Mmm oil-slathered skin shimmering in the summer sun. Crispy chicken skin. Soft baby belly skin raspberries. Fuzzy peach skin. Skins over Shirts, always and obviously.
So what about potato skins? I don't mean those ridiculous deep-fried, bleached, twice-baked, smothered-in-cheese and bacon bits and caramelized onions and sin-stuffed potato skins from TGIFriday's. I mean the scraggly bits of dirty, crusty peel left over from making the best, old-fashioned mashed potatoes.
I always tossed them into the compost until dreamy Mr. Mark Singson from FAM INC showed me an amazing broth he made from baked russet potato skins for a potato agnolotti we served at a plant-based popup. I was converted. The earthy, rustic flavour satisfied my craving for minerals and gave me flashbacks of potato skin swimming pools filled with my mom's roast beef (or beets, if you're Vegan) gravy.
I've found a lot of ways to use this byproduct of luscious meals that is equally as crave-worthy and comforting-- the following recipe being my favourite.
russet skin crisps
WITH CULTURED CREAM AND ONION
Leftover potato Peels from 4 large russet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
Generous pinch of fancy salt (I used hickory smoked)
Pinch of Chili powder
Sprinkle of Fresh Ground Pepper
1/3 cup cultured milk (yogurt, thickened kefir, sour cream, or creme fraiche)
2 green onions, minced
Soak the potato skins in cold water on the counter for 5 minutes, This removes the excess starch so they can get mega-crispy (you can see the leached starch at the bottom of the Tupperware in picture 2 above).
Submerged, you could ferment the peels on your counter with a pinch of salt added to the water. This would take a 5-7 days at room temperature and give the peels a salt-and-vinegar flavour. For the sake of ease, don't ferment them, and simply drain and pat dry.
Pre-heat your oven to a low Broil.
At this stage we want to get the peels as dry as possible. There's lots of ways you could do this - dry in the sun, dehydrator, low oven... whatever. I just dabbed them with a tea towel and it was great and a little bit like bathing toddler.
Toss the peels in oil, fancy salt, Chili power, and pepper. Lay out in a thin layer on a parchment-lined tray. If you don't have parchment, also not a big deal.
Broil for 5 minutes, take out of the oven, turn, broil another 5 minutes. If they aren't crispy/brown enough, broil longer! They taste best really crunchy and brown. Keep your eye super close on them or they will burn.
Dip into cultured cream with green onions while you're watching the sports or RuPaul's Drag Race. In the picture I globbered on some gravy, too.