Friday, January 25, 2013

pepperoni chips

Pepperoni is a complete invention of Americans. In Italian, pepperoni means "large pepper", like a bell pepper, but there is no dried cured sausage like this fine grind, spicy meat in Italy. Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in the United States, and it's not even a close race. And while I'd like to eat pizza every time I have a craving for it, I'd probably wouldn't get much done. And none of my pants would fit anymore. Ed and I are always questing for new, yummy snacks and pepperoni chips are a double whammy of craving quenching and low carb deliciousness. 
This recipe is beyond simple. Which is a good thing, because they disappeared fast. The cast of players is simple as well- pepperoni. That's it! I chose to use turkey pepperoni for this batch. Most grocery stores carry turkey alternatives these days- these were hung up right next to the other pepperoni.
Now when I say this recipe is simple, it's no more difficult than turning the oven on, putting the pepperoni on a cooking tray and popping them in the oven.
Preheat your oven to 350º. Line up your pepperoni on the cooking tray in a single layer and pop into the oven. If you use regular pepperoni, be sure to use a cooking tray with edges so that any grease lost doesn't run into your oven. These cook really quickly- only about 8-10 minutes. Again, I use the smell method. As soon as I can smell the pepperoni, I do my first check. When they are visibly darker, smaller and crispy, you know they're done. If you want them a little crispier, leave them in for a minute longer, but remember- these will burn in a flash. 
As you can see, these little puppies LOOK crispy, and that's how I knew to remove them from the oven. There's only one step more, and it's fairly important. Using a paper towel, blot off the excess grease that's cooked out of the pepperoni. If you don't do this, the oil will reabsorb and make them a little chewier and not as crispy. They're good hot (I know, because I ate a lot of them) and they're also good at room temperature. 
WARNING: You might as well buy 2 packages of pepperoni to start with, or you'll be making a trip back to the grocery store quicker than you expected. THESE ARE ADDICTIVE.

Pepperoni Chips
1 package turkey pepperoni

Preheat oven to 350º. Line pepperoni up in a single layer on a cooking tray with edges. Cook in oven for 8-10 minutes. Make sure to be vigilant against burning. Remove from oven when pepperoni looks visibly smaller, richer in color and crispy. Blot with paper towel. Store in ziplock bag to retain crunch.