This recipe really needs a different name – it’s title reads like ingredients to the recipe.
We do a lot of dehydrating in the winter. It’s a fantastic time to make a lot of the “powders” and flakes we cook with – onion, garlic, beet, celeriac and more. It doesn’t hurt that the excess heat from the dehydrator escapes into our apartment and turns our cozy den into a tropical paradise – all for the energy and cost that it takes to power a lightbulb.
Dehydrating is a favorite technique for our food as the flavors of the final product remain close to that of it’s ingredients. It’s funny to think that a lot of our hot water bath canning results in condiments that are used ‘on top’ of a meal while drying often creates ingredients which are cooked ‘inside’ of our meals.
When creating pickles, jams and other preserves, we add ingredients which change the flavor (often with delightful results). When dehydrating, the goal is often (but not always) to do as little as possible to the items that go into the process. Creating fruit leathers, candied fruits, granola and yogurt are all examples of using a dehydrator to transform the original input into something different. Such is the case with these sweet potato chips.
Here’s the process:
- Peel some yams or sweet potatoes (do not cut off the small ends – you’ll need them to hold onto in a few steps)
- Cut the yam in half (not down the middle – you should have two tall halves when the yams are place upright – not two ‘islands.’)
- Use a mandoline to cut super thin slices. I wouldn’t do this recipe without one – they need to be shaved and identical to promote even drying. A $15 hand unit will do.
- Toss the chips in a bowl and add:
- a bit of oil (you can use olive, we used soya to keep it in Ontario)
- salt (what’s a chip without salt – we used coarse for texture)
- even amounts of paprika, chili powder, onion powder and cayenne. I recommend being liberal. Put as much as you think you can stand and then add a bit more. This should make you slightly uncomfortable (especially if you rub your eyes)
- mix in a bit of honey; enough that each chip will get a little sweet love (this is probably a few tablespoons)
- liquid smoke. I thought I ruined ours when a mental lapse led to shaking this stuff like it was Worchester in a pot of chili. I would have never put this amount intentionally – and I will continue to do so from now on.
- If you’re nervous about all of those ingredients, you can taste your chips raw. It’ll give you a pretty good idea of the end product.
- Spread them out evening on your dehydrator trays and dry at 125 degrees until solid, brittle (keep in mind that they will get crispier once they cool down). This could take 4-8 hours, depending on the thickness of your chips.
- Leave on the counter for a day (if you can resist. This will help them get a little crisper.
- Store in fridge because of the oil content – if you have any left to store.
Are they exactly like potato chips? No. There is something slightly different about them – but they are fantastic. And they`re not far off eating `real` chips.
A final piece of advice – these may drip a bit at the start. If you’re drying other things at the same time, make sure these are at the bottom or line your last tray with parchment paper. This will impede air flow and could slow this batch – and others with it – down.
Any other favorite seasoning combinations out there?
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