How to Make Oven Crispy Root Chips

Crispy root chips- A Stack of Dishes

Let’s be honest, it’s not like I’m making a batch of snacks all the time. If you have company coming though, these crispy root chips are not tough to make and will make your guests feel oh so spoiled.

What I’m really imagining though is a cold Winter’s day where you decide to have a few pals over to sip and chat. It’s helpful that the oven will warm the house, and there is nothing like coming into a home where something good is cooking. I used parsnips and turnips here, but any ol’ roots kicking around your kitchen would work. Got a carrot or two in the drawer? How about a sweet potato, rutabaga and the golden child, regular potatoes! They don’t have to be the freshest either, so you would get a Home-Ec gold star from me from using all those latent bits in your veggie bin.

Sliced Turnips and Parsnips for crispy root chips- A Stack of Dishes

At first I thought I would slice the turnips with my favorite knife, but I then decided for best even cooking I should use my mandolin. So completely worth it. Whip whip whip and they are done. I was happy to cook and eat some turnips too. Who really eats those these days? I happen to love them roasted, but I can’t say they are anywhere near the top of my veggie hits list. Why is that? Perhaps I should do a turnip series, that could be fun…. parsnips are pretty miraculous too. The sophisticated cousin of the carrot. So refined, pale and delicate. They need to get their due also. [Read more…]

Dark Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt and Peanuts

Dark Chocolate Popcorn with Sea Salt and Peanuts - A Stack of Dishes

In anticipation of next weekend’s big game I decided to get my groove on and make some dark chocolate popcorn with sea salt and peanuts. As you can imagine, watching the game is more of a social event than a die hard fan thing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch football. In fact, I was Captain of my cheerleading squad in high school- so I’m pretty sure I have the rules down. I’m just not much of a sports chick- I’m interested, just not involved.

So my “game on” is what ends up on the cocktail table in front of the TV. So why not some jazzed up popcorn? All that game day food is usually pretty cheesey, greasy and heavy on the gut. Who doesn’t love it- I just want some fresh ideas out there. 

Making popcorn certainly is not the same as when I was a kid. There was real reverence and hard core focus when it came to making popcorn. It was a bit of right of passage for us kids. We had a certain pot we used only for popcorn making. We knew just how much oil to put in, how high the flame, and a capful of kernels was the perfect amount for the pot. Standing on a chair it was sacred duty to shake the pan relentlessly during the furious popping stage, and then came the fine art of knowing when to remove the pan from the heat to get all the kernels popped without scorching the pan. Ain’t nothing worse than burnt popcorn. Not Pleasant.

Dark Chocolate Popcorn- A Stack of Dishes [Read more…]

Radish Butter on Homemade Rye Rounds

 

It’s the late afternoon. Before the wine time, before we bathe and dress and head out to meet friends for dinner. It’s the afternoon respite, when the day’s whirl and swirl of energy has slowed to a breathless ease. It’s the afternoon sit down.

Earlier in the day flour dust rose and settled as I prepared the rye bread dough and shaped it into two logs. The smell of caraway seeds filled the kitchen, and the homey smell of bread straight out of the oven is the now the familiar. It’s so easy to make, so easy to create a masterpiece out of such simple ingredients- it no longer makes sense to do anything else.*

We don’t eat much butter these days. The demon “saturated fat” lurks within and I shun it at every possible turn, but from time to time, there something so simply wonderful as butter on bread. It is a taste so crazy good and so elemental, that it makes me laugh. Because I eat butter so rarely, I can experience a wide open happiness. That’s a really good feeling.

As a kid I remember reading books such as Heidi, where thick slices of wheaty homemade bread were slathered with butter. This was the staple, the basis of existence, the staff of life-the safe place of home.

I go back to that romantic place here.

The combination of radishes with butter and salt is another classic. If you’ve not tried it, please do. The sharp spice of the radish is tamed by the butter, and at the same time brightened by the salt. Typically radishes are sliced into paper thin wisps, then planked on top. For my table I’ve diced and mashed them right into the sweet butter. So simple. So good. A sprinkling of Maldon salt on top and you are complete.

A delightful afternoon snack.

Of simple.

And quiet goodness.

*The recipe for basic no knead bread is found HERE. To make rye, I replaced 1 cup of the white flour with dark rye, and added 2T of caraway seeds. When it came time to shape the bread I divided the dough in two and created two long thin loaves- as long as my oval pot would hold, and then baked them separately.