One day when Joe asked where the bag of potato chips had gone, I sheepishly said I had finished it. Neither of us felt like going out in the rain for a replacement bag. But I had a potato, oil, and salt, so why not make some? It was the easiest thing and I didn't even use a recipe. A single spud makes dozens of chips, which he devoured in one sitting.
This time I mixed it up a little, with the addition of sweet potato chips and a caramelized onion dip. Sometimes Joe will mix a packet of powdered onion soup mix into some sour cream to make a dip. Now I don't mind jarred dip, but I can't stand that soup mix with the dehydrated onion bits. So I made my own caramelized onion dip, and it was way better. The sweet potato chips are made the same way, and add a slightly sweet flavor to the mix.
Use a mandoline to create thin, uniform slices of potato. It's hard to get them thin enough or uniform with just a knife. You can even leave the skins on the potatoes. Just slice, soak, dry, and fry -- that's it!
Some of the sour cream in the dip can probably be replaced with plain yogurt -- if you try that, let me know how it turns out. Also, I know there are recipes out there for baked chips, but in my experience they haven't turned out very good. They stuck to the pan, didn't brown evenly, and only some come out crispy. Frying does a more even job; just make it an occasional treat.
Forgive me, but I had to:
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Gollum: What's taters, precious? What's taters, eh?Sam: *Po-tay-toes!* Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew... Lovely big golden chips with a nice piece of fried fish.
[Gollum makes a noise of disgust while sticking his tongue out]
Sam: Even you couldn't say no to that.
Gollum: Oh yes we could. Spoilin' nice fish. Give it to us raw and w-r-r-riggling; you keep nasty chips.
Sam: You're hopeless.
Two Kinds of Potato Chips
1 russet potato
1 sweet potato
Sea salt or kosher salt
Oil for frying (I used vegetable)
Fill a 3-quart pot halfway with oil, and heat to 370° using a frying thermometer. Wash and dry the potatoes. Fill two bowls halfway with water, and line a plate with paper towels.
Slice the potatoes ⅛-inch thick, and let them soak in the bowls of water for at least 15 minutes while the oil is heating. Some of the starches will fall to the bottom, which allegedly makes for a crispier chip.
When the oil has almost reached temperature, drain one bowl of potato slices and dry the slices with a paper towel. Using something like a bamboo strainer, drop 10 to 12 slices gently into the oil, which will bubble up furiously. GENTLY stir the slices for even cooking on both sides, being careful not to splash boiling oil on yourself. Cook them until they have spots of golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, and then strain out onto the plate lined with paper towels. Repeat, letting the temperature come up to 370° before each batch, otherwise it will take longer to fry each batch. Sprinkle the chips with a pinch of salt while still warm.
Caramelized Onion Dip
2 tbs olive oil
3 small onions
8 oz sour cream
1 tbs chopped herbs like thyme or chive
Salt and pepper
Peel and slice the onions. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low heat, and add the onions. Saute for 2 minutes, then add the herbs and cover the pan. Turn the heat to the lowest setting. Cook for 40 minutes, checking on the onions about every 10 minutes to give them a stir and be sure they haven't dried up or burned. Add a tablespoon of water if they look like they're burning. Move the onions to a bowl when done, and cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until cold. You can do this hours or a day in advance.
Stir the onions with any accumulated juices into the sour cream, and add salt and pepper to taste.