I’m not big on kitchen gadgets these days. There was a time in my life when I was more enamored with them than I am now, and ironically that was also a time when I cooked much less. I was probably frustrated and taking it out on my pocketbook by splurging now and again on Amazon. Nowadays I try to be much more judicious about acquiring new items since I don’t have very much kitchen storage while at the same time I now have a fully functional kitchen that churns out regular meals for my little family.
So when I heard Clotilde from Chocolate & Zucchini wax poetic about a mandoline she had acquired in Japan, I had added this strange-sounding item to my mental list. That was already a few years ago but I never forgot about it you see. And then recipe ideas started to accumulate that would allow me to make liberal use of this tool, most notable being the idea of making veggie chips. I think the thought of these sweet potato chips was what finally pushed me over the edge and I finally bought that mandoline slicer.
Needless to say, I have not looked back! In addition to making veggie chips possible, it also makes life much easier for many other scenarios. I especially love experimenting with different raw veggies that I can slice super thinly to incorporate into salads (fennels and carrots anyone?).
So much beauty, such little effort.
So I’ve tried making these chips many different times, trying different techniques to make the process as convenient as possible. The biggest problem I faced was the fact that it’s pretty friggin difficult to coat those thin little slices of veggies in oil since they like sticking together. Then I finally got the idea of coating the baking pan with the oil first, and then laying the slices on that. Bingo!
I really love these with sea salt and rosemary, but of course the variations are endless. Just take a look into your spice cabinet and see what inspires you. I use coconut oil with these but olive oil would probably work just as well.
One word of caution: you may end up eating (many of) these as you go, so try to save some for others too! But do eat them the day you make them because they won’t stay crispy too long.
Next up, trying these with regular potatoes and see if we can beat that ol’ classic.
Special equipment: Mandoline slicer, 2 baking pans, baking brush
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1-mm thick with a mandoline (watch out for your fingers!)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped finely
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. If it’s cool where you are and your coconut oil is solid, place it in an ovenproof ramekin and let it melt in the pre-heating oven, about five minutes.
- Once the coconut oil is liquid, spread it in a uniform layer at the bottom of your oven pans with the help of a baking brush. Make sure not to go overboard with the oil because that will make them soggy.
- Line the pans with as many slices of sweet potato as will fit (you will have to do a few batches of baking), sprinkle with the rosemary and salt, and then flip them over to cover the other sides with the oil. Season on this side as well.
- Place the pans in the oven for about 5 minutes. Check in on them at this point, switch the positions of the pans, and also keep an eye on any chips that are becoming too dry and crisp (which you may remove or turn around).
- Keep baking for another 3-4 minutes and checking in again, then continue another minute or so if necessary. They will go from deliciously crisp to burned in seconds so you have to be vigilant.
- Now keep your hands off the addictive things and start the next batch!