To celebrate "hump day" with a BANG I am joining in on the Foodbuzz Daily Specials once again. Today's feature on Foodbuzz is the professional mandolin such as the stainless steel commercial one featured at CHEFS™ catalogue. We're not talking about one of my favourite movies Captain Corelli's Mandolin that takes place on the island of Cephallonia (Kefalonia) in Greece or a musical instrument. We are talking about a mandolin, also spelled mandoline, the kitchen gadget that cuts fruits and vegetables into even and precise slices. No shopping channel required. They can be handy, especially for home chefs who want to present their food with a professional flair. Because the blades of a mandolin are very sharp, cooks should use one with care, and young children should never be allowed to handle a mandolin. Even with a safety guard, a mandolin can still take a chunk out of a finger.
I only recently purchased a mandolin within the last year and find that although I don't use it every day it is an invaluable tool in my kitchen especially when working with vegetables. Who doesn't love a crunchy potato chip for starters? I used to be the person years ago that could "scoff" down an entire bag of salt and vinegar chips within the span of a few minutes. The problem is that they are not the healthiest snack or accompaniment on the planet. As a world staple, potatoes are second in human consumption only to rice. As thin, salted, crisp chips, they are THE number one snack food.
In the summer of 1853, Native American George Crum was employed as a chef at an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. At Moon Lake Lodge, one dinner guest found chef Crum's French fries too thick for his liking and rejected the order. I'd have to say Crum was less than happy, OK pissed, and decided to rile the guest by producing French fries too thin and crisp to skewer with a fork. The plan backfired. The guest was ecstatic over the browned, paper-thin potatoes, and other diners requested Crum's potato chips, which began to appear on the menu as Saratoga Chips, a house specialty. The rest is history!!
Many adults, as well as children, need more vegetables in their diet. I for one could always use more varieties than my favourite salad greens. As part of the solution I started making veggie chips when L’il Burnt Toast was “knee high to a grasshopper”. Not sure if there is a more kid-friendly way to sneak those vegetables in and they are a fun and healthy way to spice up a meal. Using a variety of garden vegetables, oils and spices you can create a flavourful treat that the whole family will enjoy. If you can imagine, the beet chips were a favourite of both of ours!!! These veggie chips are a healthy alternative to that bag of potato chips.
When the veggies are sliced place them in a large bowl so the oil can be evenly coated over the vegetable slices. Various oils can be used when making vegetable chips. Olive oil, vegetable oil and canola oil are very popular however almost any cooking oil will do. The amount of oil you apply depends on the amount of vegetables you have prepared. Add only enough oil to provide a thin and even coat on each slice.
Spices add pizazz and chutzpah to your vegetable chips. Some people prefer a little sea salt or pepper while others enjoy the added taste of garlic powder, dill, oregano or chives. For hot and zesty chips try adding a combination of mild chili powder and hot red pepper flakes. Sprinkle your spices as sparingly or moderately as you like.
Spread the vegetable slices onto a baking sheet. Make sure to spread out the slices to allow each slice to cook fully. Avoid overlapping vegetables slices as this will prevent the vegetables from becoming crisp and will result in mushy or soft chips. For crisp chips you need to make sure your vegetables are thinly sliced, evenly coated in oil and individually spaced on the baking sheet.
Some of these vegetable chips are sweet and some are savoury making them a satisfying snack. Serve them alone and unadorned or with your favourite salsa, guacamole or a kid-friendly Ranch dip. Chips don’t just come in foil bags and they don’t need to be deep fried. They can be both tasty and healthy, and you can make them in the comfort of your own home. You can choose what to season them with and you need not worry about any crappy preservatives and random additives the bagged, store bought kind may have. You don’t even need fancy equipment to accomplish this. When you're yearning for potato chips, reach for these instead. They're healthier, tastier and cure your craving. Your kids will love you, I guarantee it!!!!
1 medium potato
1 medium sweet potato or yam
1 medium parsnip
1/2 lb. fresh beets (approx. 2 medium)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 to 1 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
dash of pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese if desired
Before you begin making the best homemade vegetable chips first wash vegetables then peel and cut them into 1/8 inch slices. Using a mandolin slicer would make this step a breeze.
Put the vegetable slices into a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil . Combine the dry ingredients then sprinkle over the vegetables. Now toss to coat evenly.
Arrange the vegetable slices in a single layer onto 2 ungreased 15x10x1 inch baking pans covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are golden brown. Turn them once halfway through baking..
NOTE: Inevitably some vegetables will crisp up more quickly so watch your chips. The thicker the chip and the more water content the vegetable has the longer it will take.
You might like to try other recipes using a mandolinL
Nectarine Tart by Ciao Ciao Linda
You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.