Sunday, September 30, 2012

Welcome Paige Shelton and Loaded Potato Chips

The Kitchen is delighted to welcome foodie mystery writer Paige Shelton to the blog today.  Paige is the author of the hugely popular Farmers' Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries.  

Thanks to everyone--the authors and the readers--at Mystery Lover’s Kitchen for letting me stop by today!

This recipe started out as a simple experiment: I wanted to figure out how to make baked potato chips. I love potato chips. Being more a “salt” person than a “sugar” person, I wondered if I could possibly create a “healthy” version of one of my favorite snacks – well, I should probably say a “less unhealthy” version, but I bet you get what I mean.

The experiments weren’t successful. I either burnt the “chips” or didn’t cook them thoroughly enough.
  I poured on too much salt or not enough. And, nothing I created really tasted all that good.  It was a bust. I still had a couple potatoes left over, though, so before I gave up completely, I opened the fridge and realized it was time to ditch the “less unhealthy” idea and just shoot for something that simply tasted good. It turned out to be a much better plan, and, basically, another take on the loaded baked or wedged potato.

This is a very flexible recipe, so following are guidelines more than specifics.

What you’ll need:
Baking sheet(s)
Potatoes, scrubbed clean
Vegetable Spray (I use Pam)
Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
Shredded cheddar cheese
Bacon bits – I use Hormel Real Crumbled Bacon
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place foil on your baking sheet and spray with a liberal coat of vegetable spray.

Slice potatoes – it’s important to keep your slices all about the same diameter and thickness so they cook evenly. Don’t make the slices any thicker than about 1/8 inch, but you can also make them very thin if that’s your preference. My taste testers (husband and son) liked them best on the thicker side.

Place potato slices on the prepared foil and then spray with another coat of vegetable spray. 

Season with the Lawry’s – a little goes a long way. Even if you like salt, you might want to keep this pretty light.

Bake – to your desired consistency. Thin chips will get brown around the edges in about 7 – 10 minutes. Thicker ones will need around 20 minutes to get a little brown. I’ve never left them in a full 30 minutes. I thought crispy would be better, but my taste testers liked them best baked through but not crispy.

When they’re almost done (well, done enough to eat as is), take them out of the oven. Sprinkle a little cheese and a couple pieces of bacon bits on each potato. Place back in the oven for about 30 to 60 seconds until the cheese melts.

Serve immediately, with sour cream if desired. They go quickly. After I pulled the first successful batch out of the oven and left the kitchen for a second, the sheet was cleared by the time I returned.  Forks are needed. They seem like they should be finger food, but they really aren’t.

Of course, all potato toppings, other spices, other salts, will probably work as well, but we’re enjoying this combination so much that we haven’t tried others yet.


Thanks, again, for letting me stop by. Wishing you all happy reading and yummy eating.


* * *

Paige's second Country Cooking School Mystery, "If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance," will be released on October 2.  You can find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indie Bound

Her next Farmers' Market Mystery, "A Killer Maize," will be out in December and is available for preorder now!



  1. Thanks for joining us today, Paige! I had to laugh about the disappearing potatoes. That's always the sign of great food!

    ~ Krista

  2. This looks like a winning, light snack to me, Paige, thank you! And I feel your "kitchen-fail" pain because I've had *many* cooking disasters, but they often lead to even better ideas like the one you're sharing. Congrats on your new releases and thanks for joining us in the Kitchen today! ~ Cleo

  3. Sounds great! My mom makes wonderful homemade potato chips in a wok!

  4. Welcome Paige, and looking forward to the new book! I hope you had a chance to TASTE the potatoes! I would have been mad if every slice was gone....

  5. Paige, we know all about experimenting at this site. These potatoes look yummy! And so does your second book in the series. Love your new series. Love it! Ghosts and intrigue and more.

    ~Avery aka Daryl

  6. Thanks so much, everyone! I did get a couple, and I bet I make more today. It's feeling like a football/snacking sort of day.

    Potato chips in the wok? That sounds both intriguing and delicious. I'll definitely have to give that a try.

    Thanks again -

  7. Paige, thank you so much for stopping by the kitchen today! I tried your potatoes late last week, and they were DELICIOUS. I didn't have sour cream, so I opted for a little ranch dressing. Very yummy.

  8. Ooh, ranch would be great. Gotta love the versatility of potatoes; they go well with so many things.

    Thanks again, everyone, for letting me stop by today.

    Have a great week -