Doing some party planning? Don’t be caught unprepared, gang; you don’t want to find yourself elbow-deep in buckets of sickly-sweet buffalo wings and face-planting into gigantic bowls of Cheetos.
Instead, with just a bit of time and a handful of real, whole ingredients, you can make a delicious assortment of—
Ah, chips. (Or, if you’re a Brit, crisps.)
Legend has it that potato chips were invented a decade before the Civil War by George Crum, the African-American chef of the Moon Lake Lodge in Saratoga Springs, New York. As the story goes, Crum’s invention was triggered by a flash of anger at a customer who had sent back his order of French fries, complaining that they were too thick and soggy. In a fit of spite, Crum decided to cut up another potato into paper-thin slices. Deep-fried and tossed in a shower of salt, these “fries” were meant as a sarcastic retort to the customer’s complaint — but to Crum’s surprise, these “Saratoga Chips” became a massive hit.
It makes for a great story, but Crum’s tale is likely apocryphal; an 1824 cookbook by Mary Randolph already included directions on how to “fry sliced potatos.” But regardless of its origins, by the start of the twentieth century, chips had already become America’s favorite snack food.
Today, mass-manufactured potato and corn chips — not to mention cheesy, puffy things — are everywhere. Entire supermarket aisles are devoted to the peddling of hyper-processed, artificially-colored, chemically-enhanced chips. Americans consume over 1.2 billion pounds of potato chips each year. And every year, 28 million pounds of chips are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday alone.
That’s a crap-ton of hydrogenated oils, acrylamide, and MSG, folks.
Instead, let’s make something tastier and healthier — but just as crunchy and savory.
I have four different kinds of chips for you — three that loyal readers have seen on this site before, and one that’s new to anyone who doesn’t have my iPad cookbook app.
First up: Kale Chips!
Kale chips are the most addictive superfood known to mankind. Combining the salty crunch of potato chips and the nutrient load of a bottle of vitamins, these chips are amazing. Check out the recipe and instructions here.
Looking for something more meaty? Try my recipe for Porkitos — crispy prosciutto chips.
I usually make ‘em to add a crispity-crunchity porcine punch to creamy soups, salads, and purées, but they’re also insanely good on their own. And who can resist the lure of PORK CHIPS?
And let’s not forget Brussels Sprouts Chips.
If you kept the trimmed outer leaves from the mini-cabbages you made the other day, you should have plenty with which to make a big batch. (Yes, I know they aren’t really small cabbages — that’s just what the Double-Os call ‘em.)
Last but not least: Crispy Mushroom Chips!
These oven-baked bursts of umami goodness are like potato chips on flavor steroids — and they’re easy to make.
Here’s what you’ll need to make 2 snack-sized servings:
- 10 ounces (300 grams) king oyster mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons melted ghee
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Here’s what you do:
Preheat the oven to 300°F (or 275°F on convection bake), and line some rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. For this recipe, you’ll either need to use multiple trays or bake in several batches.
Cut the mushrooms in half lengthwise, and then use a mandoline slicer to cut them into ⅛-inch slices.
Arrange the slices in a single layer on the parchment-lined baking sheets. Make sure the mushrooms are super-dry, and leave some space between the slices.
Brush melted ghee on both sides of the mushroom slices, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chips are golden brown and crispy. These chips won’t continue to crisp once they’re out of the oven, so don’t pull them out if they’re still kind of soft.
And that’s it!
Go practice making chips so you’ll be ready for next Sunday’s game — and stay tuned for another lip-smackin’ Super Bowl party dish recipe tomorrow.
Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).