Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thick-Cut Baked Potato Chips and Homemade Ketchup

Thirty years ago, I would have put ketchup on anything and everything.  French fries, of course, but also potatoes of any form, really, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, chicken fingers, burgers and fish sticks.  I just really loved ketchup.

I remember once my brother and sister daring me to squeeze a teaspoon or so of ketchup into my glass of water at dinner and drink it - and of course, I did, because I couldn't turn down such an easy dare.  Although, unfortunately, I don't think I thought through whether or not I would actually win anything from completing the dare, and I'm pretty sure I got nothing but their respect.  If that.

These days I'm a little more selective in my use of ketchup, although I still can't eat a burger without a generous spoonful of it, generous enough so that the ketchup drips out with every bite.  This is something that tends to annoy Jamie, as though my use of ketchup on what he considers a perfectly seasoned burger is something of an insult to the meat.  But it's just what I like.

So for turkey burgers, I made a fresh batch of homemade ketchup, a little spicy with jalapeno and cayenne pepper.  Along with the burgers, I made thick cut potato chips that I baked instead of fried.  Getting a crispy baked potato chip is a tricky thing to do, but the secret is in the soaking of the potato slices in water, which releases some of the starch and helps them to get crisp while baking.

Our oven tends to bake a little unevenly, so inevitably some of the chips browned more than others, but the majority of the pan held beautifully golden, crispy potato chips which I seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika and fresh thyme.

Jamie didn't turn down a spoonful of homemade ketchup on his burger, and I even saw him dip some of his chips in it.

One Year Ago:   Projects Lately
Two Years AgoSmoked Salmon Deviled Eggs for Easter

Thick-Cut Baked Potato Chips

  • 4 medium red potatoes
  • olive oil spray
  • coarse salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • smoked paprika
  • finely chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme or dill

Slice the potatoes 1/8 inch thick, making sure to keep the thickness as consistent as possible so that they bake evenly.  Place in a bowl and cover with warm water; let soak for 45 minutes.  Drain the water and pat the potatoes dry with towels.  (Cook's Note: the soaking process draws out some of the starch which helps the potatoes to bake crisp instead of gummy or soft.)

Preheat the oven to 450.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place the potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheets.  Spritz with olive oil and sprinkle generously with the seasonings.  Turn the potatoes over and repeat.

Bake potatoes for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown and crisp; turn the potatoes over halfway through and rotate the pans as needed so that they brown evenly.

Yields about 4 servings

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

Homemade Ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (seeds removed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) diced tomatoes
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, honey or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan.  Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapeno, and cook for about 7 minutes, until softened.  Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Scrape the sauteed vegetables and the remaining ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.  Return to the saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat to simmer for about an hour, tasting and adjusting the seasoning as needed.  Increase the cayenne pepper to make the ketchup as spicy as you like.  Cool and store in glass jars in the refrigerator.

Yields about 5 cups

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen