Tonight's challenge - potato chips.
My friend Rhonda recently told me she has been making homemade potato chips. I was intrigued. I had never considered making potato chips at home, even though I go through periods of absolute obsession with chips. She said they were simple - slice them thin, coat with oil and put them in a hot oven.
I know what you're thinking, "Um, my idea of simple potato chips is 1) buy a bag, 2) open the bag and 3) eat them." I'm sorry, I really have been away from the kitchen too long. You don't remember me do you? I don't really do 'simple.'
Don't get me wrong, I love a bag of potato chips as much as the next person. That is why I try not to buy them though. I will devour the ENTIRE bag. In a matter of minutes.
Well, I've had a bowl of potatoes in the fridge that have been staring at me for several weeks. I can almost hear them, "cook me, cook me, cook me." So this weekend I finally found the time and inspiration to tie on my apron and give homemade potato chips a try.
I trusted Rhonda's simple method, but did a little online recon as well (on-con? re-line?). There were loads of recipes, but I tried to not overthink it and just go for the baking approach. The results were...meh, but I couldn't stop thinking about one method I read about over at allrecipes.com - potato chips made in the microwave.
Yeah - the microwave. Deal with it. I am not one of those no-TV watching, no microwave using Seattlites. The microwave has its place in the kitchen right there with V-slicer. And those are the only two things you need to make crunchy, tasty potato chips in about 10 minutes.
You can use any type of potato, heck maybe even sweet potatoes. I tried both russets and yukon golds. The yukons are a little bit sweeter whereas the russets are quite earthy. The trick is to slice them as thinly and as evenly as possible. Unless you have mad knife skills, buy a v-slicer (you don't need a fancy French mandoline, just one of the plastic ones like this). Don't be afraid when they get quite brown, that is what makes them super crispy. Cool them for as long as you can stand it, then salt and eat.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 potato, sliced as thin as possible
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Pour the vegetable oil into a plastic bag (a produce bag works well). Add the potato slices, and shake to coat. Coat a large dinner plate lightly with oil or cooking spray. Arrange potato slices in a single layer on the dish. Cook in the microwave for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned (if not browned, they will not become crisp). Times will vary depending on the power of your microwave. Remove chips from plate, and toss with salt. Let cool. Repeat process with the remaining potato slices. You will not need to keep oiling the plate.