Homemade Potato Chips

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 5 minutes with food processor

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Cost: $.40

(potatoes: .30, oil: .10)

3 medium russet potatoes

1/4 oil (um, to start with--you'll end up adding more--probably another 1/4 C--as the potatoes, uh, suck up the grease, not that any of it will go to your hips or anything; I'm sure it all gets absorbed into the paper towels at the end...)
Peel potatoes. Slice them extremely thin--either with a food processor or a mandolin. I am not sure you could get slices thin enough with a knife, but maybe if you and your knives are extremely good... 

Heat oil in cast iron skillet. (I suppose you could deep fry as well if you have such a device as a deep fryer. Also, I promise not to tell if you have such a device, but how did you ever make it through the '80s?) The oil should shimmer and not smoke. Throw one slice of potato in. (Don't really throw it in; the oil will splash and it is very hot.) The potato slice should sizzle, but not turn brown (or black) too quickly.

If the oil it the right temp, place the sliced potatoes in the oil in a single layer. Allow them to fry until golden. Then flip them. (Doesn't that part sound easy? I hate to break it to you, but it's the trickiest part. I used a fork and metal spatula to sort of corner one and then turn it over. Tongs would have worked nicely, but I only have super long BBQ tongs. Anyway, until I got the hang of my fork/spatula flipping, some of the other potato slices got a little too brown. We ate them anyway and they were pretty good. I think Elizabeth even preferred them that way. Also--like I said, near the end of my pile of sliced potatoes I got lazy and started flipping willy nilly in clumps--still good, but more like hashbrowns with soft centers.) Note: Please be careful in your flipping. The oil is really hot.

After flipping, allow the chips to brown on the other side, getting golden in the middle and a bit darker at the edges. They should be crispy, but not crisped, if you know what I mean. (I mean, don't burn the boogers.)

Take them out of the oil and allow them to drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Salt them lightly while the oil is still warm on them. My kids were just scarfing them off this plate at this point, not bothering to wait until dinner.

Repeat this process until you're done. Or get sick of it and throw them in in a clump and make blobs of fried potato.
Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate