I've been making a lot of chips lately.
It's the abundant crops from the Siena Farms CSA that are drowning me in potatoes, beets, and kale. I can hardly keep up, especially with the various weekend trips of late. It's no wonder I have to dry them out and make "chips" out of everyting in order to prevent them from going bad.
OK, OK, you're right. Potatoes don't really go bad that fast. And potatoes are among the most versatile "vegetables" out there. You can boil them, mash them, roast them, fry them, smash them, and the list goes on and on.
I'd tried making "potato" chips once, by trying to bake thinly sliced sweet potatoes. It worked out *OK*, but I did burn a lot of them. Perhaps I didn't add enough oil? Or maybe my heat was on too high?
In any event, I decided to follow the advice of various other articles I'd read online more recently about how to make good chips. I used a Mandolin and sliced the potatoes to about 1/16 of an inch.
Many people suggested soaking the potato slices (even up to overnight!) in order to wash away some of the starch. Apparently this step leads to crispier chips.
I didn't have all day, so I just soaked them for twenty minutes or so in cold water before draining them. Ideally, if you have a salad spinner (or even paper towels?), use these tools to get the potato slices as dry as possible.
Lay the slices in a single layer on baking sheets.
For a fun flavor boost, I got out a jar of one of our favorite chili sauces that we get in Chinatown. Usually when I get Asian imported stuff, I try to buy things from Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Japan. I make an exception for this tasty sauce from China, though. It's just so good, and I haven't found a suitable replacement quite yet.
Perhaps it's the MSG that makes it so good . . .hmmmmm
I baked at 350°F with the "auto convection" setting on (which basically reduces the temperature by 25 °F to 325°F). Ovens do vary, so keep an eye on your chips! I rotated the pan at least once, perhaps after 15 minutes or so. I tried to watch it carefully to make sure it didn't burn. It was easier to prevent burning since my oven wasn't set to a really high temperature.
And they turned out perfectly! I was pretty generous with the oil, so it's possible that these chips are no less fattening than a typical fried chip. Nevertheless, it was much easier to make at home, and everyone loved it.
They were crispy, spicy, and had that nice, fresh, potato flavor. They tasted real.
It's too bad that I only own three baking trays. It's hard to bake these in bulk, and they're so good that they seem to disappear more quickly than the rate at which I can make them.
The possibilities are endless.
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Disclaimer. I received a discount on my CSA from Siena Farms. All opinions are my own.
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