It's not too often we think about chips beyond snacking out of the bag, but Chicago-based chef Stephanie Izard along with Lay's Wavy are expanding America's idea of what chips can do. Be on the lookout June 8 for a Pinterest cookbook featuring chip-centric recipes. To tide you over until then, Stephanie shares her absolutely favorite ways — both high- and low-brow, savory and sweet — to incorporate chips into dishes.
Why add chips to dishes: "I'm always talking to my staff about how important it is to add crunch to things. You know, to balance all the different flavor points, but some people forget about the crunchy. It makes a total difference. We add chips and other crunch things to just about everything at the restaurant."
Upscale way to use chips: "Take seared scallops, and put them with a little creamy potato underneath . . . we like to put chips in the garnish, so like you always have [potatoes] in there twice. That nice little bit of crunch makes your mouth so happy when you're eating it."
Another potato-on-potato idea: "Take something simple like a baked potato and use the cheddar chips on top as a garnish. You could put all of the other toppings that you like — cheddar cheese, bacon, or a little sour cream or what not — and then crumble the cheddar chips."
Best dip for potato chips: "I'm a ranch or french onion dip person, but I also love doing a layer dip. Take pimento cheese, hummus, tzatziki. You can take all these different dips (they can be store-bought) and create a classic layer dip from like the '70s."
A sweet chippy idea: "When I was growing up, we used to make nonfried fried ice cream, and we would roll it in a cereal crust. I thought, 'Oh, I bet chips would work great.' It's awesome; crush up classic [chips] and roll scoops of vanilla ice cream in it. Make a simple caramel sauce, and so you get that crunch on the outside and that saltiness too."
Chips on sushi: "My favorite rolls are the inside-out rolls that have the crunchy [tempura] on the outside. I use crushed-up potato chips. I love putting cream cheese in my sushi too, so there's a cream cheese schmear, a little bit of tuna, avocado, cucumber, and then it's inside out rolled in the chips."
The simplest way to add chips to something: "Just putting the chips in any sandwich is the simplest and easiest. I mean I used to do that as a kid with my salami sandwiches that my mom would send me to school with — with chips inside. Now it's like, cool."