Don't be Crabby... Eat a Crab Chip!
You Know You're From Maryland When...
A. You know what a crab chip is.
B. You didn't giggle because I said "crab".
C. Old Bay Seasoning is a staple item in your house.
D. You're not scared or grossed out by those little arachnid looking yummy edibles known as crabs...
Crab Chips... They aren't what you think
Crab chips have nothing to do with real crab, so do not shy away from this recipe if you're allergic to shellfish, or do not like seafood. This contains no seafood.
I do have a few variations I'm going to add at the end in case you want to spruce up the chips. But that section is completely optional.
Lets get Started with Basics...
Non-Edibles you'll need:
Mandolin, Cheese grater or Knife
Deep frying capabilities (either deep fryer or a skillet deep enough to fry in)
Tongs or slotted spoon safe for high heat
Bowl to house cut potatoes
Bowls for serving
At this point you want to heat up your oil. The trick to crunchy potatoes is high heat, and flash frying so, get that oil hot hot hot!
This is Super Easy...
If you have kids that want to help, you can have them help, but I suggest you do the cutting and frying. Let them handle the seasoning.
Wash your potatoes thoroughly. Peeling is up to you. I have done this both ways.
If you chose to peel the potatoes, do that now. Until you are ready to cut them, let them soak fully submerged, in some cold water.
I had the good fortune of having a mandolin to cut my potatoes. If you do not, almost everyone has a cheese grater. That big slot between the two sizes of shreds?... Yep.. use that. If you do not have a grater, slice your potatoes as thin as you can get them without cutting yourself.
If you needed to soak your potatoes.
Dry those potatoes off! You will have one heck of a time with spitting and popping oil, if your potatoes are wet.
Let's Get Cooking!
Place the potatoes in the oil one at a time to make sure they do not stick to each other. If you glob a handful down, and do not break them apart immediately, you will end up with a big glob of fried not completely cooked potato at the end. At that point you would have to burn them to get the inside of the mass cooked through.
They will look funny while they fry.
The potatoes puff into little pillows while they fry. Just keep cooking them. As they cool, they will go back to normal. Some may not, but those are my favorite ^_^
Use the tongs or other utensil you have to make sure all the chips cook evenly. Very gently agitate them around in the oil to make sure the tops of the pillows get cooked as well.
They are done after the edges start to get a little golden. Use your judgement. If they look good take them out, if they look like they need a few, leave them in. Its up to you.
Let them rest
It's a hard life being a potato.
Being peeled, washed, dried and fried, takes a lot out of the little buggers... so pull them from the fryer and let them rest in the basket. Give it a little shake to get the oil out, or give the oil the hint you want it to drain.
If you are not using a fryer, you can use a colander over the sink. Works just as well.
Next Part is fun...
Ok, now that all the oil is drained, place your potatoes in the paper bag. Or make a little pouch out of a few paper towels not separated. Close the bag/pouch, and give them a little toss to make sure any stubborn oil is absorbed away from the chips. Open the bag back up and season the chips with as much or as little Old bay as you wish! Close down the bag, and toss them around inside until you feel they are coated.
Pour into the bowls and enjoy!
Let me know how they turned out for you in the comments below ^_^
Good luck... and go get your cook on ^_~
Alternatives and Additions...
Alternatively you may bake your chips. I usually do. 450 for 10-15 minutes usually does it. You may have to adjust for varying ovens etc, so best bet is to just keep an eye on them. If you notice them browning around the edges get them out of the oven. Let them cool for a few minutes, then use the bag seasoning method.
If you want to be fancier and make them litterally crab chips, I won't stop you. In fact I may drop by ^_~
Baking them is easiest for this application.
Get you some crab meat, and put a little on each chip, sprinkle some Old Bay very lightly onto the chips and if you wish a little dime size piece of sharp cheddar, or your favorite cheese.. then bake like normal. Skip the bag tossing or you'll lose your crab meat. (or give me the bag when you're done ^_^ )
These make awesome fast hors d'oeuvres, or appetizers, if you are having a little party or even a big fancy party.