Mr Michael Herbert's Chip Buttie
(Grade: Level 5. Should not be attempted without some previous experience of buttie-building)
v random shaped chips (from a chip shop, not home cooked) with fluffy potato inside and a crisp brown outer (good quality potato, cooked in good oil is a surprising bonus but rare)
v salt and malt vinegar according to personal amounts
v soft white bread (as this is an overwhelmingly unhealthy snack, any pretensions to anything different with brown bread, would not suit), crucial is thick cut (or cut yourself thick)
v mayonnaise (Hellman's will do, M & S not bad)
v ketchup (only top brands will do, not daddy's, have used tomato puree, when run out of the other!!)
v lemon juice (lime juice too much flavour for me but personal taste could go with this)
v black pepper (freshly ground, one of my favourite things, hopefully a mixture of large and small chunks - grinder is important for this - not powder, pre-ground pepper, and definitely not white)
v unsalted butter - there is an unsalted alpine butter beginning with 'm' (can't remember the rest, hard to find) that is the best, creamy, unsalted butter, but otherwise wheelbarrow or president will do
Possible extras or replacements:
v French mustard has come into the equation once or twice, usually as a result of running out of something, but must be used carefully due to strength.
v Bearnaise sauce has been used once but I regretted it as I was trying to be far too fancy and it didn't work at all.
v Hollandaise sauce has popped up once or twice but suffered the same fate as its cousin Bearnaise
Proportions are everything with this "buttie". For me that means lots of everything. You should eventually create a cholesterol-high, hydrogenated fat soaked, carbohydrate-fuelled 'goo' of sufficient amounts to nearly come through the bread.
First, spread a base layer of unsalted butter, soft so that a good even but thick spread can be applied.
Second, mayonnaise and ketchup are applied to both pieces of bread (for total saturation).
Then the chips can be placed on one piece of bread in random fashion, allowing space for oncoming lemon juice to filter through.
If more salt is needed then now is the time to do it, but crucially the ground black pepper goes on now, with attention to an even but lively spread.
Then squeeze half a lemon over the chip sided piece of bread - depending on sizes more lemon juice can be used (do not skimp on lemon juice!)
Press the empty slice of bread onto the 'packed' one, press down so the juices come through and are pushed into the all the crevices around the "buttie".
© Michael Herbert, 2012