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What’s a little fried food between friends? Parsnip chips.

December 22, 2006

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Munch, munch, munch.

Let’s face it: Homemade chips are the bomb. We are genetically and evolutionarily driven to consume salty fried snacks. And while you can’t always yield to Mother Nature’s urges, if you’re going to sock away that many calories, you want them to be worthwhile, don’t you?

That’s where these homemade parsnip chips can come in.

They’re delicate, sweet and light — yet fried and salty. It’s a contradiction I can’t explain, particularly with my mouth full of parsnip chips. Honestly, I found these unexpectedly tasty. Viewing the vegetable that they come from, I was duly skeptical. But from that oversized white carrot, that humble root, comes a superior chip. It tastes a lot like what I thought a sweet potato chip would taste like — except I’m usually disappointed by sweet potato chips (they’re often too chewy, thick and mealy).

In fact, it turns out that parsnip chips were what my imagination, and tummy, were craving.

So when you’re mindlessly reaching for that bag of Lay’s, bat your hand away, man. Pull out that other white root vegetable and get a fryin’. You won’t be sor… Munch, munch, munch.

Click here to download the recipe for Parsnip Chips.

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Backgrounder…

Parsnip chip… If there were ever a veg that deserved to be rendered into chip form, it’s the parsnip. I mean, who doesn’t love rhyme?

Oh, not so familiar with this vegetable? Or afraid that it might be some mutant-toxic-albino carrot?

Well, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the fellow, a parsnip is a tap root, like a carrot. It has been around for ages and appears to be making a resurgence. If you watch enough food TV or eat out often, it’s not uncommon to see a parsnip purée or similar use. Heck, after getting the idea, I discovered there are even people who have been making a parsnip chip for quite sometime.

As for its taste, a parsnip has a lightness and bite that make it very refreshing, but also a substance and sweetness that make it pleasant to eat. A chip suits it well. The parsnip has enough flavor that there is no need to even season with anything but salt.

And, if you have a mandoline, these chips are extremely simple to make. Oh, I said mandoline, not mandolin (sounds the same when spoken). The one with the “e” is the slicer tool, the one without is the guitar-like instrument. With the mandoline, you can churn out perfectly thin slices quick as a stitch and be done within 15-20 min (based on how long your oil takes to heat). I hope you enjoy and perhaps put these to use as a quick dish for a Christmas gathering or a nice New Year’s Day sit-around-and-watch-football snack — talk about fancy grub for watching the Mieneke Car Care Bowl.

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Parsnip Chips
Yields: 4 – 6 servings
Ingredients:
3-4 large parsnips
Vegetable, Canola or Peanut Oil

Special Equipment:
Mandoline
Thermometer

Directions:
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, fill to about two-thirds (2/3) with oil.

WARNING: DO NOT OVERFILL! Overfilling will cause the oil to bubble up when you place the chips in and may cause it to spill over. This would be bad. It will increase your odds of a small fire or having your flesh bubbled off by scalding hot oil!

2. Over high heat, heat the oil to 350F.

3. While the oil is heating, slice the parsnips thin using a mandoline.

4. Once the oil has reached temperature, lower a handful of parsnips into the oil using a slotted spoon or spider. Cook for 1 min or until the chips are light brown.

5. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Let cool for a 5 min. Serve. Enjoy!

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4 comments

  1. Yum….veggie chips have been popping up everywhere. I just tried beet chips and of course, sweet potato ones that were crispy, crunchy and thoroughly addictive.

    But I have to say, in the photo of the thumb on the mandoline, tell me that was just for photo possibilities? And tell me, you have an Ove glove, or Kevlar glove for those types of scary and possibly appendage reducing kitchen jobs, don’t you???

    *shudder* I sure hope so. Nothing ruins an appetite more than a piece of a thumb on the counter top. (spoken from experience….ouch)


  2. This photo was definately posed! As for having a glove, I don’t. My mandoline does have a guard though and I use it for all the bigger, rounder veggies–onion, potatoes, apples etc. In this case, I don’t use it, but I am very careful and very deliberate.

    I know how sharp the blades are for this because when I opened the box with the blades after I bought it, I promptly cut my finger. I couldn’t agree more that you have to be very careful with mandolines. It is not one of those tools you can just use and not pay attention to what you are doing.


  3. Wow! I am with you on the parsnip chips. I was happily munching my root chips(out of a bag) and puzzling over which is which?! Well,to the internet I go to find out what a Taro, Batata, and Parsnip chip would actually look like. I already had the sweet potato figured out, but could never be sure with the others! I quickly figured out the batata and taro but was puzzled by the parsnip until I found your blog. I have discovered after dumping the entire bag out on the counter that the problem I was having in finding the parsnips was they hardly put any in the bag. I fished around and tasted a few and they are the tastiest of the bunch! I will have to try making some myself, because there are not enough parsnips in the bag to satisfy my munching! Thanks for the recipe!


  4. [...] Mel place a skewer on each chip before baking. It becomes adorable lollipops. + The well explained Parsnip chips that I spotted on the cooking blog My Husband Cooks You might also like these posts cocktail [...]



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