When I was downloading pictures from my camera today, I found this one. Somehow, I had completely forgotten that I made radish chips about a week ago.
What is it with me and JM and all these oven-baked chips? What are we trying to prove? I have a few theories. First, I think we really want my mandoline to be a normal kitchen tool instead of a prop from a torture porn movie, so we keep going back and giving it a few honest swipes before we turn pale green with terror and fling it back into the cabinet, shouting “F#@$ that thing!!!” Actually, wait, oh my god, wouldn’t that be an amazing idea for either a Saw-like movie or one of those fake trailers for a Saw-like movie? Where it’s all based in the kitchen, and instead of people having to give themselves brain surgery to escape an iron maiden they have to cook gourmet meals with incredibly dangerous kitchen equipment, and if they survive they proceed to something even more dangerous? I’m picturing a series of challenges in which people use an industrial fire extinguisher-sized culinary torch to make a kiddie pool of crème brulée, or use a chainsaw to butcher a quail — or employ, say, a blood-stained mandoline to make paper-thin root vegetable slices. I am totally pitching this to Eli Roth.
Anyway, I wouldn’t suggest using my mandoline to make chips, but maybe yours is better, or maybe you know how to properly defend your fingers against the onslaught of an angled blade. Otherwise, just use a good knife and do your best. According to the issue of Cook’s Illustrated that my parents keep in the downstairs bathroom, the best way to slice things like this properly is to create a flat edge to prevent slipping — so, in the case of a black radish, you’d put the thing stem-side down (where the stem’s been cut off, I mean), lop off an edge, and then place it on that edge to chop your rounds. Peel the radishes first, though, because the skin really isn’t very tasty.
These things bake pretty quickly: about 25 minutes at 425°F. Make sure to coat them in olive oil, salt, and pepper, and flip them once through the cooking process. They end up tasting a bit like turnips, but turnips in a good way. Oh, and p.s. — serve them with lebni, or any high-fat strained yogurt. That makes them killer. Killer in a Saw-like way.