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A&E >  Food

These paprika potato chips with ranch dip are better (and better for you) than store-bought

These baked chips are served with a yogurt-based ranch dip for a healthy snack.  (Tom McCorkle/For the Washington Post)
These baked chips are served with a yogurt-based ranch dip for a healthy snack. (Tom McCorkle/For the Washington Post)
By Ellie Krieger Special to the Washington Post

Eating well is more than about what you eat, it’s also about how you eat. These crispy potato chips, made aromatic with smoked paprika and served with a creamy ranch dip, make both the what and the how of chips and dip more healthful.

Instead of being deep-fried, these chips are baked with a light coating of olive oil and sprinkle of salt, which gives them a nutritional profile similar to roasted potatoes. They get their shattering crunch from a combination of ultra-thin slicing (technically achievable by hand, but I highly recommended a mandoline for the job) and a rinse in cold water before cooking to eliminate some of the potatoes’ browning-inhibiting starches.

The dip, which packs a startling punch of flavor for so few ingredients, is better for you, too, with most of its creamy luxury coming from Greek yogurt mixed with a little bit of mayo for richness.

Besides the way they’re made, how you eat these chips is a 180 from tearing open a bag to plow through on the sofa. Made in a relatively small-batch and requiring more effort than just buying chips at the store, these are something of an event in and of themselves, a handcrafted treat warranting attention and savoring.

And they happen to be so good, you probably can’t eat just one, although you’re also less likely to eat too many.

Together, they are a chips-and-dip experience meant to be shared, and since they can be prepared ahead, it makes them a sure win for gatherings.

Smoked Paprika Potato Chips With Yogurt Ranch Dip

A mandoline is highly recommended for preparing this recipe. The number of chips, baking sheets and baking time will vary depending on how you slice the potatoes.

With a mandoline, you should get chips to 1/32 of an inch for about 90 chips. If your slices are thicker, you might need to bake them longer. If they’re thinner, you might need to cook them in batches two sheet pans at a time.

For the dip

½ cup plain Greek yogurt (about 5 ounces, low-fat or whole)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon granulated garlic

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the chips

2 large russet potatoes (about 1 pound total), scrubbed and left unpeeled

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the pan

2 teaspoons sweet or smoked paprika

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Make the dip: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, chives, vinegar, onion powder, granulated garlic, salt and pepper until well combined.

Make the chips: Position racks in the upper third and middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Brush 2 large, rimmed baking sheets lightly with oil. (If you must use a third baking sheet, then bake the chips in batches.)

Using a mandoline, very thinly slice the potatoes into rounds. Rinse the potato slices well under cold running water, then spread them onto clean kitchen towels or paper towels, and using more towels, pat the potatoes as dry as possible.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, paprika and salt. Add the potatoes and toss with your hands to coat the potatoes evenly.

Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheets and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and browned and release easily from the baking sheets when using a metal spatula.

Check the trays after 18 minutes and every 2 to 3 minutes thereafter to remove any thinner chips that are done, then return the rest to the oven as necessary.

Place the finished chips on a plate or cutting board in a single layer to cool. The chips will crisp further as they cool. Serve in a bowl with the yogurt ranch dip on the side.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Storage Notes: The chips are best eaten right away but will keep in a paper bag at room temperature for one day. To re-crisp, place the chips in a single layer on baking sheets and warm for 2 to 3 minutes in a 375-degree oven. The dip can be refrigerated in an airtight container for as long as three days.

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