As part of the Rennie Mystery Box Challenge I was set when attending the #RennieHappyEating event a few weeks back, I was given Jerusalem Artichoke to try and make a dish out of. When I opened my box, I thought they were Ginger!
I’ve never seen a Jerusalem Artichoke before, but have seen a normal artichoke. They look about as similar as a banana and a strawberry.
I researched as much as I could and all anyone can decide to with these guys is to skin, boil, mash and mix with cream to make soup or slice and create a gratin. This I thought was a bit boring and something I would never chose to make. The challenge I thought was more about what “I’ would do with the Mystery ingredient as opposed to what others have already done – so I decided to to turn them into vegetable crisps.
Vegetable crisps have made their way into normality these days. The strange realisation for me was that normal crisps were already vegetable crisps as potatoes are vegetables… go figure.
Nevertheless a cheeky bag of M&S vegetable crisps all of sudden felt much healthier than regular potato crisps. Here does however come an issue, mixed vegetable crisps in all their unfamiliar glory, taste too much like mixed vegetables – and that we can’t have.
So how do I make vegetable crisps acceptable? Just like with how we make everything else acceptable – infuse them with Bacon!
The flavour of Jerusalem Artichoke is subtle but very earthy. Not like any other vegetable but not unpleasant. I thought they would make a nice change in flavour to mix in with the normal vegetable crisps we have seen before. On top of this, Jerusalem Artichoke is considered very healthy and is used to help people with diabetes as it is a carbohydrate that can not be broken down into sugars.
What you need
(makes enough for 2 people)
5 Jerusalem Artichokes
4 Rashers of Smoked Bacon
1 Raw Beetroot
Kitchen Paper Towels
Pestle and Mortar
Peeler or Mandolin
What to do
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg/c.
- Skin and peel all the vegetables
- Use the peeler to slice thin wafers
- Place some kitchen roll on a plate and put the slices on top
- Use more paper to soak up as much moisture from the slices as possible
- Add some oil to a bowl or tray and toss the slices in it. Add sea salt and pepper.
- Arrange the slices on the tray
- Put in the oven
- Add some oil to a frying pan on the lowest heat
- Add 2 rashers of bacon and let it sweat
- Cut the fat off the other 2 rashers and cut the fat into smaller bits
- Put the cut up fat around the baking tray on top of the slices of vegetable
- When the bacon in the frying pan has sweat out enough oil, remove the baking tray from the oven and pour over the bacon oil.
- Place all 4 rashers of bacon over the slices in different places.
Check continuously. It can take between 15 – 25 mins to cook. Move the slices around periodically being careful not to damage the softening flesh. Try to avoid letting the slices catch but, if they do remove the affected slices and set aside until the others are done.
When cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool.
5. Add Bacon
Take the bacon (eat some!) and the bits of bacon fat and cut it up as small as possible. Then tip into a pestle and mortar and grind into flakes.
Put the crisps in a bowl and the bacon flakes on the side or sprinkled on top.
In the words of the lads – SORTED!