Sweet Potato Chips with Pink Salt

Crisp, earthy, sweet, bright orange.

 
In this, my tenth installment in what I’m calling my Potato Chronicles, I diverge from the lovely, starchy russet potato and turn to another favorite — the sweet potato. Now, if you want we can get into a lengthy discussion of the definitions of yams and sweet potatoes, as there is plenty of confusion depending on where you live and how you treat them. But I’m not interested in that right now; I’m interested in cooking them and eating them. For the purposes of this recipe I’m using the bright orange, thin-skinned tuber called interchangeably by most a sweet potato or a yam. I love the sweetness, the earthiness, and the brilliant color of these lovely potatoes.

To fry them into chips isn’t too challenging a feat and not particularly different from frying normal potato chips. Sweet potatoes not surprisingly have a higher sugar content that their starchier cousins, so you need to fry them longer at a lower temperature to cook out the moisture. Otherwise you run the risk of burning the sugars in the chip, resulting in a dark, almost burnt snack. I recommend frying these at 345 degrees F for about five minutes.

Wash several times until the water is clear.

For this batch of chips I peeled and sliced two large sweet potatoes about 1/8 of an inch thick on a mandolin. I immediately plunged the slices into cold water and rinsed them well. I drained the water and added more. In this manner I washed them three times until the water ran totally clear. Then I soaked the slices for about ten minutes in the clear, cold water.

I heated the oil in my fryer to 345 degrees. Next I drained the potato slices and spun them in batches in a salad spinner to remove any excess water. I fried the sweet potato chips in several batches. I knew each batch was done when the oil in the fryer stopped bubbling. This indicates that all the moisture has been cooked out of the chip. If you don’t cook all the moisture out the chip will be soggy.

I thought a little pink salt from Pakistan would be a nice touch.

I seasoned the chips while they were still warm with some finely ground Himalayan Pink Salt. I wanted something simple this time, but previously I’ve tried pinches of salt mixed with pumpkin seasoning and bit of brown sugar, a salt and white pepper combo, and a vaguely Japanese mix of ground sesame seeds and powdered nori (seaweed). It was all very good, but I think just a little salt is best.

Hot chips! Get yer hot chips!

Further study:

Crispy Hash Brown Cake with Provolone:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/10/crispy-hash-brown-cake-with-provolone.html
Potatoes Dauphinoise:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/09/gratin-dauphinoise.html
Pommes Anna:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/09/perfect-pommes-anna-is-awesomely.html
Potato Wedges:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/09/crispy-potato-wedges.html
French Fries:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/09/pommes-frites-french-for-french-fries.html
Potato Chips:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/09/light-crispy-homemade-potato-chips.html
Tater Tots:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/08/homemade-tater-tots-yep.html
Garlic & Lemongrass Home Fries:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/06/crispy-garlic-lemongrass-home-fries.html
Baked Mashed Potato Casserole:
http://www.spencerhgray.com/2011/04/pommes-regina.html

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