Potato chips are my Achilles heel. The accompany any sandwich I have for lunch, they are my preferred dipping vehicle, and my husband even gives me his extra crunchy looking chips because he knows they are one of the few tangible things that bring me pure joy. At home, I make baked potato chips with grown-up flavors for a reduced-guilt snack.
A dramatic beginning
However, “joy” does not describe the dramatic beginnings of the potato chip. According to legend, George Crum invented the crunchy snack in 1853 when a customer kept sending their French fries back to the kitchen because they were “too thick”. Fed up, he allegedly sliced the potatoes so thin that once fried, it would be impossible to eat them with a fork. (Which was apparently what people did in 1853.) Turns out, they were a huge hit.
I love a good revenge recipe as much as the next reality-show-loving gal, but there is also some evidence to suggest that George didn’t invent this crispy, salty snack — his sister, Kate Speck Wicks, did. Ahh, the classic tale of “woman makes amazing discovery and her husband/brother/male colleague gets the credit” – gets me every time. (To be fair, there is no evidence George claimed to be the creator of the chip, but he didn’t exactly set the record straight either.)
Making your own
Even though potato chips are one of my favorite “good for my soul” snacks, they are not “good for my physical health” snacks. To get a similar salty, starchy bite, I made this baked version. Baked potato chips do not have the same crunch as their deep fried cousins – don’t let any healthy living magazines tell you otherwise.
To make up for the lighter crunch of baked potato chips, I added something else. Grated Parmesan cheese and dried herbs gave them a salty, savory flavor that hit the spot.
After many batches of sad, soggy potato “chips”, I learned about a key step to giving baked potato chips a fighting chance of crispiness — soaking the slices in water for a few minutes. This removes the watery starch from the potato, allowing the oil to do it’s thing. It is very important to dry the slices very well, otherwise the whole step will be for nothing. This may seem fussy, but it is worth it!
Baked Potato Chips with Herbs and Cheese
Salty, savory, crispy - these baked potato chips check all the boxes.
- 1 lb Baby Red Potatoes
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 2 tsp Herbs du Provence
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then, thinly slice your potatoes. (I used a mandolin for this step.)
Submerge your potato slices in cold water, then allow them to soak for a few minutes. Drain the water, then pat the slices dry with a clean dish towel.
Drizzle the olive oil over the sliced potatoes, then sprinkle with the cheese and herbs. Toss to evenly coat.
Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Be sure not to overcrowd - you will probably need two pans or to do in batches.
Bake the potato slices for 8-10, checking on them frequently. If you like the brown crispy edges like I do, bake an additional few minutes, keeping an eye on them until they reach your desired level of crispiness.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt immediately. Enjoy!