(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
Sometimes, when we've grown up without the benefit of tasting homemade versions of processed foods we don't realize how easy they are to prepare ourselves. That's often the case with chips.
Potato chips? Corn chips? Tortilla chips? Bags bought in the supermarket are usually the norm for such snack foods. But fresh, warm, innovative home versions are usually no further away than a quick slice, season and bake. That's right, no frying required.
Such preparation can be a healthful step during summer, which is a popular time for chips and dips during gatherings.
For warm crispy tortilla chips, for instance, simply brush each side of corn tortillas lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt and cut into four to six triangles each, place on a baking sheet in a 350 F oven until crispy and slightly browned, about 12 to 15 minutes. Follow the same process to create pita chips.
They are each excellent as is, or, to spice things up a little, sprinkle on, along with salt or salt substitute seasonings, anything from pumpkin pie spice, to cinnamon, to curry powder.
In addition to the healthfulness of baking versus frying, you can also up the nutrition quotient by creating your winning snacks from fruits or vegetables, like apple, sweet potato, carrots or the tasty kale chips that follow.
If you are watching your carbohydrate intake or are a meat lover, you can even think further outside the chip package when it comes to a fun snack, like the following salami chips with a grainy mustard dip from "Salty Snacks
" by Cynthia Nims
, of which she writes:
"This recipe is so easy, I'm almost embarrassed to include it in a cookbook. But it just goes to prove how much transformation can come from a simple act of crisping something in the oven for a bit."
SALAMI CHIPS WITH GRAINY MUSTARD DIP
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
Chips: 8 ounces thinly sliced salami (see Note)
Yields 6 to 8 servings.
To prepare dip: Stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard and grainy mustard in a small serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve, ideally at least 2 hours.
To prepare chips: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set 2 oven racks at the centermost positions.
Lay the salami slices out in a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake until they are evenly browned and rigid, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool. The salami will crisp further as it cools.
Arrange the salami chips in a bowl or on a plate, with the dip alongside it.
Note: "Try to find a salami that's 1 & 1/2 to 2 & 1/2 inches in diameter, for easy snacking size,
" writes Nims. "If it's not presliced and there's a deli slicer in the store, ask to have it thinly sliced for you. Otherwise do your best to cut very thin, even slices with your sharpest knife.
"LEMON-PEPPER KALE CHIPS
8 (preferably dinosaur) kale leaves, stemmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
(Preferably sea) salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lemon, for zesting
Yields 8 servings.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Rub the kale with the oil, evenly coating both sides; cut into 2-inch pieces.
Spread out the pieces evenly on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets; season with salt and pepper. Bake, rotating and switching the pans halfway through cooking, until crisp, about 8 minutes. Zest the lemon over the hot chips. Variations:
- BBQ: Omit salt and pepper. Sprinkle barbecue rub over hot chips.
- Spicy Thai: Stir a couple dashes of sriracha into olive oil before coating leaves.
- Ranch: Omit salt and pepper. Sprinkle ranch dip mix over hot chips.
- Toasted Sesame: Sprinkle seasoned chips with sesame seeds before baking.
QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK:
If you don't have time to hit the highway this summer for a foodie road trip let food festival founder Lee Brian Schrager
and writer Adeena Sussman
provide your compass. Their book, "America's Best Breakfasts
" can leave you pretending you've stumbled upon a delicious diner every day of the week. Regional specialties and local favorites are the focus. This translates to mouthwatering treats like Cannoli French Toast from Philadelphia
and Fruit Tart "Pop Tarts" from San Francisco
. Lisa Messinger
at Creators Syndicate is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes
(Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet
(Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.