The Potato Chip Contraption

 

The Potato Chip Contraption is a nifty thing I picked up this past weekend.

Many of you know I am advocate for eliminating processed foods. My mantra is ” If it has to be processed, process it yourself.”

It’s amazing though how easy it is to “forget” that when it comes to potato chips.

I/we really like them.

A lot.

So our chip bin has been a bit sparse since I began to process all of our own foods.

I’ve been thinking about deep-frying and not being very attracted to using all that fat at home, especially for potato chips.

Because, you do know that you’d just have to make fries too, since the oil is hot and the potatoes are out. And you want to make the most efficient use of all resources. It is also highly possible that some chicken wings may have to follow.

It just makes sense. Right?

I wandered out of the house last week, just to get out for a while.

I found myself in a kitchen store, imagine that.

When I saw this handy thing, I thought “Well, Hello Chips!” It was less than $10 so it came home with me.

The Potato Chip Contraption

The Potato Chip Contraption

I love it!

From the top to the bottom: Hand guard, slicer, chip rack, serving bowl

The 4 pieces of the contraption

The 4 pieces of the contraption

Homemade Potato Chips Not fried

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: simple; contraption required
  • Print

1 Potato Chip Contraption

1 russet or Yukon Gold potato

Light Drizzle of oil

Seasonings of choice: salt, pepper, garlic, onion etc.

Method:

Take a potato; wash it. Peel it, if you want. I like the peel and it carries nutrients too. I recommend just a good scrub.

Hold the potato with the hand guard if you want, I don’t use it, but if you’re not sure, use it. The blade is really sharp.

Slice the potatoes into the bowl

Slice the potatoes into the bowl

Slice the potatoes into thin slices. I find it works best to make small round slices rather than long oval ones. Why? They fit better on the contraption.

Drop the potatoes into a separate bowl, drizzle with a few drops of oil, then season.

Sliced 'taters

Sliced ‘taters

Place each potato slice into a slot on the chip rack; filling up the rack. This will use about 1/2 of a potato which is a perfect one portion size. It takes 24 slices to fill the rack.

Line the potato slices up on the rack

Line the potato slices up on the rack

Place the rack in the microwave and cook the potatoes for 3-4 minutes. Timing will vary. These took 4 minutes, but other batches took less time.

Check them, if you see potatoes turning brown, get them out as they are done!

Turn the chips out into a bowl and serve. Be careful because they will be hot at first. Remove them from the rack while still warm because if you let them cool, they become very crisp and break when you try to remove them. So work fast!The Potato Chip Contraption

Here’s what I love the most about this contraption:

  • Crispy chips NOT deep-fried!

  • I love to eat good chips and not support processed food manufacturing.
  • We eat fresh chips, not old ones.
  • We get to eat chips without a lot of added fat and we control the salt and seasonings.

Ever read the ingredients on the “Salt & Black Pepper” flavored chips? . . . just saying. . .

Just in case you get a wild hair on and make a bunch of chips, here is a link to:

Potato Chip Cookies!

Crispy, home made potato chips

Crispy, home-made potato chips

 

 

 

 

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Proud of Potatoes!

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A few of the potatoes, there are red, yellow fingerlings and Peruvian blue growing.

I harvested a few potatoes two weeks ago and was quite proud of my potatoes!

Somewhere, I read that they are supposed to dry a couple of weeks before you eat them so I put them in a bag and let them be until last night.

Look at the inside!

Look at the inside!

Scrubbed potatoes were cut and placed into a pot with cold water and put over high heat. Once the water boiled, salt and herbs were added to water to steep flavor into the potatoes as they cooked.

You can learn more about potato varieties on my post: All About Potatoes

Boil until the potatoes are done, drain and season with snipped chives and a small dab of butter  or olive oil if you like.

YUM!

YUM!

The Peruvian Blue Plant

The Peruvian Blue Plant

The flower

The flower

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So far, it has been quite fun to grow the potatoes. The Peruvian Blue potato plants are actually quite lovely. I’ve kept adding more soil to mimic “hilling” and hopefully, this will result in decent results meaning actually having some potatoes.

I showed the first harvest to Robert he said “looks like its going to be a long winter.” I do hope there are more potatoes to find when it is time! It’s like finding buried treasure when it comes time to dig them out of the ground.

I grew the Peruvian Blue in a 55 gallon purple Rubbermaid bin that I drilled drainage holes in the bottom to drain excess water.

Someone told me that the bags rotted, a pot would have to be quite large so since I had a bunch of bins, one became the container to grow Peruvian Blue Potatoes.

Someone else told me of a large garbage can with a door cut into the side so you could open the door, reach in and harvest a dinners worth of potatoes, close the door and the plant carries on.

How cool is that idea?!

