February 23, 2010

Paninis & White Truffle Potato Chips {Webisode #13}

What’s Going on Today: Returned from vacation- unpacking, laundry, errands… quick trip to grocery store for a few staples.
Naptime Goals: Baked White Truffle Potato Chips to serve with dinner tonight. Make grocery list for tomorrow’s shopping, finish laundry.
Tonight’s Meal: Paninis with Baked Potato Chips – that’s as fancy as I get the first day back from vacation!
Parenting Lesson of the Day: When flying with kids bring cash so you can buy drinks for the poor souls sitting in front of you.

We returned from Florida a couple of days ago with decent tans, happy memories and several loads of laundry. It was sad to leave our fun family vacation, but my daughter was really glad to be home. Upon return she spent hour after hour playing with her toys and getting reacquainted with her stuffed animals. I didn’t mind this in the least, it gave me some free time to unpack our bags, shake out the sand and put away our warm weather clothes for another few months.

As you’ll see in this webisode, when we got home we also returned to a big fat empty fridge. Of course I expected this since I so diligently cleaned it out before we left. (If you’ve ever returned home to rotten milk and spoiled cheese in your kitchen you’ll know exactly why it is important to clean out the soon-to-expire items before you depart.) In an attempt to control the catch-up chaos I opted to take the easy route and buy a few key food staples to get us through the first few days home, then do a big grocery shopping later. It was during this quick shopping trip that I picked up the makings for baked chips and paninis.

Making sandwiches and chips may seem like a pretty lame meal for our first night home, but I assure you it is not. To me a hot toasted sandwich served with crisp salty chips is comfort food in it’s finest form, and this meal fits the bill. Though it is a tad more laborious then buying chips at the store, making these baked chips is simple and the end result is far healthier and more flavorful then anything I’ve ever eaten out of a bag. In this case I used white truffle oil and a touch of sea salt as my flavor combination of choice, but you could also use pepper, herbs or other flavored oils. Almost anything goes. The flavors of the sandwich are also well-balanced with oozy mozzarella, juicy tomatoes and a good spread of my Perfect Pesto – thawed from the freezer – to give it an extra pop of flavor and moisture.

Rest assured, after shooting this I took quite a lengthy trip to the grocery store and had the makings of several more meals delivered straight to our apartment. We will be eating heartier, more involved meals in the weeks to come, but this was the perfect way to give ourselves a big welcome home.


Baked White Truffle Potato Chips

method adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten


Serves 2

3 large baking potatoes
4 T. olive oil
4 T. white truffle oil
3-4 Pinches Sea Salt

Panini with Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Tomato and Pesto
Serves 2

4 Slices good bread
2 T. heaping teaspoons perfect pesto
4-5 slices fresh mozzarella
4 slices fresh tomato
2 slices prosciutto


1. FOR THE CHIPS: Preheat oven to 325ºF. Pour 2 T. of olive oil on a 18×13 jelly roll pan and spread it all around so the pan is fully coated. Place coated pan in the oven and heat for 10 minutes.
2. Scrub potatoes and slice to 1/16″ thick on a mandoline. *If you don’t have a mandoline, slice the potato as thinly as possible with a sharp knife.*
3. Line up potato slices on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 T. white truffle oil. Then sprinkle with 1-2 pinches of Sea Salt. Place in the hot oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then, rotate the pan and bake for 5-6 more minutes. At that point, look at the chips, as they get darker flip them with a pair of tongs and bake for 1-2 minutes more. The chips will darken a bit as they bake, just don’t let them burn.
4. Remove pan from oven and transfer chips to a layer of paper towels. Allow them to cool and the oil to be absorbed by the towels. They will crisp up slightly as they cool.

1. FOR THE PANINI: Heat a skillet or panini press and coat lightly with butter or olive oil.
2. To make a sandwich: Swipe one side of bread with pesto, then layer with tomato, prosciutto and mozzarella. Close with second piece of bread. Toast and serve.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

The flavor possibilities for this meal are nearly endless. As long as you have some bread on hand you can make almost anything from your fridge into a great toasted sandwich. I’ve also flavored the chips before with different herbs including rosemary and thyme, as well as garlic oil and red pepper.

Naptime Stopwatch

Slice and baking the chips takes about 30 minutes, assembling and making the paninis takes about 10 minutes at the most.

Naptime Reviews

My husband and I are always game for a sandwich and chips for dinner now and then. For my daughter we omitted the prosciutto and gave her a pesto and mozzarella grilled cheese.