Terra Chips. You know the ones — “exotic” vegetable chips, more expensive than they should be and better tasting than any other kind of chip. (Well, I think so, anyway). Here’s how you can make them at home.
The key tool you’ll need is a mandoline slicer. (We have the Oxo brand, which retails for under $40, and it works well). You can also use the mandoline for julienne, gratins, slaws, apple chips … .
You might be able to duplicate a mandoline’s even, paper thin slices, if you’re a knife wielding super hero like my mom. Before we decided to spring for a mandoline, her first few batches were made by “hand.” The process is significantly slower (meaning fewer chips for us) and the results a lot less satisfactory — especially for taro chips, which can be petrified rock hard if cut too thick. With the mandoline, a chunk of taro root was reduced to a lofty pile of delicate crisps in no time. If you like chips, the modest investment will more than pay for itself.
Please read and follow the instructions for using your mandoline safely. They need to be deadly sharp to do their job.
So, onto the chips …
- root vegetables (or firm fruit like apple). Try the official Terra Chip blend: taro, sweet potato, yuca, batata, parsnip
- coconut oil or olive oil
- sea salt
- other seasoning (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Lightly oil cookies sheets (the flavor of coconut oil pairs particularly well with taro). Peel and slice veggies thinly (the lowest or next to lowest setting on the mandoline — adjust to suit your taste).
Use different trays for different veggies to accommodate varying cooking times. Lay them in a single layer, brush lightly with oil, ( use a little more if you prefer them more “fried”) and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden (time will vary depending on the vegetable and thickness). You may need to switch racks halfway through for more even browning.
After you remove the chips from the pan, while they’re still hot, you can sprinkle with a little garlic powder or other seasoning if you like.
An average sized “exotic” vegetable root yields a surprising quantity of chips. If you run out of steam and still have more, it can be boiled just like a potato. Boil until fork tender (similar to a potato). Slice or mash with a little butter or coconut oil, salt and pepper. Delish.
What’s your favorite “exotic” ingredient? Your most useful kitchen gadget?