Homemade Microwave Potato Chips


Hello? Anyone out there?

It’s me again, your long lost friend who loves to eat a lot.

I started a lot of blogs in my adolescent years (anyone else remember xanga?), and I would always start off posting “I am finally going to start a website and actually keep up with it!”.  Then, like clockwork, I would post 3-7 posts and then lose my way.  Well, with this site I’ve had a pretty good track record since I started it almost 3 years ago but recently it’s been a lot of radio silence.  My bad.

So, I am back with a resolution to resume cooking and posting more. And today we are back with a doosie: homemade potato chips.

I’ve been thinking about food a lot lately- how it’s linked a lot to family memories.  So I am commemorating my return to Cinnamon Freud with a food my family (especially my dad) loves: potato chips.  And they are fun to make homemade and (despite the damage of a permanent black circle in the middle of one of my mom’s plates and burning the tips of my fingers) all in the microwave.  I promise: it really works!

From the kitchn


Russet potatoes
Kosher salt (or other desired seasonings)
Paper towels


Slice potatoes extremely thin using a mandolin. Soak potatoes in warm water. Working in small batches at a time, dry sliced potatoes.

Line a plate with a paper towel. Place potatoes in a single layer on top. Season with salt. Microwave at full power for 3 minutes. Flip over. Microwave at 50% power for 3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batches.

Fish and Chips: Improv Blog


How about a nice batch of fish an chips, eh? Chip, chip, cheerio?  Chim chim chimmery?

In my head, this entire post is read with a British accent.  Please oblige me.

Fish and chips have been on my culinary bucket list for a while. So when I saw this month’s Improv Challenge was to make something with fish and chips, I knew I wanted to go the traditional fish and chip route.

So ‘a fish fryin’ we went.  My family and I grabbed some beers and hung out in the backyard while we fried up dinner.  The fish is dipped in a beer batter and fried until flaky and tender.  And the French fries- oh the French fries.  I have baked up some pretty good fries before and even fried a few good batches, but people, hear me when I say, the double fried French fry is where it is at.  They are crunchy, tender, and wonderful.

The best way to enjoy a fish and chip dinner is to clear the dinner table, put down newspaper, and dump it all in the center.  Serve with tartar sauce, ketchup, and vinegar.  Battle it out to get the crispiest fish pieces and French fries . Drink beer.

When we ate our fish and chips, I chose the optimal seat at the dinner table where I got to eat on the newspaper article about Dennis Quaid.


Fish Slightly Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Chips Slightly Adapted from The Pioneer Woman


For the Fish:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 pounds cod

For the Chips:
3-4 large Russet potatoes, peeled
Vegetable oil, for frying


For the Fish:

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, 2 teaspoon salt, cayenne, and paprika.  Transfer 3/4 cup of flour mixture to a rimmed baking sheet. Stir in baking powder to flour mixture in the bowl.

Heat oil to 375°F.

Cut the code into equal, bite sized pieces. Dry with paper towels.  Dredge fish in dry flour mixture. Lay fish on a wire rack.  Stir beer into flour mixture in bowel.  Dip fish into beer batter and let excess drip off. Dredge through flour mixture again.  Fry fish in batch until golden brown, 4-8 minutes depending on size.  Drain on paper towels and salt if desired.

For the Chips:

Cut the potatoes into 1/4 inch wide sticks.  Place in large bowl and cover with water.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes, up to 1 hour.  Drain and pat dry.

Heat oil to 300°F.  Fry potatoes in batches, for 3-5 minutes.  This first fry is to cook the potato, so it should be soft and able to be cut with a knife.  They will not yet be golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Heat oil to 375-400°F.  Fry in batches until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels.  Salt while warm.

Serves 3-4.

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Oven Baked French Fries

I love French fries, and I love that 99% of restaurants include them as a side with their meals.  No, Mexican or Italian cuisine should not include French fries, but hey, if an establishment decides to offer them, I won’t say anything if you won’t. Nothing takes a restaurant down a notch in mind than if they serve potato chips with their sandwiches instead of French fries.  No, no. That is a deal breaker.

Now, whether you know it or not, there is a French fry hierarchy in place that we all need to remember.  On the bottom of this ranking are soggy, limp, and thick French fries.  On the top: skinny, crispy, and salty.  In my opinion, the best French fries are super skinny, deep fried, crunchy, and salty.  I unashamedly admit that McDonald’s is among my top favorites.  But, going to McDonald’s whenever I want a French fry is just not pragmatic.  So, I needed an easy method to make them at home.

