As it is National Potato Chip Day, let us celebrate one of the most popular snacks -- and greatest threats to childhood nutrition -- in the Western world.
Simple at heart -- thinly sliced potatoes fried in oil and salted -- potato chips have blossomed into a thousand-flavored joy around the world. Kebab-flavored chips keep Egyptians happy, while you can find masala chips in India and wasabi chips in Japan.
Americans have been known to consume 1.2 billion pounds of them a year.
Cooks use them, too -- crumbled atop casseroles, used instead of crumbs to coat chicken breasts and pork chops, and even dipped in chocolate for dessert.
Empire State pride: Though thinly sliced fried potatoes could be found in period cookbooks, most accounts credit a Saratoga Springs restaurant cook named George Crum with inventing the potato chip in 1853.
Here, standard potato chips are used as the potato in a Spanish potato omelet, or torta. Suggested by world-renowned chef Ferran Adria in his highly accessible cookbook "Family Meal," using potato chips makes a torta much simpler. Regular torta recipes require frying sliced potatoes in copious oil before draining the slices and proceeding with the dish.
> Ferran Adria's Potato Chip Torta
1 tablespoon sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
2 cups potato chips
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon butter
Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)
Beat eggs and scallions in a large bowl. Gently fold potato chips into eggs, breaking as few as possible. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Heat pan over medium high heat and add butter; when foam subsides, add egg/chip mixture and turn heat to medium low. Using a rubber spatula, gently pull eggs away from sides of pan while the eggs set.
When eggs have begun to set, use an oven mitt and a plate to flip over torta. Place plate over pan, and securing the pan to the plate with an oven mitt, flip pan over so torta lands on the plate, then gently slip torta back into pan to finish cooking.
Slice into wedges and serve with more sliced scallions, cracked black pepper and Greek yogurt.