Super Bowl LIV is on Sunday, Feb. 2 and even if your favorite team (The Pats for me or the Eagles for my stepdad) is not in the game, there is still much to enjoy about game day. Demi Lovato is singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" and Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will perform at the halftime show at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, so we can look forward to that.
We can also look forward to those fabulous commercials they show. I read that MC Hammer will be back in a Cheetos' commercial and there will be one for Bud Light's new seltzer as well as one for Hyundai in which Big Papi gets Boston accent lessons from SNL alum Rachel Dratch. I'd like to know who gave Robert Pattinson Downeast Maine lobsterman accent lessons for his masterful performance in "The Lighthouse." It's perfect.
You'll also be enjoying some classic game day snacks and one of them should be chips and dip or chips and salsa, both of which should be made from scratch, including the chips, both potato and tortilla. Here are my recipes for both, each with an accompanying dip/salsa recipe.
Crispy Potato Chips
Dusting the chips fresh from the fryer is a good idea and there are so many salts and powders to try including truffle salt, paprika salt or one I've been using lately, nori salt with all that umami. If there's a favorite local spice mix you like, try that, too.
To make my nori salt, take two toasted, crisp nori sheets and grind them into a powder in a spice mill or food processor then mix with 1 tablespoon Kosher salt. You should have a deep-fry thermometer for this recipe.
• 2 pounds russet potatoes
• 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
• 8 cups vegetable oil or alternative like olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil
• Kosher salt or flavored salt of choice
Use a mandoline to slice potatoes about 1/8-inch thick. Place the slices in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Stir, then drain. This releases the starch and you'll see the water is a bit cloudy as you stir. Continue this process until the water is clear. Cover with 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar and 7 cups of water. Let sit for an hour.
Pour oil in a heavy pot to a depth of 4 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until your deep-fry thermometer gets to 300 degrees F. In 6 to 7 batches, fry the potatoes and get the heat back to 300 degrees F between each batch. Be sure to turn them occasionally until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes for each batch. Use a slotted spoon to remove from oil and drain on a paper towel or on a wire rack over a paper towel. Sprinkle with seasoning immediately.
French Onion Dip
Makes about 3 cups
With potato chips go onion dip and my from-scratch recipe doesn't involve those little packages of onion soup mix, although those are great, too. I add mayo to mine as well and I like to add different fresh herbs like tarragon, parsley, chives or basil to change it up a bit. You can buy the dried onion or dehydrate yourself. You can also alter the onions and use different varieties or add fresh garlic to the mix. Adding different spices like celery salt or habanero powder are other variations I've tried depending on my mood.
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 Vidalia onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings
• 2 large shallots, sliced into 1/8-inch-thick rings
• 2 cups sour cream
• 1 cup mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
• 2 teaspoons fresh herbs of choice
Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft, golden and caramelized. Add the shallots and cook for another 10 minutes until both the onions and shallots are a dark brown. Remove from heat and let cool, then chop the onion mixture into 1/4-inch pieces.
Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper with the fresh herbs. Add the onion mixture and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Baked Tortilla Chips
Your leftover tortillas are the stuff your chips are made of. I like to use corn tortillas like the ones made by Vida Tortilla but frankly, it's rare that I have any leftovers. Near our home in Belize are a few small tortillerias where the Maya ladies make stacks of them on a comal over an open fire and we get an inch of tortillas for just a dollar. These chips are baked which makes them a wee bit more healthful. Adjust the seasonings to your taste. Special equipment for this is a small mister or spray bottle which can also be used to dress a salad.
• 1 12-ounce package corn tortillas
• 1 tablespoon vegetable or coconut oil
• 3 tablespoons lime juice
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the tortillas into 8 wedges and place on a cookie sheet in one layer.
Mix oil and lime juice in the mister or spray bottle. Moisten each tortilla wedge.
Mix the spices and salt and sprinkle on the chips. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 8 minutes or until the chips are crisp and just lightly brown. Serve with salsa, guacamole or ceviche.
Roasted Tomatillo Habanero Salsa
Makes 3 cups
• 10 tomatillos
• 2 habaneros or another chili
• 6 dried guajillo or poblano peppers
• 4 cloves garlic with skins on
• Juice of 1 orange
• Juice of 1 lime
• 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
• Olive oil
Remove the seeds and stems from the dried peppers. Place in a pot of simmering water and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let steep for 20 minutes.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Take the husks off the tomatillos and wash. Place the tomatillos, garlic and habanero peppers in the heated pan, drizzle with a little olive oil. Cook for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally, but remove the garlic after 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Drain the water from the dried chiles and transfer to a blender or food processor with all the rest of the ingredients, including the garlic, but first remove the skins. Take the stems off the habanero as well. Blend and add salt to taste. Add more cilantro at the end if desired. Serve with chips.
Rachel Forrest is a former restaurant owner who lives in Austin, Texas. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.