By Rob Peterson
For the Scoffin family, streaming videos all day while in quarantine is not an option.
“We live in the country, and the only internet option we have is through satellite dish,” informs Brad Scoffin, who has two teenage daughters, both in Vicksburg schools. “Once we get through our data cap, they throttle our internet back to dial-up speeds.”
That data cap is hitting them faster than ever; they typically make it through most of the month, but their internet speed slowed down after the first week of April.
To fill the time, they have doubled down on some of their favorite family activities, which include game nights, outdoor activities and cooking. “The girls typically make one meal a week,” says Scoffin, “but they’re doing much more complex recipes now that we have the extra time.”
For his daughter’s 16th birthday, for example, they found a recipe for one of their favorite snacks: sour cream and onion chips. “We sliced the potatoes on the mandolin and ground the spices with a mortar and pestle. They were delicious!”
It is a multi-step process that includes chilling the sliced potatoes to remove excess starch; Scoffin learned that is the way to get a crispy chip. You can bake them, but they decided to fry the potatoes for full flavor. “We eat pretty healthy most of the time.”
Not all of their cooking is quite so involved, however. “My younger daughter asked me how to make eggs,” he said. “How have I not taught her how to make eggs yet?”
HOMEMADE SOUR CREAM AND ONION POTATO CHIPS
2-3 lbs russet potatoes
1 tbs dried chives
4 tsp dried buttermilk powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp coarse salt or sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp granulated sugar
Vegetable, canola or peanut oil for frying
Make the seasoning: Use a mortar and pestle to grind the dry ingredients into a fine powder. Store any extra in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Make the chips: Fill large bowl with ice water. Slice potatoes 1/16 inch with a mandolin and put into ice water as you work. Let soak for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Drain the potatoes and place back in the bowl. Refill the bowl with cold water and stir the potatoes to remove more starch.
Drain again and place potatoes on paper towel. Blot the potatoes to remove as much moisture as possible.
Heat 2 ½ inches of oil in pot to around 360 degrees. Fry potatoes in batches until light golden brown, about 1 ½ – 2 minutes. Remove with skimmer and place in large bowl.
Toss with seasoning and cool on a cooking sheet.