A Lot to Taro About-Baked Taro Chips

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Several months ago I ran across some really savory and very unique root vegetable chips at our local Fresh and Easy market. And almost as soon as I’d become addicted, they pulled them from their shelves. I never did find them again.
Just yesterday I went to the 99 Ranch Market, our nearby Asian foods store, to order a birthday cake for my dad. The store carries a lot of unique produce, such as yellow plums (I immediately stocked up on those childhood favorite gems), jack fruit, a variety of mushrooms and every sweet potato under the sun. And then some taro root caught my eye. They were already peeled and nicely sealed in a vacuum packed plastic wrap. And then I remembered the veggie chips from Fresh and Easy and how much the taro root chips were my favorite from the bunch. I grabbed a package and told myself I’d make my own taro root chips.
I love the bright purple fibrous flecks in these unique vegetables. The taro root has a nutty and very mild potato taste with a smooth texture inside and furry coconut-like casing outside. They make for a very crisp and hearty chip. Taro is also a low GI food, which means it will not spike blood sugar levels. And it is packed with fiber, potassium, vitamin E and C.
Baked Taro Chips
10 oz taro root, peeled
olive oil for brushing, about 4 Tb
salt for sprinkling
cracked black pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Lightly grease two 13×9 baking pans with olive oil using a basting brush.
Using a mandolin (I love my affordable one), slice the peeled taro root into 1/16″ slices (watch your fingers!)
Lay the taro root slices flat onto the greased pans, touching but not overlapping. Brush tops with olive oil. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes.
Rotate pans on oven racks and bake for an additional 4 minutes, until edges have curled, but have not overly browned. Remove from oven, sprinkle with salt and/or cracked black pepper as desired. Carefully place onto brown paper bag to cool.
Serves 6. Prep 5 min. Bake 12 min.
Serve with your favorite sandwich or burger. I served mine with shrimp and crab burgers-pictured above-(follow for recipe). Perfecto! And the kids, er finicky sharks, LOVED them!

Dutch Baby Pancakes to Swoon Over

This past Saturday morning I was sitting on the couch drinking my soy coconut latte and pondering what delectable concoction I could come up with for breakfast. I had my nephew over and he raved about my crepes from the last time he spent the night. I had just made my family crepes and like to change the weekend breakfast occasionally. Then I remembered that my family really liked the dutch apple pannekoeken from Bisquick I’ve made in the past. My husband always ate the center and never really cared for the outside edges. He’s not a huge fan of crusts. The center almost resembles a crepe, or maybe even a thin bread pudding, soft and buttery with the custard flavor of egg and vanilla.

But I really wanted to change it up a notch. And I didn’t want to use a box of Bisquick this time. Well I’m sure you didn’t miss the header at the top of this post right? Do you see where I’m going here? I recently enjoyed some delicious salted caramel cupcakes at a family BBQ (thanks Amy) and I have had that taste in my mind ever since. And that got me thinking, I love caramel, and seriously, who thought to add salt to that? It’s so delicious! Mind drifts to the smooth and creamy Ghirardelli chocolate, almond and salted caramels I got from my husband recently that are hidden in my dresser bureau (no Saundra, it’s too late for sweets right now and you’ll kill this morning’s workout!) Okay, what was I saying? Oh yea, the above picture. So, salted caramels meet apple pannekoeken. I had a winner! Now to get rid of that dry crust. I busted out my gorgeous little ramekins.

Individual Salted Caramel Apple Dutch Baby Pancakes *
3 Tb butter
3 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup milk, heated in microwave 45 seconds
1 Tb sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
1 apple, peeled, quartered and sliced thinly
Powdered sugar for dusting
Caramel sauce
Cool Whip
Course Sea Salt
Preheat oven to 400F. Place four – 1 cup ramekins on cookie sheet and divide the 3 Tb butter among each one. Place in oven.
Meanwhile in blender, food processor, or vigorously with wire whisk, blend eggs, milk, sugar and vanilla. Add flour and salt and blend well. Remove ramekins from oven and carefully using pot holders, swirl butter to coat each dish well, then pour remaining butter into blender. Blend once more. Pour batter evenly into each ramekin and top each with 1/4 of the apple slices. Sprinkle each one with 1/4 Tb sugar and return to oven.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pancakes are fluffy but not overly browned. Remove from oven.
Again, handling with potholders, run knife around inside edges of each dish to loosen pancake from dish. Carefully invert onto a cooling rack and allow to fall from bottom of dish. Gently flip each pancake over upright and cool slightly.

Place pancakes on each of four plates. Dust with powdered sugar. Drizzle or drench with caramel sauce. Add a dollop of cool whip and a light sprinkle of sea salt.

Serves 4. Prep 5 min. Bake 25 min.

Now grab a fork and a steaming cup of coffee and dig into your breakfast, um dessert, er breakfast. This dutch baby pancake has all the soft and buttery goodness of a crepe with a rich custard appeal of a bread pudding, all topped with a most sweet and salty caramel apple. And no dry crust.
You may actually get 8 servings out of this. The kids were only able to eat half, as it was pretty rich. As for my husband and myself, there were no leftovers. I am dying to make this again this weekend! And with only 5 minutes prep time, I may just make it for a weekday breakfast. And I definitely love this technique and can already see these with infinite toppings. And may I add, there was no finicky shark with this dutch baby.
See the bread pudding like consistency?

*Recipe derived from Melissa d’Arabian
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