Make ’em Yourself Potato Chips

Hi readers.  It’s me, the modern man.  Like my ancestors, I am predisposed to certain indulgences: domestic beer, ball park hot dogs, sandwiches measured in board-feet…  However, decades of instinctual evolution have led me to master the elevation of my desires.  I present to you now, the modern man’s potato chip.  Crunchy, salty and faithful in spirit to the ancient bagged recipes found at 7-11, these chips are the missing link between Monday Night Football-era Doritos and pre-Symphony crostini.

Makes: 1 Jumbo-Sized Mega Bag
Total kitchen time: 30 mins

Shopping list:

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes, skin-on, cleaned well
  • 1 tbsp. safflower oil
  • 2 tbsp. red Hawaiian sea salt

Note: The oil and salt you use will really define the flavor of these chips.  Don’t use olive oil, since the smoke point is too low.  I used safflower oil, but you can also try canola oil, or any other oil suitable for frying.  Please, for the sake of modern men everywhere, don’t use table salt.  Find the spice aisle of your nearest (finer) grocery store and peruse their collection of finishing salts.  You’ll undoubtedly uncover some interesting varieties – experiment and find the flavor that you like best.

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.  Set the top rack about 10″ below the heating element.
  2. Set the depth on your mandoline or v-slicer to .75mm or 1mm.  If you don’t have a mandoline, you can use a knife to slice the potatoes but you had better be a samurai to get the slices thin and even.
  3. Slice the potatoes into discs.  Blot the potato discs with paper towels to remove some of the moisture. 
  4. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the safflower oil and salt.  Lightly grease a baking sheet and arrange the potato slices so they don’t overlap.  You’ll need to do this in several batches (working 2 at a time) to get through all 2 lbs. of potatoes.
  5. Bake for about 6 minutes, or until spots of brown appear.  Pay very close attention to the potatoes towards the end of 6 minutes – they’ll go from light brown to burnt quickly.
  6. Remove the chips from the baking sheet with a board scraper or spatula into a large bowl.  Serve promptly!

Twice-Baked Potato Rounds

twice baked potato rounds 
Do you love potatoes but hate their shape?  Then try new twice-baked potato rounds.  The same great potato taste you love (actually, much better) with out the oval shape!  Try twice-baked potato rounds at dinner, at the office, at the beach, or enjoy as a delicious snack anytime!  Twice-baked potato rounds are light, fluffy and moist – a treat the whole family can enjoy.  But you can’t buy twice-baked potato rounds in stores… they’re only available through our exclusive online offer. 

Makes: 10 delicious twice-baked potato rounds, for a limited time only
Total kitchen time: 45 minutes

Shopping list:

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic
  • 3 tbsp. grated parmesan
  • 2 Oz. crumbled sharp blue cheese (such as Rogue River or Stilton)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the potatoes.  That’s a guidance-free, bold statement, isn’t it?  OK, you could bake the potatoes in the oven, but that takes about 3 calendar months.  Here’s what I like to do: cut the potatoes into about 1″ cubes and put them in a Pyrex dish full of hot water.  Microwave the little buggers for, oh, 15 minutes or so.  Cooking time will vary (a lot) but you want the potatoes to be very forgiving when you insert a fork.  Strain the potatoes in a colander and rinse quickly with cold water.  This does two things – 1) it cools off the potatoes so they’re easier to handle, and 2) it removes just a little bit of starch so out finished product doesn’t have such a glue-like consistency.
  2. While your potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 425°F and set the top rack about 8″ below the heating element.
  3. Next, you’ll want to grab your potato ricer.  If you don’t have one (and you make mashed potatoes more than twice a century) go order one.  Rice the potatoes into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, reserving a small amount of blue cheese for the tops.  It is important not to overwork the potatoes at this point – they’ll become gluey.  Just mix (or fold) until everything is combined.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with a piece of cooking parchment.  Place a pastry ring (or biscuit cutter) on the parchment and spoon in the potatoes.  Gently remove the ring to leave a biscuit-shaped potato mound.  If you don’t have a ring, you can grease a 1/2 cup measure or form the shapes by hand. 
  5. Top the rounds with a dollop of the remaining blue cheese and bake until just slightly golden, about 6 minutes.

Of course, you can use this recipe for classic twice-baked, re-stuffed potatoes.  However, I like the idea of baking them outside of the shells.  If you have a pastry bag with a wide tip, get creative with shapes and designs.  You and your guests will love the results.