A delicious experiment the whole family will love!
I don’t watch much television – I’d rather be cooking, reading or spending time outdoors. Once in a while I do succumb, however. A couple of months ago, I was flipping through the channels looking for something worth watching and I paused at an infomercial for a microwave potato chip maker. It got me to thinking, “I can do that without a plastic gadget” … and the results are delicious! Use a mandoline (or sharp knife and steady hand) to create uniform, thin potato slices; soak in water or vinegar to remove excess starch, and then, in less than ten minutes you’ll have a bowlful of low calorie snacks. One of the things I love most is that you can cook up just one potato at a time, so you won’t have the rest of bag winking at you seductively from across the room. These chips are tasty on their own, plus they make the perfect guilt-free dippers. Speaking of dips, ditch the sour cream and use lowfat Greek yogurt – it’s fantastic for chips! Make this a fun science experiment to do with your kids by having them craft their own seasoning combinations and record the cooking times to compare crunch and colouring. You can also compare taste and texture of the no-fat versus low-fat versions (see bottom of the recipe for how to add a tiny bit of oil to the chiops if desired).
For plain and salt & vinegar chips:
- 2 medium russet potatoes
- cold water
- cider vinegar (approximately 1 cup/250 mL)
For the dips:
- 1 cup lowfat Greek yogurt, divided
- 1 tablespoon (30 mL) powdered Ranch salad dressing
- 1 tablespoon (30 mL) taco seasoning
- Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible (1/8 inch or .4 cm) – a mandoline makes this super easy but a sharp knife and steady hand will work just fine too.
- Put half the slices in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Put remaining slices in a second small bowl and cover with cider vinegar.
- Soak the slices for 45 – 60 minutes. This removes some of the starch and makes the chips crispier.
- While potatoes are soaking, prepare dips: divide yogurt among two small bowls. Add powdered Ranch dressing mix (or other seasoning of your choice) to one bowl and taco seasoning mix to the other. Stir to blend well; cover and refrigerate.
- To cook the chips: Working with one bowl at a time, remove the potato slices from the liquid and dry on a clean kitchen towel.
- Lay the slices out in a single layer on a sheet of parchment paper the same size as your microwave turntable.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt.
- Lay the parchment on the turntable, close the door and microwave on high power for 3 minutes.
- Carefully flip the potato slices over (they’ll be very hot).
- Microwave for 2 minutes. Check and remove any chips that are golden brown and place these on a wire rack to cool.
- Continue microwaving the potato slices in 30 second increments, removing cooked chips after each interval and placing them on a wire rack to cool.
- Depending upon the power of your microwave, the entire cooking process can take from six to ten minutes.
- Be sure to watch the potatoes carefully as they cook so they don’t burn.
- Note that they will crisp up as they cool and once cooled can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days.
- If you are making multiple batches of chips, be sure to let the microwave turntable cool down between batches so it doesn’t overheat and crack.
Makes 3 – 4 cups of chips (depending upon size of potatoes) and 1 cup of dip.
*Final notes: if you’re looking for low-fat instead of no-fat, you can spritz or brush the potato slices very lightly on one side with olive oil before microwaving them. It adds just a gentle hit of flavour that my grown-up kids really liked.