The earliest known recipe for something similar to today’s potato chips is in William Kitchiner‘s cookbook The Cook’s Oracle, published in 1817 in England. The 1822 edition offered a recipe called “Potatoes fried in Slices or Shavings” and reads “peel large potatoes, slice them about a quarter of an inch thick, or cut them in shavings round and round, as you would peel a lemon; dry them well in a clean cloth, and fry them in lard or dripping”. Early recipes for potato chips in the United States cite Kitchiner.
By the late nineteenth century, a popular version of the potato chip story is attributed to George Crum, an American cook of African American and Native American heritage at Moon’s Lake House in New York. He was trying to appease an unhappy customer August 1853. The customer kept sending his French-fried potatoes back, complaining that they were too thick, too “soggy,” and/or not salted well enough. Frustrated, Crum personally sliced several potatoes extremely thin, fried the potato slices to a crisp, and seasoned them with extra salt. To Crum’s surprise, the customer loved them. They soon came to be called “Saratoga Chips,” a name that persisted into at least the mid-twentieth century. A version of this story popularized in a 1973 national advertising campaign by St. Regis Paper Company that manufactured packaging for chips, said that Crum’s customer was Cornelius Vanderbilt. Crum was already renowned as a chef at the time, and by 1860, he owned his own lakeside restaurant, which he called Crum’s House.
6-8 crappie fillets
1/2 cup Ranch Dressing or enough to coat the fillets
2 tablespoons garlic salt
Salt & Vinegar potato chips*
Shredded cheddar cheese to cover chips (sprinkle lightly of heavily to sit your taste)
Spray 9×12 baking dish with oil or coat with butter. Layer fillets in baking dish. Coat each fillet with the Ranch Dressing. Sprinkle the garlic salt over the fillets. Crush as many of the potato chips as needed to completely but lightly cover the fillets. Top with shredded cheddar cheese. To keep the cheese from getting overly cooked, bake the fish first then add cheese about 2-3 minutes before the end of baking time. Bake at 325 for approximately 15 min or until fish is tender.
* Choose the potato chip flavor that will tickle your taste buds: Jalapeño, Sour Cream, Lime & Cracked Pepper, BBQ, Original, etc.
Beer & Orange Juice Battered Fried Crappie
1 pound crappie fillets
1 cup beer
3 cups flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1-1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoons basil
1-1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Place the above ingredients in a bowl and mix. Whisk in enough orange juice or soda to make a batter. In a large heavy skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat 2-3 inches of canola oil to 375 degrees. Dip fillets in beer and completely coat with the batter. Fry until golden brown and place on paper towels to drain.
4 6-ounce fillets with skin
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
4 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
Ground red pepper, to taste
2 cups burgundy wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Place onions and parsley in oil or butter and sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, salt, wine and soy sauce. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Lightly season fillets with salt and pepper and place on medium-hot grill, skin side up for 3 minutes. Turn and cook 2 minutes more. Place in aluminum foil and place in a grill-safe pan on the grill grate and top with sauce. Close top on grill and cook 10 minutes.