Deep-Fried Spinach "Chips" (LC)

Recipe: Deep-Fried Spinach "Chips" (LC)

Remarks: Use one bag of baby spinach (if you can find it), or buy regular spinach and tear it up into smaller pieces. Remove stems. Buy the already cleaned spinach for this recipe if you can. You don't want wet spinach when you make the chips.

(LC) = Lo-Carb

Servings: I do one handful per person.

One bag of baby spinach

Sea salt or regular salt

Peanut oil for frying

Instructions: So here goes. This is so EASY but you have to be careful not to burn yourself. The secret is DRY spinach. Hot oil and water DO NOT MIX. (Remember high school chemistry?) If the spinach is wet (even a little), it will splatter like CRAZY and you'll have to run for cover.

Get everything ready. This is a last-minute job. These taste best right out of the oil, so you might even want to serve "sneak peeks" in the kitchen and the rest in the dining room.

You'll need:

A deep pan for frying the chips

Paper towels to drain the chips and a basket to put them in

A scooper. Either a slotted spoon or, if you cook Chinese, one of those basket spoons works great.

Pour about 2 inches of peanut oil in your pan (depth). Heat on high. Keep an eye on it, but when it gets that "greasy, glossy" look it's probably getting close. You can test when it's ready by putting in one piece of spinach. If it starts to fry quickly and curl up, you're ready to go. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to heat the oil, depending on your stove capacity.

Take the spinach a handful at a time and drop it into the oil. If it's not wet, you're fine. Stand back. If it's wet, stand back a lot! Flip the spinach over with your spoon so it gets fried on both sides and doesn't stick in a wad. The spinach will curl and start to look like "old person skin." This will take 30 seconds max.

Scoop it out of the oil and onto the towels to drain. Immediately sprinkle with sea salt. Let it sit about 30 seconds and taste. It's amazing. It will melt on your tongue and you might even feel it sizzle or sing. If it's just limp and greasy, you didn't cook it quite long enough. The trick is it doesn't take too long before the edges burn and it's overdone. Cook a second batch. This is when you are proud of yourself and you call everyone over to take a taste. You can even set up an assembly line. One person fries. Another does the sea salt.

Don't mash the chips down with the paper towels. They'll disintegrate. Just place a new layer of paper towels for each batch. (The paper industry will love you for this.) Keep frying 'til you have as much as you want.

Serving Suggestions: You can serve by passing in a basket or putting on their plates, but keep in mind they are less tasty as they cool (still darn good, but not as good as hot from the oil). Keeping the chips crowded together seems to keep them warmer. Also, this is not a time to go easy on the salt. These should be just like potato chips.