for this picture will look something like this:

clam ingredients

You are simply going to whisk this stuff together and set it aside. Easy.

clam wet ingredients

Pour some olive oil into a hot pot on medium-high and add the clams and shallots. Cook this mixture briefly until clams are translucent. Add half of the bottle of wine. You will not need the other half so do what you will with the rest. 

clams cooking wine

Cover this all with a lid and reduce the heat to medium. In a few minutes, you should find that the clams have opened up. Add the premixed sauce mixture and continue cooking until things are reduced to your liking. When you are ready to eat toss in a couple of tablespoons of butter, turn off the stove, and add the chopped parsley.

clams finished cooking

Serve it all up and enjoy. Some final thoughts. As mentioned we added more clams compared to what was printed. We aren't sure if this was a typo or not but 1/2 pound seems like a very small amount of shelled clams. We will not judge you by any means if you choose to throw a can of clams into the mix here - you can never have too many clams!

 clams finished chips

I first listened to License to Ill when I was way too young. I was a bit slower than my peers adopting the Compact Disc so my very first CD was Check Your Head. It remains to this day one of my favorite albums. The song Gratitude was the motivator to pick up a bass and figure out that distorted introduction. I never stuck with the instrument but wish I had because the book told me just how MCA got that sound and I'd sure like to play it. It is fascinating that a book on a group of musicians I love got me cooking chips and clams in the kitchen. I guess that is because I don't have a bass anymore. Anyhow, I am grateful folks like Mr. Yauch, Diamond, Horovitz, and Choi showed up to make the world just a bit more rad. 

-Kevin Rosenjack


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