I’d have to think of how to build something though as I’m not to sure everyone would agree on a garbage can with a door cut into the side, growing a potato plant as part of the landscaping.

Now if I lived on a farm . . .

My tomatoes are pitiful. Blossom drop plague. But at least we have a few potatoes.

All About Potatoes – What is the difference?

In this post, I will attempt to explain all about potatoes, explain the varieties available and when to choose one over another.

What is the difference between potatoes?

Red skin and Russet Potatoes

Next time you go shopping for potatoes, you will have a lot more knowledge about them after reading this post.

Have you ever:

  • Tried to make french fries from scratch only to have them turn out limp and soggy?

  • Tried to make potato salad or put nicely diced potatoes in a soup only to have the potatoes all fall apart?

  • Ever had your mashed potatoes turn out like glue?

  •         Had a baked potato explode on you in the oven? (Technique rather than variety is the secret)

It all has more to do with the potato you chose to make the dish with than your culinary skills, which I am sure are impeccable.

There are few categories in the potato world. Basically there are low-moisture, high-starch varieties and high-moisture, low-starch varieties.

The high starch varieties will fall apart if cooked in liquid but create light and fluffy mashed potatoes, crisp french fries and crispy chips.

Russet Potatoes – notice the dark, thick skin. Compare this to a new potato which has a thin tender skin.

The russet is the king of the low moisture-high starch category. These potatoes have thick dark skins as opposed to the thin tender skin of new potatoes.

Yukon Gold: thin skin, shallow eyes and golden flesh

The low starch – high moisture category belongs to red potatoes, Yukon gold, new potatoes. All potatoes with a tender thin skin will be high moisture, low starch potatoes.

These potatoes hold their shape in soups, casseroles and salads. Their tender skins are often deep-fried and used a receptacles for dips, spreads, chili and salsa.

Go to the store and buy some of each variety and compare them. Cut them, notice the textures. Cook some of both using a variety of cooking methods and compare results. Make notes so you can remember what you discover during this experiment.

Then we have sweet potatoes and yams.

Yams are not as high is sugar as sweet potatoes are but they taste just a good. Be careful with large varieties of these potatoes as they can get very stringy. Choose smaller, even sized, good color and smooth skins when selecting these potatoes for purchase.

Typically, sweet potatoes and yams can be used interchangeably and can be applied to a many cooking methods. The skins are not edible. Colors vary from pale yellow to deep orange and now there are garnet and purple varieties too.

Tiny new potatoes, fingerling potatoes, “potato gems” are all varieties that belong in the low starch, high moisture variety. their size and shape make them special in that you can cook them without peeling or cutting them if you wanted.

Fingerling potatoes

Some of this variety are so moist and tasty, you never miss the butter.

Have you ever seen a blue or purple potato? They really are blue or purple throughout. And they stay that way when cooked.

When you have purple asparagus or purple carrots, they lose the purple color when cooked.

Purple potatoes do not! For the most part, you can use them as a high moisture low starch potato, but they do mash well without turning into glue or paste.

Additional varieties from the potato world include Malanga, Boniato which take to any cooking method potatoes do.

Boniato, inside flesh is white. Use these as you would sweet potatoes.

Malanga

Here in the US, Melissa’s Brands offer several unusual varieties not only of potatoes but of all unusual, hard to find produce items.

Be adventurous and try a different kind of potato next time you go shopping.

When choosing what potato you want, if you want a potato to hold its shape as in soup, choose a high moisture low starch.

For fluffy mashed potatoes, select russets and run cooked potatoes through a ricer, not a mixer. perfect mashed potatoes is another post soon.

For great french fries you need a low moisture potato with high starch. Again russets are your best choice but you can also use “All-purpose potatoes” or “chef’s potatoes”. These labels indicate a moderate amount of starch and moisture and can be used in any potato recipe.

This is why sweet potato fries are mostly limp, they have too much moisture to get fluffy like russets do. Sweet potatoes also break down your frying oil faster due to the amount of natural sugar in the potato.

Quick run down:

Fluffy baked potatoes, mashed potatoes and french fries use russet potatoes

To hold the shape as in soup, potato salads, use red or white skin potatoes, you can also find blue ones in this category.

Never store potatoes in the refrigerator. The cold converts the starch to sugar.

Always store potatoes in the dark, in a dry place. I keep mine in a cabinet that isn’t used much.

If potatoes area stored in light, they will develop a green skin which is a toxic substance known as “solanin”

It would take a boatload of solanin consumption to have an effect, but it is an intestinal irritant. You choose.

There will be doing a series of posts of cooking potatoes and selecting the right one for the recipe in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, choose something different and play!

Inside of a purple potato; notice the color of the skin in the background.

Inside a baked garnet sweet potato; isn’t that a great color?!