I do believe that if my husband Greg were to choose foods that make up his “dream meal,” it would no doubt have Kettle potato chips on the plate. I’m just not sure if they would be a side dish, or the main attraction. I dare not leave him alone in the house with a bag of thick cut potato chips because he cannot stop until he’s eaten them all, and by this I mean turned the bag upside down, shaking any remains of potato and salt into his mouth. He loves them too much to have them readily available, except for very special occasions.
“When did you start loving potato chips so much?” I asked him.
He grinned and said, “When I was a kid, I’d ride my bike home from school and of course I’d be starving. Then I’d plop in front of the TV with a bag of potato chips and eat the whole bag while I watched three episodes of Star Trek in a row.” He sighed,then added. “It was heaven. My favorite ones were Bar-B-Q and I’d lick all the goody off the sides before eating them. It was before my parents divorced, and I just remember it as a simple, happy time.”
My husband just gave a perfect example of “taste memory” – when something you eat triggers warm happy memories. I was inspired to create some potato chips that Greg could savor and enjoy, that would give him those warm fuzzy “taste memories,” but would do his body more good than harm. Last week I tried an experiment that turned out amazingly well. Rather than baking sliced potato rounds, I broiled them on both sides until “blistery.” In a word: fabulous. They are a great cross between an oven fry and a chip. Greg loves them!
The following recipe is just one version of my Blistery Potato Chips, made with a balsamic-pomegranate vinegar, but you can create 50 Shades of (Homemade) Lays (Potato Chips) with a little imagination, a couple of sliced potatoes, some olive oil and great variety of herbs or spices. Let your imagination go wild.
Try them as a healthy snack for you or the kids, or a quick, easy, delicious side dish with any meal. We especially love them with Chili Lime Catfish and coleslaw.
What are some foods that bring warm happy memories to your mind?
Blistery Balsamic Potato Chips
Heat Oven to Broil.
Serves 2-4 people (depending on size of potatoes and appetites)
2 Idaho potatoes, washed but not peeled, sliced thin (about ¼ inch)
¼ cup olive oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar (I used pomegranate balsamic)
Sea Salt (fresh ground if you have it on hand)
1 T. chopped green onions or chives (optional)
¼ c. catsup, BBQ sauce, or Ranch dressing for dipping (optional)
Place sliced potatoes in a shallow bowl and sprinkle with vinegar. Using clean hands, toss them around until they begin to soak up some of the vinegar. Add in the oil and do the same.
Lay “chips” on a big cookie sheet, spread apart and not touching each other.
Lightly sprinkle them with sea salt. Broil about 4 inches from broiler on one side for 3 minutes or so, or until golden brown in spots. Remove try from oven and turn over all the chips, sprinkle this side with more salt and put back under the broiler until the tops are golden brown. Remove from oven. The bottom side of the potatoes will have by now “blistered” and turned an even prettier shade of brown. Taste one as soon as they are cool to see if more salt may be needed. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives if you like. Serve with a side of Ranch Dressing, BBQ sauce or catsup if desired.
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