Homemade Sun Dried Potato Chips

March 12, 2012

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Potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables and can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Latkas and scrambled eggs for breakfast, creamy potato soup for lunch, and paired with some tomatoes, zucchini, and onions for a simple, but rich tian for dinner makes everyone in my house very, very happy.

When I was contacted to participate in a food challenge over at Kitchen Play, I gladly accepted.  Upon finding out that the special ingredient was potatoes, I secretly jumped for joy. Potatoes, whether roasted, baked, sauteed, or fried are always a great accompaniment to any meal. I serve potatoes at least twice a week, and with us transitioning into a more gluten free lifestyle, potatoes have become our starch du jour!

These have been sundried and ready for the frying pan

As the US Potato Board was sponsoring this series, I didn’t want to hide my potatoes in a gratin (don’t get me wrong, I love gratins) or a soup. My hopes were to keep the authenticity of the spuds while at the same time creating a snack (or appetizer) that both kids and adults could enjoy.

There are 7 types of potatoes and I chose to use both Fingerling’s and Purples. Fingerling’s because they are cute, creamy, and their size is just right and the purples because, well, I love the color purple and I adored the contrast. Living in So. California, I am fortunate to have the weather on my side. Our farmers markets are bursting with fresh, local ingredients and the potato guy at the Santa Monica Farmers Market never disappoints. With both a bag of fingerling’s and a bag of purples in hand, I headed home, knowing exactly what I was going to create.

You can’t really go wrong with homemade potato chips. With this being a challenge, I wanted to do something I had never done before. And creating sun dried potato chips was a first. Pair these with a dipping sauce of your choice and snack time will never be the same!

Sun Dried Potato Chips
I found that both potatoes worked. However, the fingerlings were a bit more creamy and had a softer texture to them. Regardless, they were all gobbled up within minutes of removing from the pan.

ingredients:
2 lbs of potatoes – your choice
Celtic Sea Salt
Peanut oil for frying

instructions:
• wash and dry the potatoes.
• using a sharp knife, slice the potatoes, thin, but not too think where you can see through them.
• place sliced potatoes oin cold water. let sit 5 minutes and then drain water and repeat with fresh water. do this 3 times.
• fill a large dutch oven three quarters the way up with water. bring to a rapid boil. when water boils, add kosher salt and then drop your potatoes in the water (I did mine in two batches. first the fingerlings and then the purple. the water does change colors, thus I was afraid that the water would change the color of my fingerlings).
• let boil for 30 seconds and then turn off the heat. cover the pot and let rest for 3 minutes.
• using a mesh utensil (I like to use this) remove the potatoes and drain in a colander.
• once drained place on a parchment lined baking sheet. do not overlap.
• find a place in your backyard where you get complete sunshine. leave in the sun for 6-8 hours. this is a 2 day process. I left the potatoes in the sun for 8 hours the following day (it is best if the temp outside is 80* or warmer).
• in a large dutch oven, heat oil to 350* (I use a candy thermometer). fry potatoes in batches. these fry very quickly as all the moisture has been removed from the potato. frying them will only take 10 to 20 seconds. do not walk away from your pan or you will have very burnt chips.
• using a slotted spoon or mesh, bamboo strainer, place on paper towels to drain ( I line a rimmed backing sheet with lots and lots of paper towels). immediately sprinkle with Celtic Sea Salt or any seasonings you may choose (I sprinkled some with truffle salt – yum).
• these won’t last long, I suggest you make a double batch.

Also:
I have signed up for the U.S. Potato Board’s weekly recipes. You too can sign up, here. They also have a Facebook page with lots of ideas, recipes and nutritional information about incorporating potatoes into your weekly diet.

The US Potato Board  is also sponsoring a wonderful giveaway here at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s Progressive Party, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter. All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win $100 (6 prizes total).  The deadline is April 15, 2012. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!