Caribbean Appetizersweet potato chips

Sweet Potato Chips
(Adequate for 4 ... or 1)

Fabulous and easy to make. Here are two versions—deep fried and oven baked. Both are delicious, but one's a little lighter on the oil.

3 lb. sweet potatoes or yams (peeled)
1 T kosher salt

Prep: Use a mandolin (or a very sharp knife) to slice the potatoes 1/16" or less—to the thinness of a commercial potato chip. Pat dry.

Deep fried: If you don't have a deep fryer, pour 2" of oil into a large saucepan. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry the potato slices in batches until crispy, turning with tongs. Allow the oil to return to 375 between batches. Quickly drain on paper towels, then while still warm toss them in a bowl with salt and serve.*

Oven baked: Preheat oven to 450. Toss potato slices with 2-3 T oil. Arrange slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Bake 10 minutes, flip over with a spatula. Bake 10 more minutes until crispy. Pour into a bowl and serve.*

Serve with a bowl of our Green Crry Dip or Tomato Mango Salsa.

*While still warm, try sprinkling with paprika or a mixture of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (just a pinch).

| See more Caribbean recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Caribbean cuisine is an exquisite blend of African, Asian, European, and Carib Indian (the area's original inhabitants) foods. Dishes are highly seasoned, either with a dry rub or marinade —or both. Below are some typical ingredients found in Caribbean food.

Callaloo: young leaves of either the taro root plant or amaranth; used widely in Caribbean cooking. Spinach can be used as a substitute.

Spices: Allspice, bay leaves, black pepper, chives, chili peppers, cilantro, cinnamon, coconut, curry powder, escallion, garlic, ginger, lime, mace, nutmeg, onion, oregano, sugar, thyme, orange, tomato paste, vanilla, cayenne (red) pepper.

Jerk: Jamaican cooking method in which meat is rubbed, prior to grilling, with a blend of seasonings, often firey hot.

Jerk is also the name of the seasoning (from Spanish charqui, or dried meat). You can buy jerk in most grocery stores (even McCormick makes it), or can make and store your own.

• 1 T each—onion powder, garlic powder, dried chives, brown sugar; 2 tsp. each— (ground) allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon; 1 tsp. each—sage. thyme, salt, black pepper, cayenne (or more to taste). Mix thoroughly and store in a tightly covered jar.

There are thousands of versions; figure out what flavors you like most and add or subtract accordingly.

Typical meats: goat, pork, chicken, and some beef (though beef has tended to be expensive).

Fish: varieties that abound in surrounding waters, some familiar to us—grouper, cod, tilapia, blue marlin; others not so—200 species of jack, chip-chips (tiny clams), casadura (primitive armored catfish).

Native plant foods:
• ackee—peach-looking fruit with pulp like scrambled eggs
• annatto (achiote) seed
red coloring or flavoring agent w/ slightly sweet peppery taste.
• cassava root (taro root)
• malanaga root
• scotch bonnet peppers
• breadfruit—fruit used like a potato in salads, stews, even whipped.
• passion fruit

More familiar foods:
bananas and plantains, okra, yams, papaya, mangoes, coconut, yams, sweet potatoes, rice, beans, corn and cornmeal.


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