One of the recurring meal requests in our household is “crunch”. A little something crispy, like the nicely browned edge of a quinoa burger, or a biscuit, a few chopped nuts, or today’s recipe: sweet potato chips. Yes, you can make chips (American variety) at home, in your kitchen, with just a few basic kitchen tools. No deep fryer or other fancy gadgets.
These chips do require fairly constant attention while cooking, but they come together quickly and you only need a few of them to add some extra oomph to dinner. I like these much better than any of the commercially available non-white potato potato/root vegetable chips I’ve tried.
Sweet Potato Chips
makes 2-4 servings
1/2 of a medium sized sweet potato (about 4 oz)
1 c. peanut oil
Salt to taste (other possible seasonings that we’ve tried and liked: curry powder, paprika)
You will also need: A good vegetable peeler (I have an OXO good grips that I bought in college, it’s very comfortable to hold and is still going strong 10+ years later), a 9″ cast iron skillet or other heavy pan at least 2″ deep (you can probably also use a deep fryer, but we don’t own one…yet), and a slotted spoon or a small wire mesh skimmer
1. Scrub and wash your sweet potato, then slice in half crosswise.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, begin to peel chips from the exposed flesh of the potato:
3. While you have peeled ~30 chips, get the oil into the pan and start it heating over low-medium heat. On our electric stove I find the “4” setting (out of 9) is best for getting crispy chips while keeping the smoke risk low. You may need to play around to find the best heat setting for your stove/pan combination, but it is best to start low and then slowly work your way up as needed. If your heat goes too high, your oil may start to smoke and your chip-making session will rapidly deteriorate into a hot, smoky, and stressful mess. If you are using an electric stove, remember that changes to the heat setting can take several minutes to fully set in. While the pan and oil are heating, keep peeling off chips.
4. Drop one chip in the pan as a test. When the oil starts to bubble around it, add enough chips to fill, but not crowd the pan (I find I can do 25-30 before things start to get out of hand).
5. Let chips sizzle for ~1.5 minutes. As the chips are cooking, peel off another 20-30 chips. When you see the chips beginning to brown, flip them over and allow to sizzle for another minute or so, until a few of the chips have started to brown. Using a slotted spoon or skimmer, remove chips from pan (allowing the oil to drain back in) and transfer to a paper towel lined plate, spreading in a single layer.
6. Put your next batch of chips in the pan. Sprinkle chips on the plate with salt. Peel another batch of chips off the potato. When chips in pan begin to curl up and brown, flip them over again. As they are finishing cooking, shuffle the already cooked chips to the side of the plate to open up space for the next batch.
7. Remove chips from pan and transfer to plate, spreading in a single layer.
Repeat steps 6 & 7 until you get to the end of your sweet potato. If you are making a larger batch of chips, you’ll start running out of space on your plate (if you can stop yourself from performing too much quality control!). Keep a bowl or container at the ready to transfer chips into once they are cooled and salted.
8. Serve chips as accompaniment to the meal of your choice: