Sweet & Crunchy BBQ Potato Chips

I’ve always wanted to make my own potato chips!  And frankly, for as easy as they were, it’s silly that I haven’t up to this point.  Grilling steaks for Father’s Day made for a great excuse to come up with a BBQ potato chip recipe.  It took a little taste-testing, but the recipe below had the right amount of sweet, savory and salty to stand up to the bold flavor of a perfectly medium-rare NY strip!

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SWEET & CRUNCHY BBQ POTATO CHIPS

Ingredients

  • 2 Lbs. Russet Potatoes
  • 1/4 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Salt
  • 2 Tbs. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. Smoked Sweet Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp. Onion Powder

Instructions

  • Peel and wash potatoes.  Slice about 1/8-inch thick using a sharp knife or mandolin (much easier).
  • Place potatoes in a large bowl and cover with cold water.  Toss with your hands, let sit for 10 minutes and then drain.
  • Pour vinegar over potatoes and then cover the rest of the way with cold water.  Allow to soak for 2 hours.
  • In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar, paprika, pepper and onion powder.  You’ve created BBQ seasoning!!  Set aside for when potatoes are cooked.
  • Drain potatoes and dry thoroughly.
  • Fry in small batches in 300 degree vegetable or canola oil.  Stir occasionally for even frying until light golden brown.
  • Remove and allow to drain on wire racks or brown paper.  Sprinkle with BBQ seasoning mixture and then place in a large bowl.
  • Continue with this process until all potatoes are fried, dusted and cooled.
  • Finally, toss the remaining seasoning over the bowl of potatoes and serve.

This is a very simple process that turns out delicious results!  My family said we will absolutely have to make these again in the future.  It was definitely a treat and a great causal side dish to serve with steaks.  The recipe above was easily devoured by a group of 8 people.  You can probably double it and still not have much left over.  Make ’em for your next occasion or when you’re experimenting on a weekend.  Dig in!

Cheesy Twice Baked Potatoes

I was fixing beef filet and shrimp for my wife’s birthday dinner last weekend and wanted to have potatoes as a side.  And while I love loaded baked potatoes, it’s sometimes easier and requires less stuff on your dinner table if you stir all the toppings into twice baked potatoes.  These turned out to be a family favorite in a hurry!

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CHEESY TWICE BAKED POTATOES

Ingredients

  • 5 Medium Russet Potatoes
  • 6-8 Strips Crispy Cooked Bacon
  • 2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

  • Throughly wash your potatoes and bake directly on the top rack of your oven for 60-75 minutes at 425 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  • Cut potatoes in half lengthwise.  Scoop out center leaving just enough potato in the skin to hold it together.  Place scooped potato into a medium size mixing bowl.
  • Place the skins on a baking sheet.
  • Add heavy cream to potatoes and use a hand mixer to combine until mixture is fairly smooth.  There will be some lumps – like all delicious mashed potatoes!
  • Chop cooked bacon and add to the potato mixture along with half of the cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.  Stir together with a wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from becoming too gummy.
  • Fill each potato skin with a scoop of the mixture until all of it is used.  They should be filled just to the edge, but not heaping.
  • Top each potato with remaining cheddar cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly.
  • Serve immediately.

You can definitely make these ahead of time and bake in the evening or the next day.  You’ll need to extend to the baking time though to allow them to warm through.  Serve these on their own or with sour cream and chopped green onion as garnish.  Maybe you’ll whip up a batch for your picnic this weekend – try using 10 small russets instead to make 20 halves.  I know you’ll love these and your guests will too.  Dig in!

Loaded Ranch Roasted Potatoes

Want to serve loaded baked potatoes to a crowd without everyone having to top their own spud?  This tasty recipe requires just a little prep and feeds a lot of people.  Delicious loaded crispy potatoes with a hint of ranch flavor will be sure to satisfy your family and friends at your next gathering.  They’re equally perfect with steaks on the grill or as appetizers for a party or the big game.

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LOADED RANCH ROASTED POTATOES

Ingredients

  • 6-8 Medium Russet Potatoes (depending on size)
  • 2 Tbs. Canola Oil
  • 1 Envelope Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3/4 Cup Bacon Bits
  • 4 Green Onions, Chopped
  • Sour Cream (for topping)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Scrub potatoes thoroughly under cold water and set aside to dry.  Cut into 2-inch cubes, leaving skin on.
  • Place cut potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with canola oil.  Toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle ranch dressing mix over potatoes and toss again to evenly coat.
  • Spread potatoes in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  The spray will prevent sticking due to the ranch mix – DON’T SKIP THIS STEP!
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender and lightly browned.  Remove from oven.
  • Sprinkle baked potatoes with cheddar cheese and bacon bits.  Return to oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is fully melted.
  • Remove from oven and top with chopped green onion.
  • Serve immediately.

