Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Summer Winds Down, Still Eating Summer Food

August 31, 2014

Steamed Fresh, Local Yellow Corn
Polish Sausage
Homemade Potato Chips
Sutter Home Gewurztraminer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Extra Crunchy Potato Chips from Serious Eats

We are coming to the end of summer. School has been in session here for several weeks. The pumpkin sellers are setting up their retail patches. Gizdich Ranch has apples for the picking. However, the weather still says summer and there should be a lot of warm weather left before Fall gets here. I hope there are still many warm weather meals to be eaten before we start roasting and braising and diving into the soups from last Winter still waiting in the freezer.

This Sunday dinner menu started with sweet corn; while we still have it I want to eat it. Saturday was a busy day for us with a Giants game to attend so I wanted something pretty simple. I was originally thinking hot dogs; we had some buns to use up and I would prefer to eat them fresh than to freeze them for later. At the supermarket on Sunday morning, though, I kept my eyes open and purchased some Evergood brand Polish sausage to have instead of hot dogs. We used to get Polish sausage at Giants games in preference to hot dogs until the Giants changed their supplier a few years ago, but we still have Polish sausage regularly for dinner at home.

It wouldn't be a Sunday Dinner without trying something new. When we buy potato chips we always get plain kettle style potato chips, no barbecue vinegar sour cream jalapeƱo onion cheese flavored chips for us, thank you. I went searching for kettle style chip recipes and discovered they are really no different than regular chips, at least when you make them at home. I found an interesting recipe at Serious Eats and gave it a try. These chips are a little thicker than usual, ⅛″. After carefully slicing a russet potato on the mandolin, I rinsed the slices thoroughly to remove surface starch. Then, this recipe's trick: I boiled the slices for 3 minutes in water to which a little vinegar had been added. The vinegar did not flavor the potatoes but the lower pH helped keep the thin potato slices from falling apart during boiling. The par-cooked potato slices were deep fried until they stopped bubbling, removed from the oil, salted, and eaten. The goal of the recipe was to provide crunchy chips and it certainly did that, though I am still a little fuzzy on the discussion which differentiated between crispy and crunchy.

Everything about this meal was good and summery. The fresh corn, the fresh crispy crunchy chips, the sausage, and the weather. I expect we will be enjoying the warm weather and summer dinners for another month or so and continue eating outside. Darkness is starting to fall earlier, though, and it was pretty dark when our late dinner was finished, but all we need do is turn on some lights.

For the first time ever when I've made potato chips, we didn't eat them all with dinner. The leftovers were stored in a zipper top bag and finished off the next day. They were great, still crispy and crunchy with good potato flavor.

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