Forget the Lays Classic Potato Chips. Have you ever considered making potato chips at home? If you really want to, summer time is the right time. With the plentiful sunshine and warmth and just about 20 minutes of your time, you will have a bagful of golden crisp home made potato chips. Then spice and flavor them the way you want and fall in love with them.
Sun dried potato chips is probably the first few things that I made while I was still pretty young. I remember having them the first time in a school picnic. A friend got them and we munched on these goodies on our way to the picnic in the school bus. The next day she smiled and told me that she knew how to make them. I tried them out a few weeks later and made them innumerable times thereafter.
And if you still have not guessed, they make seriously addictive treats to snack on!
Hand cut, naturally sun dried, fried golden and sprinkled with your favorite spice- what more could you ask for?
Now that the merciless sun won’t leave us alone, I better do something with all the sunshine and the heat. This summer is different here in Texas. We have had no rain for the past two months and the temperature has been keeping steady above 105 F for the past couple months too. The kids have been imprisoned indoors, not being able to go out. The entire summer vacation went by with no sound of the children playing outside. The ice cream truck makes its round; we hear the music, but it does not stop, the children do not flock out of their homes to get the summer treat. The parks are as deserted as the streets and the yards.
Well the sun we have in plenty, and I decided to use it for my kitchen needs. Nothing works better than than a scorching sun when it comes to the natural drying process.
The way we are used to having these chips are with a very generous sprinkle of red chili powder. But these are versatile and any spice mix (or no spice) may be used. It is all about you, and how you like them to be and what you feel like doing with them!
So here is the easiest recipe ever for the home made potato chips…
Sun Dried Potato Chips
- potatoes -as many as you want
- water to boil them in
- red chili powder or paprika or any other powdered spice you want to sprinkle on them (like black pepper, garlic or onion powder etc)
- oil to deep fry
- lot of sunshine and high temperature
Scrub and wash the potatoes. If the dirt is too hard to get off, you can peel the potatoes.
Slice the potatoes with a mandoline or a potato slicer. I am old fashioned and I used my knife. Do not slice them too thin; not so thin that they fold and are kind of transparent. They should still be able to hold the shape.
Wash the potato slices in several changes of water, till the water runs clear of starch.
Heat a large pot with enough water; all the potatoes need to be completely immersed in water. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add some salt and then drop in the sliced potatoes. The water temperature will be lowered and will stop boiling. Keep the heat on high and when the water comes to a boil again, switch off the heat. Cover the pot with a lid and leave it for about 5 minutes. The potatoes should not be cooked, but they will look glazed and kind of translucent.
Drain out the water carefully; remove the sliced potatoes in a colander and let them drain for about 5 minutes. Line a large board or tray with foil, parchment or plastic wrap. Lay out each slice of the potato separately without overlapping each other. Dry them in full sunshine (the outside temperature should be at least 85 F or more), for at least 8-10 hours. At the end of the day, when they are dried and not sticky/moist anymore, bring them in and keep them in a moisture free place. Dry them again in sun the next day.. and for another day if you need to.
(I dried them out when it was 110 F outside and they were all done at the end of 10 hours. I put them out again the next day).
After they are dried, they should be thin, almost brittle and most of them curled around the edges. They should also peel out easily from the base (foil/parchment or plastic). Store them in a moisture free air tight container and they will store for many months.
To fry them, heat enough oil to deep fry. Once the oil is shimmering hot, place a handful of sun dried chips in the oil and fry till they are deep golden. It will take only few seconds to fry one batch. Since they are devoid of water, they will cook/change color and be done really quick. Make sure they do not turn brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle salt, and chili powder (or whatever spice you want to use on it).
Serve as snacks.