Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sunchoke Chips

The past few days have been spent packing up boxes, preparing for the 'next step'--whatever that might be--and spending enough time with the people that matter to soak in their presence, before I say goodbye. I have also been exploring Montreal, finally getting to know the city that I have lived in for three years, yet never knew anything about. Between my packed cookware and my time away from home, all of this also means that there is not much to report here. There is one thing, however, that I absolutely must tell you about. Last Thursday, after walking home from my last exam (ever) I came home and did what everyone does when they finish their last exam; I made chips.

Not just any type of chip, but sunchoke chips. I had bought the sunchokes at the on-campus market a few days before and combined with my newly acquired mandoline, I knew that they had to turn into chips. I feel like I have been seeing sunchokes everywhere recently, but after doing a bit of research on them, I only found out that they are a great source of inulin, despite the common name Jerusalem Artichoke they are neither from Jerusalem nor are they related to artichokes and they are actually a tuber produced beneath the ground by a variety of sunflower. I can't seem to figure out which season is best for them, although I did read that they can withstand hardy winters, which makes a whole lot of sense considering I bought these in springtime in Montreal.

Regardless of when they're at they're peak, sunchokes always have a deliciously earthy and subtly sweet flavor. Roasting or pureeing them into soup really showcases these flavors, but once these are fried into chips takes a bit of the nuanced flavor is lost. Not all of it however, and they're unique flavor and texture is something surprisingly addictive and tasty. If I were to make a comparison, these remind me of Terra chips, more toothsome and hearty than a potato chip, but they satisfy the craving just as well. You could serve these with a lemon aioli or other dip of your choice, but I chose to eat them as-is with a sprinkle of salt. I wanted to keep it simple; packing, change and moving on are all complicated, eating chips shouldn't have to be.

Sunchoke Chips

6 large sunchokes (aka. Jerusalem Artichokes, Topinambour)
2 cups frying oil
sea salt, for sprinkling

1) Scrub the Jerusalem artichokes clean. Slice thinly with a mandoline, slightly thinner than 1/8."
2) Meanwhile heat up the oil to 375 degrees, most people use a thermometer, I gauged based on how fast my chips were frying.
3) Add the sliced sunchokes in batches, frying until just golden with a slightly orange hue, 4-5 minutes (this may vary depending on the size of your slices, so keep your eye on them and adjust accordingly).
4) Using a spider take out your chips and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle immediately with salt. Continue with the remainders, transferring the drained chips to a bowl as you go.


Chocolate Shavings said...

Those chips look delicious - it's always great to read other blogs from Montreal!

james said...

MMMMMMMMMM... delicious! You're a culinary goddess!

Stephanie Quilao said...

I've never tried sunchokes before. Looks so tasty I tweeted it: http://twitter.com/noshtopia/status/13086510440

Alisa said...

That looks really good!Wonder why I havent tried this one before! I love it!