Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zucchini chips! Totally worth the effort...

So a little while ago, I wrote about how Leo and I had tried a restaurant down in Leawood called NoRTH, and how I'd instantaneously fallen in love with an appetizer they have there that is basically little fried zucchini chips of goodness.

Such magical goodness!

Anyway, I was bound and determined to try making these things at home. In my oven. Since I'm not the frying type, generally.

The Twin reminded me of this little plan I had to try making them at home when she lamented not trying the chips when she was in town for a visit a couple of weeks ago. Twin, try this instead of flying back out to visit again. (a) It's a little cheaper, and (b) it's EASY!!! :D

So I looked up recipes online for "baked zucchini chips" and was hard-pressed to find a recipe that didn't involve breading the darned things before baking them. They shouldn't have breading. They're just zucchini, oil, and salt, dammit! So I finally found a recipe, but I can't remember where it came from. So here's a decent substitute. Anyway, the idea was to buy small zucchinis...not any of those mutant crazy huge guys. And then to slice them thin (I used my mandoline. Of course, it totally bit me, which is kind of par for the course when it comes to me and the mandoline...), and cook them in a very low oven temp for a long period of time.

I set my oven to 250 degrees, and then sliced my zucchini. I tossed them well in olive oil, and then painstakingly laid them all out in rows on foil-lined baking sheets. I think I'll use parchment paper next time, but the foil worked all right. Then I sprinkled them liberally with sea salt. And then popped them in the oven for 1 hour.

After an hour, I took them out to see how they were doing. Some of the chip had stuck to the foil, but only around 3 or 4 of them. I then turned every last one of those slices of zucchini, because I'm crazy. They might not've needed turning. But I felt it was necessary. So I did it. A lot of water will evaporate during the "drying" process in the low temp oven, so I felt turning them would give the slices a better chance of crisping up, and getting unfloppy. Floppy zucchini chips are still better than NO zucchini chips, but still. I like 'em crispy, if I can manage it.

I put them back in the oven for another 30 minutes. And then I checked them and one pan was golden brown and absolutely completely done, while the other pan needed a little more time. Popped them back in for about 10 minutes. And then voila! Zucchini chips!

So, sooo good. It was hard not to eat the entire plate of them, but I only had a couple, and then I put the rest away into a tupperware container. (That was the sum total of 4 small zucchini, by the way. The chips shrink up a lot when you bake them.)

I'll probably devour them all tonight. Leo will help. YUM!

For the record, it's probably much less time consuming to just fry these things. But I still liked the challenge of baking them down. They're still covered in oil, so they can't be all that healthy, I suppose. Maybe I'll try making them without the oil next time, and see what happens...


faithstwin said...

Oooo! Those sound good- I'll have to give 'em a try.

Maybe just get a can of olive oil spray and use that instead? They probably need some oil to get the crispy brown yumminess...

Faith said...

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too.

Also, next time: less salt. Definitely. The sweetness of the zucchini is brought out by the drying process, and it only needs a little salt to emphasize that flavor, IMO. I don't think I necessarily oversalted, but after the water evaporated from the slices, and they dried in such a low oven, apparently, it just concentrated the amount of salt I did use.

I'm going to try again this weekend. Woo!

Unknown said...

Try them with a bit of Smoked Paprika. Its great for the blood pressure and tastes really good!