The usefulness of ingredients is important. The ability to use them is up to the cook. One of our talents is being able to think outside the box when it comes to ingredients and find new uses for established items. Potato flakes and non-fat milk powder are staples in our kitchen. In Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work we made potato chip noodles. In Maximum Flavor, we have fined tuned BBQ potato chip gnocchi. Both recipes use potato flakes. These dehydrated potatoes replicate the flavor of potato chips. Think about it, potato chips are deep fried to remove interior moisture and make them crunchy and to caramelize the outside. Potato flakes are halfway there.
There seems to be a fear of using potato flakes in the kitchen. This stems from the idea of cheating in the kitchen. Oddly it does not seem to apply to non-fat milk powder in spite of the horror stories about it. As a kid a friend of mine drank only reconstituted dried milk, which to my mind was the stuff of nightmares. It tended to separate in the glass and had a gritty, chalky consistency. Thankfully I was able to get past the memories and discover usefulness in the ingredient. And to be frank, great mashed potato flakes (the ones that are 100% potato) make great mashed potatoes, in an instant.
These two recipes utilize potato flakes and non-fat milk powder. They allow the idea of a potato chip with the clarity of the potato flavor to come through. Take them for a spin and then make them your own.
Potato Chip Soup
200 grams potato flakes
225 grams whole butter
200 grams nonfat milk solids
10.5 grams salt
1500 grams water
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F
Put the potato flakes on a parchment lined baking pan. Bake the potato flakes in the preheated oven until they are a dark golden brown, about 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile set a medium pot over medium heat. Add the butter let it melt. Add the milk solids and stir them to completely coat them in the melted fat. Continue to cook the milk solids, stirring slowly until they become a dark caramel color, about 10 minutes. Add the toasted potato flakes and water and transfer to a covered container. Refrigerate for several hours to allow the potato flakes to fully hydrate. Puree in a blender until silky smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, discarding the solids. The soup can be heated and served immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Alternatively you can heat up the soup and transfer it to an iSi canister, charge it with NO2 and dispense it directly into bowls as a light, airy version of itself. The soup base easily absorbs additional seasonings like dry rub, cheddar cheese, sour cream and chives, or whatever else is needed to accommodate your own potato chip craving.
Potato Chip Ice Cream
1000 grams potato chip soup (recipe above)
260 grams half and half
160 grams dark agave nectar
108 grams (6 large) egg yolks
3 grams salt
Pre-heat a circulating water bath to 82.5°C
Put the potato chip soup, half and half, agave nectar, egg yolks and salt in a blender. Puree the ingredients together until smooth and homogeneous, about 15 seconds. Transfer the contents to a vacuum bag and seal. Cook in the circulating water bath for 30 minutes. Remove from the water bath and immediately shake well to combine the custard and then transfer to an ice bath to cool completely. Let the ice cream base rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours then churn in an ice cream machine or freeze in Pacojet canisters and spin.