Ever since I got my mandolin (thanks James!), I’ve been looking for excuses to use it. A friend mentioned in passing liking TERRA “Sweets and Beets” chips, leading to today’s inspiration: homemade beet chips.
Nothing about this recipe is hard to do, but it’s hard to get right, and it takes a long time because each chip needs to be laid out on a baking sheet not overlapping any others. I can’t say I’ve mastered it just yet, but the good thing about having to do this in many waves (so they can be a single layer on the baking sheet), is you can optimize as you go. Biggest lesson is, crispiness and not burning them is all dependent on the thickness.
These are not worth attempting unless you have a mandolin. Unless you have ample time. And only if you’re okay with making your kitchen (and your hands) look like a bloody murder scene.
What you’ll need:
- Beets, rinsed very well, as much as you want, I used 3
- Olive oil
- Sea salt (I used a coarse sea salt)
- Additional seasoning to your liking (I tried onion powder, garlic powder and truffle salt)
- Preheat oven to 375F and line two baking sheets with tin foil
- Cut tips off the beets so you’re starting with your flat surface for your mandolin
- Run the beet over the mandolin so you’re making consistently thin slices. I used the second to thinnest setting because the thinnest would burn too quickly. Prepare yourself that you won’t get nice, perfect circles the way you picture them in your head.
- Lightly grease baking sheet with olive oil (I poured a little in my hand and rubbed into tin foil)
- With greasy hands, lay out beets on the sheet, making sure they won’t overlap and pat the top of the beets with your greasy hands so they get a little oil on top
- Lightly season with salt from high above so it spreads out evenly without being too heavy (if doing a flavored salt, no need to do sea salt in addition)
- If you don’t want to salt, they’re still tasty, but come out sweeter (I prefer salty)
- If you’re trying a seasoning, lightly sprinkle it from above
- My favorite was the onion powder, but garlic powder was tasty too
- Put in the oven – check them at 13 minutes – if they’re turning brown at all, take them out. If not, check if they’re getting crispy. If not crispy, try another 2 minutes, up to 7 minutes (depends on your thickness), but they can go from not-quite-crispy to full blown burnt very quickly, so keep your eye on them.
- Take them out of the oven and lay them out on a plate covered in paper towel to absorb any excess oil
- And repeat and repeat and repeat until you’re down with your beet slices, optimizing as you go as far as time in the oven, amount of seasoning, etc.
I tasted them throughout the making process; by the time I was done, I already had my fill. Thinking about round 2 now, though, as tonight’s dinner is marinating.
Have any of you attempted beet chips? Share your tips or experiences.