Oh my goodness, it’s Christmas next weekend. How did that happen? I feel like I’m not entirely ready for it yet so want to get a move on with planning my recipes for the festive period. I shared a round-up of my previous Christmassy recipes last week (including 2 types of gingerbread, coffee shop hacks and some Christmas cake ideas) but my favourite part of Christmas cooking is preparing snacks. I love to have hot crunchy savoury treats in the oven throughout the holidays (and mince pies too, of course) just in case a guest arrives. Surely, there’s nothing better than being welcomed into a home with a big plate of nibbles and treats, is there??I’ve made star tarts, pastry rolls, pizza twists and leftover pasties in the past but never have I attempted to make my own crisps. While I loooove crunchy crisps, I do worry about how healthy (or not!) they are, and I know that I’ll be tempted over Christmas. So when I began craving fried snacks I started to do some research into healthier ways to make my favourite treat. Let’s face it, I’m going to want to eat them all month long, and will definitely be dishing out bowls of crisps on New Years Eve too!It turns out that it IS possible to make crisps without a deep fryer, and all you need is a microwave. Considering that I got a new Panasonic steam combination microwave about three months ago, I was feeling very confident that I’d be able to pull off making my own crisps. It’s got a great range of power settings so knew I’d be able to adjust the power accordingly to get that perfect crunch. Well, noone wants a soggy crisp, do they? Here’s how I got on and the recipe for (wait for it…) parmesan and smoked paprika potato chips.Ingredients: Potatoes (1 ‘jacket’ sized potato will make a small bowlful of crisps), olive oil (or you could use Fry Light for an even healthier version), salt and pepper, dried parmesan and smoked paprika.
Step 1: Very finely slice your potato into disks. The thinner the better. If you can almost see through the slices, that’s thin enough! Chunkier disks will take longer to cook and might never achieve that perfect crunch. If you can keep all the slices the same thickness, this will make it easier to cook them all at the same time.Step 2: Dry off the slices of potato. Use a piece of kitchen towel to dab any moisture off the slices. This will reduce the chance of the crisps ‘steaming’ rather than becoming crunchy.Step 3: Pop all the slices into a freezer bag – this will be where all the flavour mixing takes place. You could use a bowl if you prefer but be sure to coat all the crisps evenly with the oil and flavourings.Step 4: Drizzle in a tiny amount of olive oil or spray a few pumps of fry light into the bag. Seal the top of the bag and use your hands on the outside to move the potato slices around inside the bag to coat them with a little oil.Step 5: Open the bag and sprinkle in your choice of flavourings. I tried salt on it’s own for one batch, salt and black pepper in another bag, and even tried adding a splash of balsamic vinegar and salt (which resulted in a slightly less crunchy crisp but tasted amazing!). However, my absolute favourite flavour is smoked paprika and parmesan. Seal the bag again and rub the flavourings all over the potato slices. Step 6: Lay the slices in one single layer (with no parts of the potatos overlapping) on a microwavable plate. If you fancy adding a sprinkling more paprika at this stage, go for it! You’ll have to cook the disks in two or three batches for each potato you used. Even though the Panasonic combination microwave/oven I used has a steam setting (no, I’d never heard of this before either!) I made sure to only use the classic microwave setting for this recipe.Step 7: Pop the plate into the microwave and set the heat on it’s highest setting. Microwave the slices for 2 minutes at a time until they are crispy, checking in-between each cooking session to make sure they’re not burning. Depending on the size of your plate and power of your microwave, they should take around 4-6 minutes to become dehydrated and crispy. What do you think of this idea? Wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to impress guests with your homemade crisps this winter?? I hope you get a chance to bake your own crisp in the microwave over the holidays and enjoy munching on them while you’re watching a festive film! Feel free to try out your own flavour combinations too – any herbs or dried spices would work just as well as parmesan and paprika, so have fun experimenting!
I quite fancy munching on some vegetable crisps too, so I’ll be trying out this same method using finely sliced carrots, parsnips and beetroot over the Christmas period. I’ll report back on how my experiments go! And if you try making microwave crisps of any kind please send over your tips and leave me a comment about how you got on with the method. Enjoy your festive snacks guys!