I Have Not Been Cooking

It’s sad, really, but the extent of my creativity these days is “Cook cauliflower. Dump in pasta. Eat.”

I have, however, been running, and if you’re into that sort of thing, I’m now chronicling those stories over at Every Day is Another Dumb Adventure.

Not sure if I’ll keep both of these sites going long-term, or combine them, or what … but first, I need a kick in the pants to get back in the kitchen. Luckily, that kick in the pants has a name, and that name is Thanksgiving.


Beet Chips

I have cookbooks and overflowing file folders and pinboards and bookmarks of recipes. Choosing what to make for dinner can involve a lengthy trek through Google Reader tags and a few magazines just looking for inspiration.

But every so often, something cuts through the fog and screams, “Make this now.” And beet chips were one of those things.

Beet Chips

Frankly, I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before; I like beets, and I like chips, and the “sweets and beets” mix is one of the only Terra Chip mixes that actually gets me to consider shelling out the money. But it took this recipe from my CSA to make me run to the fridge, pull out my mandoline for the second time ever*, and start slicing.

(*My problem with mandolines isn’t that I cut myself; it’s that I use the protector like the knife-paranoid person I am and then I only get through half my veggie; the rest ends up kind of smushed and gross and stuck to the protector.)

I’m not entirely sure why you soak the beets in simple syrup first; it does make them sweeter (and makes their ridges pop out in a really crazy, vein-y way), but I’m not sure it’s wholly necessary; it seemed like I drained off the vast majority of the liquid. I sliced on the thinnest setting my mandoline could actually handle — not the first click, which just chipped off oddly shaped chunks, but the one just beyond that — and I’d recommend that you do the same, as the thinner these are, the more they become like actual crunchy chips. The chewy ones aren’t bad, either, but the crunchy ones are satisfying in that snacky way.

As for the sour cream dip, I made up my own — and I’ve dipped literally every possible vegetable in my apartment in it since then. I wouldn’t call it a recipe, because it’s really just sour cream with herbs stirred in, but it’s delicious nonetheless.

Beet Chips with Herbed Sour Cream
(Adapted from Eatwell Farm)

Two medium beets
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Sour cream
Salt and pepper
Other herbs to taste

1. Peel the beets and slice them as finely as you possibly can
2. Bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved
3. Add beet slices and remove the pan from heat; let stand for 15 minutes
5. Pre-heat the oven to 225
4. Drain the beets in a colander; let stand for 15 minutes
5. Spread the beets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for an hour or until the beets are dry (I went just about an hour)
6. Transfer the beets to a rack to cool; the chips will crisp more as they cool, but I found that the most chip-like ones of mine were already crisp as I was taking them off the baking sheet
7. While the chips are cooling, stir together the sour cream, chopped dill, a bit of salt and pepper, and whatever other herbs catch your eye. Dip away!