I originally made these as a Thanksgiving side dish (albeit on a larger scale) for my sweet-potato-hating extended family. I simply couldn’t fathom a Thanksgiving without sweet potatoes, and this turned out to be an excellent compromise. There wasn’t a crumb left in the basket, and no one believed me that I hadn’t added anything to them but salt. One of my brothers-in-law hates sweet potatoes so much he can’t even stand the notoriously irresistible sweet-potato fries at Burgerville, and he loved these. They’d also be good with a sandwich, as a party appetizer, or just an anytime snack.
Don’t be afraid if you’ve never fried anything before; the process is actually quite simple. All you need is a heavy pot, preferably enameled cast iron, and a candy thermometer.
• 1 1-lb. sweet potato, sliced VERY thinly either with a mandoline or in a food processor (peeling is optional): 69 cents
• 3 cups canola oil, or enough for the chips to be totally submerged while frying: $1.44
• Sea salt: 1 cent
TOTAL: $2.14/4 = 54 cents
Heat the oil to 350 degrees. This takes a while, but if you put the chips in at any lower a temperature, they won’t crisp up. You’ll have to fry the chips in batches; only put a single layer’s worth in at a time. Stir them frequently as they fry, making sure both sides get crisped. They should be done in about a minute and a half. Remove them from the oil with a skimmer and toss immediately with sea salt.