It’s a dangerous day when I’m hungry in the grocery store. I feel like a rabid dog who eats half a bag of chips and downs a Coco Cafe while perusing the shelves. Every time I end up with an $8 block of cheese, 3 varieties of chips, some sort of fruit I won’t eat and frozen vegetables. Luckily on this trip to Whole Foods Market, I immediately ran into the Specialty Team Leader who gave me the best idea for dinner. Homemade nachos. Avocados and hand cut cheese were both on sale, so this was basically like Christmas morning.
The Beard had just turned 30 and for his birthday, I bought him a mini electric fryer. Yes, so romantic, I know. While I know baked potato chips are definitely healthier, fried ones are so much tastier. There are a few tools and tips that will help make your potato chips thin and crispy. The first is to have a mandoline slicer. I use the simple slicer from Pampered Chef that works perfectly and has a safe guard for those who (like me) are clumsy in the kitchen and want to keep all ten fingers. The second tool is to get a little fryer, I would suggest one that can fit enough for a full order of potato chips so you don’t have to do 10 batches until all your chips are done. Yes, I’m speaking from experience.
Once you slice up your potatoes, you want to toss them in a big bowl and rinse/cover them with cold water. Leave them in there for at least ten minutes to get all the starchiness out. The water will turn cloudy and possibly reddish depending on which potatoes you use. After they are done rinsing, place them on paper towels without overlapping and press paper towels on them to dry them out. Leave the paper towels on them to suck out some more water for about 10-15 minutes. You want them to have as little moisture as possible or they won’t crisp up.
If you have an electric fryer, follow the instructions to heat up your oil and make sure it’s at the right temperature or again, your potatoes won’t crisp up like you want. If you are using a big ol’ pot of oil, you want to use a thermometer and make sure the oil is at 375 degrees, no higher than 400 degrees. Safety note. Do NOT fry something without using a thermometer because if your oil is too hot it will smoke. It could also possibly start a grease fire and is just all around dangerous. We did this once with chicken and waffles. Oops.
Once you finish frying up your thinly sliced potato chips, toss them on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up some of the grease. Be sure not to overlap them or they might get soggy. Also immediately salt and pepper them because when they are hot, the seasonings will stick better. Finish up all your chips and get ready for the best part, the toppings.
The Beard and I have totally different palates which is perfect because we rarely have to share. We each got our own plates piled high of freshly fried and seasoned chips. Then, we topped the nachos with our favorite veggies, choice of protein and blend of cheeses. While loading up your nachos, don’t put any toppings that may burn up in the oven like green onions or cilantro. Wait until you take them out of the oven and then throw those yummy finishing toppings right on top of the melty cheese. And that’s that, easy peasy homemade potato chip nachos!
- 3 large potatoes
- 2 cups canola oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup jalapeños
- 1/2 pound ground beef or diced chicken, seasoned and cooked
- 1 cup variety of cheeses, shredded
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- Fill up fryer with canola oil and turn to 375 degrees and let it start to warm up while you prep the potatoes.
- Rinse potatoes and get out mandoline, complete with safety guard.
- Slice potatoes thinly and then place in a bowl. Once they are all sliced, place them in a bowl and cover with cold water. Swish around the potatoes to release some starches and then let them sit in the water for about 10 minutes.
- While the potatoes are rinsing, start chopping up your toppings, shredding your cheese and set them aside in the fridge until they are ready.
- Pull out the potatoes and set separately on paper towels then lightly press the paper towels on the potatoes to get them as dry as possible.
- Once your oil is hot enough, fill up the basket with potatoes and let them sizzle for a few minutes until they are nice and brown.
- Depending on your fryer size and amount of potatoes, this can take anywhere from 3-10 minutes.
- While your potatoes are finishing up, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- When they are finished frying, place the potatoes on a paper towel lined plate and season with salt and pepper.
- When all potatoes are finished, place them on a baking sheet and load up with your toppings. Careful not to put any toppings like green onions or cilantro on the potatoes because they will burn.
- Put loaded potatoes in the oven for 5-7 minutes to warm up toppings and melt the cheese.
- Pull out of oven and finish with toppings like green onions or cilantro.