Often when you bake fries in the oven, they turn out like roasted potatoes.  Let’s face it, roasted potatoes are not French fries.  However, this method from Cook’s Illustrated (love them) is the best way I have found to make crispy fries in the oven.  These fries are crispy, soft, and perfect.  I enjoyed these fries with some fry sauce and was a happy camper

Also, for you fellow Texan French fry lovers, my new favorite French fry is in Austin at Hyde Park Grill.  I may just order a big plate of fries for my meal when I go there.

Fries Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

For the French Fries:
2 russet potatoes
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Fry Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mayonnaise
Pinch of salt
Hot sauce, to taste


For the French Fries:

Preheat oven to 475°F.  Prepare a pizza stone or heavy duty baking sheet.  Grease the bottom of the baking sheet.

Slice potatoes according to your thickness preference (on average, aim for 1/4 inch).  Place in a bowl and cover with hot tap water.  Let sit for at least 15-30 minutes.

Drain potatoes and rinse.  Dry with paper towel and transfer to baking sheet.  Mix with canola oil and spread in a single layer.  Season with kosher salt.  Cover pan with foil.  Bake for 5 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 14-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.  Remove from oven, and flip the potatoes.  Bake for an additional 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.

For the Fry Sauce

In a bowl mix together ketchup, mayonnaise, and salt.  Stir in hot sauce to taste.  Chill for at least 30 minutes.

Serves 3-4 as a side dish.

Mom’s Cheesy Potatoes

Food is a powerful memory trigger.  Every time I get a waft of these potatoes roasting in the oven and take that first bite of cheesy goodness, I am transported back to a time when my mom made dinner for me every night.  Whenever I saw mom making these potatoes, I knew it’d be a good dinner (and lunch the following day).  Luckily, my mom has passed on to me her culinary secrets, and now I am passing them on to you!  This dish is pure potato magic.

Also, happy birthday week to my mom & dad!  Thank you for all those nights of making me dinner (and all that other stuff you did on the side raising me and all).  Soon, I’ll show what dessert I made for our at home celebration.

Adapted from Saltgrass Steakhouse via The Houston Chronicle

2 pounds red potatoes
8 tablespoons butter
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded Romano, divided
1/2 cup milk
3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper


The Day Before: Put potatoes in a large pot.  Barely cover with water and bring to a boil.  Cook until fork tender.  Drain, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut the potatoes into quarters and transfer to 9×13 inch casserole dish.  In a small saucepan, combine butter and garlic over medium heat.  Cook until butter is melted, then pour over potatoes.  Add cheddar cheese, Monterrey jack, 3 tablespoons Romano, milk, green onions, salt, paprika, black pepper, and white pepper.  Mix the ingredients together with your hands.  Do not overmix (there should still be large chunks of potatoes throughout).  Sprinkle remaining Romano cheese on top.  Bake for 35 minutes.  Serve immediately

Broiled Vinegar Potatoes

What is your favorite potato chip?  Mine is most definitely salt and vinegar kettle chips- they are addictive.  The saltiness and the sourness of the vinegar come together in perfect harmony.  Well, it may not be socially acceptable to eat a bag of potato chips for dinner, so instead you can make these broiled vinegar potatoes.  These potatoes are a great way to change up to a steak and potatoes dinner.
I made these one night when I had a cold because I wanted to make sure I could taste my dinner, and I was pleased to find that the vinegar and salt taste burst past my stuffed nose.  (Boiling the vinegar and accidentally taking a few direct steams to the face also helped cleared up my nose passages too- an added health benefits with this dish).  They tasted exactly like my favorite potato chips and were easy to make- a definite repeat to jazz up a weeknight dinner.


From Elly Say Opa, Originally Martha Stewart

1/2 pound potatoes
White wine vinegar
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch slices.  Put potato slices in a saucepan and cover with vinegar.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, until fork tender.  Remove from heat and let potatoes cool in vinegar for 30 minutes.  Drain.

Preheat the broiler.

Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Arrange in one layer on a baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, until browned.  Rotate tray if needed.  Watch potatoes carefully to prevent them from burning.  Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.