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Yes, we all love to eat tortilla chips with guacamole at next Sunday’s party, but how about thinking outside the bag? I like to serve a variety of vehicles for eating party dips. Try some of these new crunchies at the next TV party:

Fried Chips (cooking in 350-degree vegetable oil and immediately sprinkled with salt):

  • flour or corn tortillas cut into wedges
  • poppadoms (Indian chick pea wafers)
  • waffle-cut potato chips (use a mandolin for best results)
  • waffle-cut sweet potato chips
  • wontons (wrappers cut in triangles)
  • onions (double-dipped in batter and flour)
  • polenta (cook polenta, chill, then cut into strips and deep-fry)
  • choux puffs (even better when mashed potatoes are added)

Baked Chips (cooked at 425 degrees until browned)

  • root vegetables (peeled and cut into sticks or wedges, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper)
  • focaccia or pizza (flat dough sprinkled with olive oil and salt and baked until crispy)
  • choux puffs (crisp, airy, eggy puffs that can be flavored with cheese or filled with salad)
  • puff pastry (cut into strips or triangles)
  • bacon (sprinkled with sugar and baked until crisp)

Toasted Chips (bread browned in a 350-degree oven):

  • pita bread, split in half and rubbed with oil and sprinkled with seasoning
  • crostini (sliced baguette rubbed with oil and garlic)

Griddled Chips (pancakes cooked on an oiled griddle, eaten with a fork)

  • potato rosti (shredded raw potato cooked in butter)
  • blinis (buckwheat pancakes)
  • corn or vegetable cakes (batter of flour, leavening, eggs, and seasonings)
  • ricotta or yogurt pancakes (light and airy cakes)
  • crepes (thin batter that can be wrapped around food)
  • Vietnamese crepes (made with rice flour)

Grilled Chips

  • vegetables brushed with olive oil and salt and grilled on both sides until browned (asparagus, potato wedges)
  • bread brushed with olive oil and salt and grilled on both sides until browned

Raw Chips

  • decoratively-cut vegetables (carrot, broccoli, snap peas, radish)
  • decoratively-cut fruit (especially apples)

Pickled Chips

  • vegetables tossed with salt, then mixed with a hot mixture of 3 parts sugar and 2 parts rice-wine vinegar, and chilled (cucumber, radishes)

Chips Without Dip

To make a delicious dip, use a creamy substance (cream cheese or other soft cheese, mayonnaise, avocado, squash, pureed cooked beans or vegetables or fruit) and season very well (salt, pepper, aromatics, chile peppers, citrus, or seafood — especially smoked seafood).