Friday, November 5, 2010

chips! chips! chips!


I have issues with potato chips. They are one of my kryptonite foods. This means that in their presence I have little to no self control. Especially if they are Kettle Chips, you know the ones with the flavors that make me want to high kick and punch the wind and do a roaring guitar solo because they are so, so good. Holy crow man, keep me away from those things.

Apparently, *they* say if you are going to eat junk food, you should make it at home. I believe that this theory is supposed to apply solely to sugared treats. For example, your made-from-scratch cookies, although high in calories, sugar and fat, are at least not made with a battery of strange sounding, multi-syllabic sucrose based words and Monsanto modified petrochemicals*. You get the point, and I like this theory. I can wholeheartedly get behind it. However, a broad sweeping generalization about how making things at home is “healthier” can be a dangerous revelation to someone like myself. Someone whose metabolism may or may not be totally mad at her and giving her the silent treatment lately and someone who’s jeans may or may not have been seen waving a white flag of surrender from the bottom drawer of my bureau this morning.


So last week I sort of accidentally invented homemade, baked kettle chips. Because that is how most incredible inventions and discoveries happen, by accident. Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, the dude who invented penicillin (possibly also Louis Pasteur?) and Porky Dickens. I’m pretty much on the fast track to having a laboratory named after me at MIT. And yes I realize claiming that making oven fries into a different shape and claiming that they are a new wonder of modern kitchen science is a bit exaggeratory and ridiculous, but hey you know what, it’s Friday and I’ma do what I want.


In fact, if I may, and I will, I’m going to take the liberty to call these little babies “crisps” instead of chips. Because crisps is what they call them in England and everyone knows that food from Europe and/or the UK is not as bad for you as American food and thusly, you can eat more of it [this is a theory I have used to justify consumption of copious amounts of Nutella for decades].


So this sort of enjoyable madness is what I’m talking about vis a vis the dangers of homemade junk food. Are these far better for me than an order of fries or a bag of chips? Yes. Does that give me license to eat like, three whole potatoes with reckless abandon? Sadly no. So be forewarned that these are delicious and addictive and potentially my new favorite sort-of-bad-for-you-sort-of-who-gives-a-crap side dish. Enjoy with caution. Happy weekend.

*holy crap, spellcheck automatically capitalized Monsanto. Gross! You know something is courting world domination if it get automatically switched into a proper noun in Word. Bogus.


(serves 2, generously)

2 russet potatoes, scrubbed, dried, thinly sliced**
2 nonstick baking sheets
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash and slice your potatoes. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheets. Drizzle olive oil over and rub and flip to evenly coat each side with oil. Salt, pepper and stick in the oven. Set timer for 40 minutes. At the 20 minute mark open the door quickly and remove one pan. Flip all the crisps to the other side. Replace the pan and take the other, making the switch on this pan as well. It is imperative that you only open and close the door at this point in the process and that you close it very quickly. This is crucial to crisping the outside edges. Take a peek (through the door) at the 35 minute mark to see if they’re done. They very well may be, mine cooked a bit quicker than the 40 minutes I allotted. Remove from oven and immediately toss with lots of sea salt and black pepper. Serve as a side dish to any number of things, I plated mine along with burgers topped with Gorgonzola and caramelized shallots.

**if you have a mandolin, you could slice them super thin. But BE CAREFUL and also, watch the cooking time, as I believe it would drastically reduce and your finished product will end up much closer to actual potato chips.


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