In 1853, a customer in an elegant resort in New York complained that his potatoes were too thick and soggy. The chef, who was reportedly miffed by having his potatoes sent back, decided to cut the potato slices as thin as he possibly could. This was in attempt to annoy the customer, but the chef got an unexpected reaction: they were a big hit. The fried, thin slices of potatoes went down in history as being one of America's favorite snack foods.
Nowadays, you can buy potato chips of all varieties in bags at your grocery store, but the taste of freshly made potato chips far surpasses anything you could pick up in the chip aisle. And not only do fresh, homemade potato chips taste better, you can also customize your chip flavors and invent new combinations.
If you are growing your own potatoes, you will save a lot of money by making your own chips, and you will also know that aren't any pesticides or other chemicals on your potatoes. In fact, potatoes were unfortunate enough to make the "Dirty Dozen" list, a listing of the 12 fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides. However, if you can't grow your own potatoes, you can buy organic to avoid the pesticide residue.
The secret to success when making your own potato chips is cutting your potatoes into very thin, uniform slices. Use a food processor or mandolin for best results--preferably, you want your slices to be 1/16" thin, or 1/8" at the most.
Homemade Parmesan Potato Chips
1 pound russet potatoes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon salt
1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cut your lemon in half, and squeeze the juice into the ice water (save the lemon peels to make some cleaner!), and stir to combine.
2. Using a mandolin or food processor, slice the potatoes into 1/16" to 1/8" thick circles. Place the sliced potatoes into the bowl of ice water/lemon juice mixture.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese and salt. Set this near your frying area. You will be using it once you start frying your chips.
4. In a large, heavy skillet (I use my biggest cast iron pan) pour in 1" - 2" of cooking oil, and heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Cover a baking sheet with a paper towels and have it near your frying area as well. You will be draining the chips on the baking sheet.
6. Drain the potato slices and lay them out on a towel. Pat the slices as dry as possible. Wet slices won't fry up as well, so try to get as much moisture off the potatoes as possible.
7. Working in small batches, begin frying the chips. We ended up frying our chips in 5 batches total. Drop each slice into the hot oil one at a time (to avoid clumping), and fry the chips until they are golden brown (about 5 minutes).
8. Remove the chips from the oil and place onto the baking sheet. Immediately sprinkle with the cheese/salt mixture. Continue with the next batch, until you have fried and cheesed all your potato slices.
9. Allow the chips to cool completely. Store in an air tight container. Or just eat them all.
P.S. These chips are kid-approved.