2010 has been full of my own personal food discoveries. Not in the sense that I’ve discovered new food like some culinary Christopher Columbus or Neil Armstrong. Although the mental image of me walking through the farmers market, claiming the beets and radishes and peas in the name of Bon Appetit Hon, and planting my flag is rather amusing. I also don’t mean it in the sense of discovering the extreme cuisine of different cultures. Traveling the world in search of culinary adventures isn’t my dream job. I don’t have the stamina or stomach of Anthony Bourdain. I’m just a home cook from Baltimore who is trying to overcome some of my prejudices about what is palatable.
Take beets. Until 2010 I would have said that meaning “please take them away from me, they are dreadful”. But now, I mean they are a prime example of a food I have embraced this year. I initially went a little overboard with the roasted beets and had to step away from them for a while. But then the Universe found a new way to bring us together – beet chips.
As snacks and I go, chips and I are old friends. There was ALWAYS a bag of chips, usually Utz but sometime Ruffles (Ruffles has ridges!), hiding in my Grandmother’s pantry. There were also cookies and crackers and all manner of the junkiest junk food. Honestly, I did not discriminate. I enjoyed all the junk food equally. And then junk food and I mostly parted ways. When I started shopping for myself, I would occasionally throw a box of Snackwells into my cart but they were never really as good as the Oreos or Nutterbutters that had formed my junk food palate. And chips? Well, nothing even comes close to the glory of a deep fried slice of potato. So I didn’t even go there. I was happy with the memories of our time together.
But then I read the recipe for beet chips and like any explorer, I was called to go forth and conquer. I don’t mean to imply that beet chips can compete with potato chips. With me as the referee, potato chips will win every time. But I know that eating them like I used to is not an option. Moderation is an option, but not one that I have mastered in this particular area. So my next best choice is to use my newfound love of beets to trick my brain into thinking that beet chips are a guilty indulgence. Because with the shortest list of ingredients I’ll ever recommend, a sharp knife (or madoline,) and some time, I was back to snacking…but in a good way.
So if you happen to see me and a bowl of beet chips in the same room, chances are that I’m going to stake my claim on them. You better get yours while you can.
Baked Beet Chips
Adapted from Joelen’s Culinary Adventure
BAH Note: If you have a mandoline slicer, I recommend you use it to slice the beets. I sliced mine rather thin but you can slice them as thick or thin as you like. Thicker slices may need longer in the oven. Also, I found that the chips got soft and soggy the longer they sat around. But these are so good that there’s really no reason for them to sit around and get soggy.
- 4 beets, scrubbed
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Kosher salt
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two sheet pans with aluminum foil.
Slice the beets as thick or thin as you like but avoid slicing them paper thin. Spread into single layers on the sheet pans. Spray both sides with cooking spray and sprinkle the top with salt.
Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until crisp, turning the chips over halfway through. Remove chips from the pans as they are ready to avoid burning them.