The Search for the Perfect Tavern Chip

There’s this place… this place my group of friends likes to go to unwind… bitch… eat fantastic foods…  It replaced what used to be my favorite pizza place, so they are damned lucky that I enjoy the new establishment just as much.  And they have this addicting potato chip concoction that one friend’s dear, sweet husband thought he was replicating.  Thought.  I couldn’t leave this stone unturned.  I just couldn’t.  I needed to help out this marriage and come up with a great, homemade substitute for these potato chips.  One thing learned by said husband: You can’t just take chips out of the bag and throw them on a plate.  No no.  These beauties require homemade chips.

To start, you need to thinly slice up some potatoes.  I used my mandolin and a couple yukon golds.  You can use russets, you can use reds.  Use what you have; use what you like.

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Okay, so now you have three choices: frying in oil, baking in the oven, and cooking in the microwave.  I have tested all three.  Two were woefully disappointing.  I don’t have pictures of the first disappointing method, because I’m an idiot, but that method is frying.  It was tasty, sure, but they never really crisped the way I desired without burning.

So, okay.  Bonus!  That leaves the two healthier methods!  Woo!  Both methods start the same way: Coating the slices very lightly in olive oil and laying them out in a single layer, either on a rack over a cookie sheet (oven) or on a big plate (microwave–obviously make sure the plate is microwavable).  Here’s the result of the oven test:

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Uhhh, no.  They were lame.  The only crispy bits were those burned spots.  Don’t get me wrong, I still ate them because I’m a fool, but I would never make them again.  The microwave was my last hope.  This had to work, or I was screwed.  Thankfully, it did.  Oh did it.

Now, even though you’ve coated the chips with oil, it’s still a good idea to spray your plate with non-stick spray.  I scoffed on the first batch and ended up with a couple corners totally stuck to my plate.  Of course, I slightly over-cooked the first batch, so that may have had something to do with it.

You’ve sprayed your plate, so now you need to cook.  Cook in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.  I did three, two wasn’t enough.  After the ding, flip those chips (carefully!  They will be VERY hot.  Use an oven mitt and tongs if you have them).  Cook for another 2-4 minutes.  I did three again, as four produced the over-cooked ones.  I also suspect that subsequent batches cook faster because the plate will already be hotter than hell.  Take them off the plate and cool to the side.  They say they get crispier as they cool, but mine were all pretty darn crispy out of the ‘wave.

In case you were dying to know, this is what microwaved potato chips look like:

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The over-cooked ones are on the left, and even though they are almost completely brown, they are TOTALLY delicious.  Totally crispy, totally awesome.  Make these.  Make these just like this and eat a ton (you can sprinkle salt on them after oiling if you want, I didn’t, partially because of the following recipe, and partially because I think most potato chips are too salty anyway).  You can definitely stop here and die happy.  But you’ll die happier if you continue on.

Gather this shiz (the potatoes in the picture are pre-cooking, obs, but use cooked ones in the next step):

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Arrange that shiz (remember, cooked chips!) on a plate.  Cheese sprinkled on potatoes.  Easy-peasy.  Throw Gently set plate in the microwave.  Cook, on half power, for approximately 30 seconds, just until the cheeses are melty.

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A caveat: The actual Blue Chips description from the Tavern mentions bacon bits and something green–cilantro maybe?  I didn’t use these.  Two reasons for that, actually.  1. I didn’t have them on hand.  2. I really don’t think they add anything.  The blue cheese flavor overpowers everything, including bacon.  At that point it’s just extra calories.  And the green is just decoration.  So, K.I.S.S.

Now, make these and enjoy.

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7 thoughts on “The Search for the Perfect Tavern Chip

    • DK says:

      I thought of you when the chips worked in the microwave. This is great for someone who needs something indulgent, but wants to keep it healthy still. PLUS they are way more filling than bagged chips, so you actually feel satisfied after eating them.

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      • DK says:

        I’m lame about measuring if it isn’t baking… But I’d say one potato and maybe a teaspoon of oil. I learned today that you can also use cooking spray instead of the oil, so I think that would bring the stats down as well. They end up tasting more like baked lays, which I love anyway. As for the cheeses, you can use them pretty sparingly (especially the blue, since it’s so strong) but I’ll over-estimate at 1/4 mozz and 2 tbsp blue.

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      • If I do 1 potato, 1/4 cup ff motz, and 1 TBL blue, it comes out 6 points, which, for me, is a small meal… Hmn. I may have to play with this some. I like the idea of the microwave potato chips, but that’s where the majority of the points come from. Might have to make that into two servings to make it acceptable as a snack or side dish. It just so happens I have everything here but the blue cheese, so I might get to try it soon.

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      • DK says:

        Oh, this is definitely a meal. I have eaten this for lunch the last two days. So when you look at it like that, it’s not too bad. If you want to make a snack of it, definitely half it–you can make up all the chips at once; they’ll keep. Or you can just make the chips as a snack (which, once again, you have eat half of and still be fine).

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