24 March, 2009

Sweet Potato Chips

So today in Grace's Cooking Class we are going to attempt to make homemade chips (or crisps if you're English. Chips are actually Fries to us, thus you understand why the clarification was needed).

To start you will need a beauty of a sweet potato, similar to this:

Then you'll need to choose your tools carefully. This was an experiment for me so I started out with a cheese grater, small knife and fruit/vegetable peeler.

**Broadcast Interruption** Here is a nice portion of portugese sausage for you to feast your eyes on and salivate a little.

Next you want to peel your potato. Now I chose a sweet potato because I had some on hand. You could also try a regular potato, turnip or squash. And if there are any other root vegetables out there I missed, you could use them too.

There was a lot of action peeling this sweet potato.

Whoosh. This is like an action movie.

Once peeled, you need to slice very thin pieces of the potato. I started using the small knife. Only thing was I yielded quite thick pieces/chunks of the potato.

Then I tried the cheese grater, which wasn't bad, but the pieces were quite thin and scraggly.

Then a genius moment happened (they don't happen often which is why it was so momentous). I cut the sweet potato in half and used my fruit/vegetable peeler to slice the pieces. As it was in half I was able to get a nice chip shape AND have better handling of the sweet potato as well. With the knife and cheese grater I was slightly concerned about chopping my thumb off. I defintely recommend using the peeler.

(Can you see all the scraggly pieces cut by the cheese grater?)

Then you want to give the 'chips' some flavour so I did a mix of salt, Pepperman and Carl's (a very southern all purpose seasoning given to us by our friends Brush & Reesey - thanks guys!)
(Just to clarify that is J-Man in the background not a cheeky monkey. It's an easy mistake to make)

So spread out your 'chips' so they have enough space between each other.
Another item to add is a sprinkling of oil. Either that, or a spray of PAM would work too.

Set your cooker to 200 or 250. You'll have them in there for about 30 mins, 45 mins or even an hour depending on how thick you cut your 'chips'. They cook slowly like this so they get thoroughly dried out and 'crispy'. (So that's the English connection. Crisps are called as such because they're CRISPY! Oh the revelation is too much).

Keep an eye on them just so they don't get burnt round the edges. It's also good to turn them over frequently.

Here is the final result! A nice collection of crispy, salty, homemade chips.

These chips are a lot healthier than those you find in the shop AND you can cater the flavour how ever you fancy. The time consuming part is slicing the vegetable, but other than that it is an easy option. A great way to con those kids ('kid' also encompasses fully grown hairy husbands).
Have fun experimenting!
Love Grace

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