Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Chips

Up until now, I've hated sweet potatoes. Or so I thought. Their inherent sweetness and general mushiness are just not my thing. When I received my surprise food box from my fellow 37 Cook, I cringed when I saw the misshapen, straw-colored root vegetable. Nancy, who lives in Hawaii, had no idea I didn't like sweet potatoes until after she’d sent the box. Faced with preparing these terrible tubers in some palatable manner, I turned to a method that I found somewhat edible: Potato chips. Usually deep fried, I found that oven roasting with plenty of olive oil yields just as good a result. Slicing the potato reveals a lovely,
variegated purple interior, and crisping in the oven with high heat adds a lovely brown tone. The dense texture of the flesh is perfect for chips, and the savory seasonings are balanced by just a hint of sweetness. This classic sweet/savory combination makes these chips irresistible. And bonus: These are really healthy for you, too!

Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Chips
by Gary

Serves 4

2 medium Okinawan Sweet Potatoes, scrubbed, sliced 1/6” thick on a mandolin
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon grill seasoning, or to taste

Preheat oven to 450°F. Prepare two baking sheets by lining with foil and spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Soak potato slices in cold, salted water for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse, and soak in fresh cold water for five minutes. Drain well in colander. Lay potato slices out on paper towels; blot as
dry as possible. Place potato slices in a large, shallow casserole or wide pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and grill seasoning. Rub potato slices well, evenly distributing oil and seasonings.

Arrange potato slices in a single layer on baking sheets. Place one sheet in oven and bake for six minutes. Turn slices over. Rotate pan and continue baking for five minutes more, or until edges are brown and centers are crisp-tender, taking care to not burn. Move chips to paper towels to drain. Check seasonings and correct with more salt, pepper, and grill seasoning, if desired. Repeat with second pan. (Reuse first pan, if necessary, to cook all the chips)

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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