not your standard chips & dip

We all remember the old go-to snack of chips & dip.  You know the one.  Greasy bagged potato chips paired with onion dip, which consisted of some powdery stuff mixed in with a container of sour cream.  Let’s kick it up a notch, or two, shall we?  Homemade potato chips are far superior to the bagged ones.  And if you’re concerned about keeping your healthy diet on track, bake them.  They are substantial, super crunchy and downright addictive.

If you are making these for a small group, two potatoes will do the trick.  But if you have a large group of snackers to contend with, go all out and use four potatoes.  You can use Russett or Yukon gold potatoes.  The Russett potato chips will be the heartier of the two.  If you prefer a more delicate chip, then the Yukon gold would be the better choice.

It is important that the potatoes are prepared in uniform 1/8-inch slices.  A mandoline works well.  Potatoes should be sliced lengthwise to create the ideal chip shape for dipping.  No need to peel the potatoes …the more rustic, the better.

Also, it is imperative that the baking sheets are lined with parchment paper.  If you skip that step, you’ll have quite a few chips stubbornly sticking to the pans.

When I prepare the basic recipe of four potatoes, they are baked in just two batches.  Half of the slices fit perfectly on two baking sheets which sit snugly on one oven shelf.  If your oven can’t accommodate two sheets side-by-side, place the sheets on separate shelves and rotate their placement halfway through the baking process.  Repeat for the second batch and you have enough for a small crowd.

As soon as the trays are removed from the oven, season the chips with coarse or flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  At this point, feel free to get adventurous.  Add some freshly grated Pecorino Romano and/or some minced fresh herbs.  Or, if you like it hot, sprinkle the chips with ground cayenne.  Make them your own.

Store the chips in an airtight container until ready to use.

Let’s move onto the Charred Onion Dip.  This recipe is inspired by Frank Stitt of Bottega Café in Birmingham.  The onions are grilled until they’re almost burnt.  But not quite. If you don’t have an outdoor grill, use your cast iron skillet or heavy-duty grill pan.

Once the onion slices are grilled, your work here is almost finished.  Everything is gathered in a bowl, mixed well and placed in the fridge to bloom.  It can be served right away, but the flavors are way better after a day of cold hibernation.

This dip is so good as it is but …there’s always room for improvement, right?  It would be amazing with some crumbled bacon thrown in.  Then there’s always the addition of horseradish.  Anything goes.   Serve with potato chips or crudités.  Or both.

 

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not your standard chips & dip


A sure crowd pleaser that can be made ahead.

Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

BAKED POTATO CHIPS

  • 4 large russet or yukon gold potatoes, cut lengthwise in 1/8-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • coarse or flaked sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

CHARRED ONION DIP

  • 2 slices from large red onion, 1/2-inch thick
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives (plus extra for garnish)
  • juice from 1/2 lemon (about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 dashes Tabasco sauce, or more to taste (optional)

Instructions

BAKED POTATO CHIPS

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Place potatoes in large bowl and toss with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Place half of potato slices in single layer on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Turn chips once during baking.

  3. Remove trays from oven and season with salt & pepper.  Cool slightly, transfer chips to container and repeat process with the second batch.

  4. Store baked chips in an airtight container for up to one week.

CHARRED ONION DIP

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Or heat a cast-iron or grill pan over medium-high heat.

  2. Brush the onion slices generously with olive oil.  Place the slices directly on the grill grate or pan.  Cook until tender and charred, about 6 minutes on each side.  Transfer to a plate to cool.  Reserve several inner rings for garnish and finely chop remaining charred onion.

  3. Combine the sour cream, mascarpone, mustard, chives, lemon juice and Worcestershire in a medium bowl.  Fold in the chopped onions, then taste and season with salt and pepper.  Add Tabasco sauce, if using.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

  4. Place dip in serving bowl; garnish with chopped chives and reserved grilled onion.  Serve with potato chips and/or crudités.

  5. NOTE:  Can be served right away but the flavors are more developed the next day.  Can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days.

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