I’m pretty sure my kids could mount an impressive argument in favor of chips as a food group. We love ‘em over here, but there are occasionally issues of … ahem … self-control. (Points reproachful finger at husband and son). My solution is to serve up small batches of delectable homemade chips which are not only fresher, tastier and chemical-free, they’re also ridiculously easy to make – a great kitchen project to enjoy with kids! All you need is a mandolin (or sharp knife and steady hand) to create uniform, thin potato slices; soak to remove excess starch, and then, in less than ten minutes of microwaving time you’ll have delectable, low-calorie snacks.
One of the things I love most about this method is that you can cook up just one potato at a time, so you won`t have the rest of bag winking at you seductively from across the room. For fat-free chips, omit the oil; they’re almost as tasty and 100% guilt-free!
1 medium potato (I like russets), plus...
For regular chips:
1 tsp canola oil
For salt & vinegar chips:
Cider vinegar (approximately 1 cup / 250 mL)
For barbeque chips:
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp Chili powder
1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Slice the potatoes as thinly as possible (1/8 inch or .4 cm).
Put the sliced potatoes in a medium bowl and cover with water (or vinegar, for salt and vinegar chips).
Soak the slices for 45 – 60 minutes.
Put the potato slices in a sieve or colander and drain liquid. Lay the potato slices out in a single layer on a clean kitchen towel (or paper towel) and pat the tops dry.
While slices are drying, rinse out the bowl and dry it well.
Put the dry slices back in the bowl and drizzle 1 teaspoon of canola oil over top. (Note that this step is optional.) Rub oil into potatoes with fingertips so they are evenly coated.
Lay the slices out in a single layer without any overlap on a sheet of parchment paper the same size as your microwave turntable. For ease of transfer, put the parchment on a pizza paddle if you have one, or remove the turntable from the microwave, place it on the counter and put the parchment on it.
For regular or salt & vinegar, sprinkle lightly with salt. For barbeque chips, combine seasoning ingredients and sprinkle over potatoes. Note that you may not need all the seasoning mix depending upon the size of your potato (but save any extra as it’s a great BBQ rub).
Carefully transfer the parchment paper and seasoned potatoes into the microwave, close the door and cook on high power for 4 minutes.
Using tongs, carefully flip the potato slices over (they’ll be very hot).
Microwave on high for 2 more minutes. Check and remove any chips that are uniformly golden brown and place these on a wire rack to cool.
Continue microwaving the potato slices in 30 second increments, removing cooked chips after each interval and placing them on a wire rack to cool.
Be sure to watch the potatoes carefully as they cook so they don’t burn. You’ll need to keep an especially close eye on the barbeque chips as it is a bit harder to tell when they are browned because of the seasonings.
Depending upon the power of your microwave, the entire cooking process can take from six to ten minutes.
Each batch makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of chips (depending upon size of potato).