Preparation and cooking time: ~40 mins
Calories: ~280 calories per 100g
Well, I’ve learned my lesson from my last post. I’ll stick to “regular” ingredients this time. There was no shortage of visitors who seemed to think that I was mad enough to stuff a load of minced beef into apples, top it with sugar, bake it… and then call it a dessert (despite me linking to my original mincemeat post several times)? I’m sure that now all these people will be thinking that I’m absolutely crazy… or worse, maybe they might even try it themselves (God, I hope not!). Nevertheless, I guess I can now say that I’ve learned that mincemeat is even less well known than I’d always thought. I always knew it caused confusion but… wow!
Here’s a little snack which shouldn’t cause anyone any befuddlement today though. Beetroot chips (or beets, as they’re known to some, and dare I say “crisps”, instead of “chips”, as they’re known to others). I was in my local supermarket recently and what should I see in the produce section but… raw beets! There they were, sitting cheerfully next to a display of purple carrots. I consider this a big win on my part. Many years ago it was difficult to find parsnips in stores here. They popped up on markets around Christmas time but they weren’t something you could easily find in supermarkets. Slowly they have become more and more available, though I was still missing other things. Beets are often sold pre-cooked here. Maybe the vendors think they’re doing the consumer a favour – pre-boiling hundreds of beets, throwing away all the lovely stalks and leaves, and then selling the sweaty beets out of large styrofoam boxes at markets… the kind that are packed with ice and fish in sea markets. While this can sometimes be useful it significantly reduces the number of things that you can do with your beets, and so to find them raw… and from a supermarket as well – not just a fancy farm shop – made me really happy! All I need now is to get some with the leaves still attached.
As my exposure to foods around the world, as well as to different peoples and their cultures, has broadened over the couple of years I’ve been blogging so far, I’ve also learned of the existence of purple carrots. Whoever knew such a thing existed, but if you can get tomatoes which are deep purple and white aubergines then sure – why not purple carrots? They’re apparently really good for you (because of the purple hue – I forget what specific nutrient it is, or how it helps your body more than regular carrots), and I finally saw these too (along with some yellow carrots) at the store. Now all I need to find is golden beets and I’ll be all set.
Anyway – these chips are truly delightful. I say this with many beetroot recipes, but even if you don’t like beets then I think you may just enjoy these. They have a delicate, sweet flavour which ideally needs to be offset with a good dusting of spice or salt. The colour is absolutely delightful and if you can be bothered, I’d strongly recommend serving them as an assortment with parsnip chips and potato chips. As with most chip recipes, they’re going to require some deep-frying but don’t be scared – break out that pan and get cooking!
Enjoy the rest of the post – I’ll be back in a few days with something new, but before I forget – for anyone who didn’t already, don’t forget to enter my little competition I’m running to celebrate surpassing 100,000 viewers on my YouTube channel! Have a great monday everyone.
Hand-cooked Beetroot Chips
- Several large, raw Beets
- Oil for deep-frying (I used 1 litre of Peanut Oil, which is ideal for deep-frying)
You’ll also need
- Start off by peeling the beets. Slice them very finely (slices should be about 1mm thick or slightly less) using a sharp knife or mandoline. Once all the beets have been prepared, pour the oil into a deep pan and set onto the stove to heat. Ideally, use something like an oil thermometer to keep a track of the oil temperature. When the oil is at about 150-160 degrees Celsius it’s ready to go.
- Place a small handful of beetroot slices into the hot oil. The slices will bubble violently in the beginning. Press them down with a slotted metal spoon to ensure they are well covered in the oil. The initial vigorous bubbling will subside to smaller bubbles popping up. They will fry quite fast. As soon as they have stopped bubbling completely (so it looks like they’re just floating in the oil) remove them immediately. If you leave them in the oil after the bubbling has stopped they will burn and because of the higher natural sugar content in beets, burnt chips do not taste good!
- The chips will seem soggy when removed from the oil. Allow to drain on kitchen paper and they will become crisp as they cool (this will take only a minute or so). Repeat until all the slices are fried and then season the cool chips to taste – I used salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper – and enjoy!