Up your chip game with these indulgent homemade Potato and Zucchini Chips with Bacon, Gorgonzola, and Thyme. Perfect for year-round entertaining! Inspired by Fresco by Scotto.
With the Big Game only five days away, it’s probably not the best time to admit that I’m not much of a football fan. Baseball? Love it. Golf and tennis? Watch all the time. Football and I are kind of like distant acquaintances who send each other Christmas cards once a year. I watch, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that the commercials and party snacks bring me infinitely more joy than the game itself (and not necessarily in that order). “Touchdown? Hurrah! Pass the chips.” This year, I’ll be diving into a platter of crispy homemade potato and zucchini chips, topped with melted gorgonzola, crumbled bacon, and thyme. If you’re going to blow your healthy eating habits on a good, old-fashioned game watch feast one day out of the year, you’d might as well go for the trophy!
If you’ve never had homemade chips, I’ll let you in on a secret: they’re relatively easy to make, and there’s nothing in the world like them. Even the best bagged kettle variety can’t hold a candle to the deliciousness of a thin, crispy chip hot out of the fryer. On their own, a bowl of homemade potato chips with just a sprinkling of sea salt are a guaranteed touchdown. A few years ago, I started taking a play from the book of New York’s Fresco by Scotto, adding zucchini chips and crumbled Gorgonzola. Then, one day when I was making them, I realized that I had some leftover bacon in the fridge (I know, I know, leftover bacon? What’s that?). I cooked it crisp, crumbled it over the chips, and added some chopped thyme leaves for a pop of freshness. One bite and my friends were hailing these chips as the MVP of our feast.
For the best chips, a few things are “musts.” First, unless you have other-worldly knife skills (which, I do not), you’ll need a mandoline to make thin, even cuts. You can also use a thin slicing disc on a food processor. The mandoline doesn’t need to be fancy. I know professional chefs who have sworn by perfectly respectable handheld slicers that cost as little as $10 – $15. Since the blades are very sharp, I recommend buying a model that comes with a food pusher for safety, especially if you’ve never used a mandoline before. If you’re only looking to make potato chips, a straight-blade model is great. If you think you might want to expand to slicing softer foods like tomatoes, consider a V-blade.
You’ll also need a candy thermometer, unless you’re using a deep fryer with automatic temperature control. A “spider” (handled mesh basket strainer) makes easy work of removing the chips from the oil. Other than that, a roll of paper towels, a frying vessel, a baking pan, and a willpower of steel to keep from eating the chips as you’re making them, are the only other tools you need.
The potato chips are best enjoyed the day they’re made, but if you hold off on the Gorgonzola and bacon, they can be stored overnight in an airtight container. They won’t be quite as amazing the next day, but will still be edible. (I don’t find that the zucchini chips keep as well. Better to fry them when you’re going to eat them.) A platter of these chips is not only great for game watch parties, but also for summer entertaining, New Year’s Eve, and really just any time you’re serving a group of hungry friends. Carb overloading at its finest!
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