Every time we make these they are a huge hit!  Serve with sour cream for topping.  Want to mix it up a little bit?  Try substituting 3 Tbs. of taco seasoning for the ranch and use a combination of cheddar and pepper jack cheese.  Serve with jalapeños and hot sauce – instant fiesta!  I’d love to hear what combinations you come up with.  Try them for your next Sunday supper or for a Masters watch party this weekend.  Dig in!

Mixed Potato Home Fries

I’m breaking in my new cast iron skillet lately.  I thought there was a good chance to test out the crisping capability with a batch of home fries for breakfast.  While the recipe is simple there are a few keys.  Definitely use a cast iron skillet for perfect heat and crispy edges.  Using a combo of canola oil and butter will also help to brown and flavor these.  Finally, mix it up a little bit by using both sweet and russet potatoes.

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MIXED POTATO HOME FRIES

Ingredients

  • 1 Large Russet Potato
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 2 Tbs. Canola Oil
  • 1 Tsp. Sweet Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp. Pepper

Instructions

  • Peel potatoes and dice each into 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Put oil and butter in skillet and warm over medium heat.
  • Mix up potatoes and diced onion and then place into warm skillet.
  • Sprinkle salt, pepper and paprika over ingredients.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.  Potatoes will be soft and everything will have brown crispy edges.
  • Serve immediately.

Breakfast, brunch or dinner, these home fries will be a hit with you and your guests.  The recipe above serves 4, but you can easily double it for a larger serving.  If you like, the addition of a half red or green pepper diced in this recipe is excellent as well.  Maybe you’ll try it and use it as a base for a hash?  Try diced ham and a few fried eggs over the top.  Any way you fix it, it’ll be delicious.  Dig in!

Scalloped Potatoes With Crispy Shallots

Growing up my mom always made scalloped potatoes that came from a box and tasted like the freeze-dried potatoes and fake cheese they were – sorry mom!  I honestly never really liked them much, but came to like good scalloped potatoes and various versions of potato casseroles through my adult years.  I came up with this easy recipe that gives a creamy salty casserole a little punch from some crispy oniony/garlicky shallots.

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SCALLOPED POTATOES WITH CRISPY SHALLOTS

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Lbs. Russet Potatoes
  • 1 1/2 Cups Half and Half
  • 2 Tsp. Salt
  • 2 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 3/4 Cup Grated Romano Cheese
  • 4-5 Shallots, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 1 Tsp. Sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Peel potatoes and slice in 1/4-inch slices on a mandolin or with a knife.
  • Grease a 2-quart baking dish and cover bottom with a single layer of potatoes.  Pour 1/4 cup of half and half over potatoes and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Top with 1/8 cup of cheese.
  • Continue this process with six successive layers of potatoes, half and half, seasoning and cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • While baking, melt butter in a saucepan and add thinly sliced shallots.  Sprinkle with sugar.
  • Cook shallots, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 30 minutes or until brown and slightly crispy.  When finished, set aside.
  • Remove foil from potatoes and return to a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes until potatoes are tender, bubbly and slightly browned.
  • Removed from oven and evenly coat top with crispy shallots.
  • Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

I recently made this recipe with grilled pork chops, but it is excellent with beef, chicken or some crispy breaded fish.  You’ll love the nuttiness of the romano cheese while not being overwhelmed with a ton of stringy cheddar or other variety.  The shallots also add some depth of flavor and a little texture to this creamy spud casserole.  And trust me, it’s way better than the box stuff your mom used to fix!

Twice-Cooked Herbed Potatoes

Looking for something different to do with your starchy friends?  There are a million ways to boil, roast, mash and fry them, but they can also get boring.  By cooking these twice you get the best of the creaminess along with a crispier outside all wrapped in the aroma of fresh herbs.  They couldn’t be easier, but you’ll impress with this twist on the plain ol’ spud.

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TWICE-COOKED HERBED POTATOES

Ingredients

  • 24 Small Yukon Gold Potatoes, Washed
  • 3-4 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 Tsp Fresh Rosemary, Chopped

Instructions

  • Place washed potatoes in a large pot and cover with water.
  • Place on stove over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Remove from heat and drain potatoes in a colander.
  • Place potatoes on a large baking sheet and smash each one with a fork until about half of its original thickness.  Surface should be uneven – this helps to hold all the goodies!
  • Drizzle smashed potatoes with olive oil.  Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper and herbs.
  • Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown and slightly crispy.  Serve immediately!

Want to amp up the flavor?  Try using truffle salt for an earthy addition you’ll love.  Again, there’s no rocket science here, but I think these are a welcome diversion from the norm.  They’re great hot out of the oven, but can also be eaten as a cold appetizer with dijon mayo (1 Tbs dijon mustard to 1/2 Cup mayo) or garlic aioli dipping sauce.  Either way, get them in your mouth and fast – they won’t last long!