Homemade Potato Chips: What A Great Snack Food!
Snack foods are a growing trend in this country. We are constantly on the move , sure you could go to the store and pick up all the flavors you can think of. Or you could make your own. In 1853 Native American George Crum did, in Saratoga Springs, NY. Which isn’t too far from where I grew up. The story goes George was working at a resort and he kept getting complaints that his French fries were too thick. He cut them so thin that they crisped up for a supreme crunch, that today we call potato chips. Max and myself think most things are better homemade. My favorite potato chip is the salt and vinegar chip. I have found it hard to make this chip exactly the same as Lays.
It is surprisingly easy to create these wonderful snacks. I have learned a trick or two along the way. First you must choose the right potato. I recommend to use a Yukon gold or Kennebec. I really enjoy the flavor and the starch levels are on the lower end of the spectrum. Last summer the restaurant wanted to serve potato chips so I did some research and experimentation that led me to find some great discoveries. I found an article by Mister Kenji Rohan, a food mad scientist that had the time to figure out how to keep your chips from burning with some adjustments.
First thing is that there is sugar in potatoes, now when you fry these sugars they caramelize, which then becomes the dark color. Now some people like the look and flavor of the old school kettle chip. I prefer the golden classic look that you get in the lays and wise potato chips. Saying that I needed to breakdown the sugar molecules in the potato. I needed an acid, not a harmful one don’t worry, but a food based acid like vinegar. I know you’re asking yourself, like a pickled potato? That’s not what I mean though, you take the potatoes, boil them in vinegar and water. This breaks down the potato molecules and breaks them on a molecular level. Science right? It’s amazing what we can do today.
It is time for the execution. I found that using a mandolin versus a sharp knife was able to give me more accurate slice. 1/16 of an inch is the correct measurement it’s not quite paper-thin but you can still see the shadows when you hold your finger behind one side. The oil of course is peanut oil because it’s the best to fry with. Remember the temperature is one of a responsible measure. 325 degrees until when the chips is submerged and it no longer bubbles.
Potato chips are the perfect treat for all the youngsters, tricksters, elders and go-getters. My nephew showed up to do some taste tasting! It is fun making junk food that you can control. You choose the quality of ingredients and your reward is the quality. Now if you want to buy store chips be my guest. I am gonna stick with the homemade method. It changed my life-like making popcorn in a pot changed Max’s (it’s really that easy & keep the potato chip money in your pocket). You can shop local and make a conscious decision to make food at home.
Homemade Potato Chips
- 1 Large potato
- Salt and pepper or some of your favorite seasonings
- 5 Cups peanut oil
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar
- 5 Cups water
- Candy/frying Thermometer
- 2 Heavy bottom pots
- Slotted spoon
- Thinly slice your potatoes on the mandolin
- Take your water and vinegar and bring to boil
- Boil the thinly slice potatoes for about 5-7 mins, they should feel firm yet cooked
- While the potatoes are cooking heat up your peanut oil over a med heat until your thermometer reaches 325 degrees
- Using your strainer strain the potatoes
- Transfer to a napkin on a dinner plate
- Cook the potatoes in the oil for 3-4 mins until the bubbles subside.
- Remove chips and transfer to a dinner plate with a napkin on it to soak up some of the oil
- Sprinkle your favorite seasoning and enjoy
Serve these delicious chips in a nice bowl with your favorite dip or salsa!