Many years ago, I found myself at a stock car race in Illinois — a first for me, along with my first helicopter ride and my very first Frito pie, that hand-held delicacy found at fairs and events, which includes chili and cheese piled directly into an open bag of salty corn chips. It wasn’t my favorite, but during a meal last year at Canard in Portland with a group of enthusiastic eaters, we devoured, along with almost everything else on the menu, caviar “pie.” The pie, an individual bag of Tim’s potato chips topped with caviar and crème fraiche, was perfection.
It got my wheels spinning, and now that we are in salmon and outdoor living season, here’s a version using Alaska Chip Co. potato chips. The award-winning local chips have just the right amount of thickness and crunch to hold up to smoked salmon and golden orbs of roe, some chives and black pepper. Or dollop a portion of chips with your favorite smoked salmon dip and everything spice. For chicken “pie,” try roasted chicken and green onion. Or pulled pork and barbecue sauce over the Grizzly BBQ chips, maybe some leftover veg curry and chopped cilantro over jalapeño-flavored chips? Fried kimchi and grated cheddar? And if you want to get a little sugar crazy, how about a drizzle of warm, dark chocolate sauce over salty chips? The idea is this hand-held, portable snack can be topped with a variety of offerings, especially leftover bits of this and that, to feed hungry hikers, campers, climbers, or stay-at-homers in need of a snack.
Note: for a quick chocolate sauce, combine in a heatproof/microwavable bowl or glass measuring cup, ½ cup cream, 1 cup chocolate chips, an optional pinch of salt and 1 teaspoon corn syrup; heat on high 30 seconds; stir; heat again until cream starts to get warm; stir thoroughly until thick and glossy and well-combined.
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