Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Avocado Dip and #TheRealKettleChips

Let me admit this right upfront. I used to be a potato chip purist.

Yup, I was never fond of flavored chips. Oh, I'd nosh on the occasional flavored chip if someone else was serving. But I pretty much only bought plain chip. Boring, right?

But recently, I've become acquainted with flavored chips that I like, so when I got the opportunity to sample Kettle Chips and write about them, I got my dip ready (recipe below) and eagerly awaited the testing.

Kettle Chips aren't exactly new - they've been made in Oregon for over 30 years. That's a lot of spuds. Many, many, many spuds.

Here's what they said about themselves, "Thirty years ago, we pioneered the kettle cooking style that’s become the gold standard for all-natural hand-cooked potato chips. We cook real, unpeeled potatoes in small batches for a superior taste and a signature crunch. And we continue to pioneer bold, unique flavors that people really seem to love. Did we mention we got our start selling our chips out of a van? It doesn't get much realer than that."

So no wonder I didn't know about them years ago. That potato-chip-selling van probably never cruised my neighborhood.

It must be a popular product, because apparently there are a lot of copycats on the market, playing off the "Kettle" concept. But the folks at #TheRealKettleChips say, "We’ve been making great-tasting, all-natural chips since 1982. When you open a bag of Kettle Brand Potato Chips, you know you’re getting real chips made with real ingredients by real people."

@KettleChips is encouraging everyone to answer the question, "Why is real food important to you?" over here. Everyone who answered will be entered to win $250 on that site.

And if you're concerned about such things, they had the first potato chip verified by the non-GMO project and will have 16 of them verified soon. They're working on having all of their products verified as soon as possible.

Also, there are no trans-fats, no preservative, no MSG, and no artificial flavors or colors. You can also find lower-fat and baked chips, as well as organic chips and even an unsalted chip. Something for everyone.

But what about the flavor? I didn't try every flavor they make - there are 24 different flavors - but I did some serious sampling with help from my chip-munching husband, and so far we've liked the flavors we tried. It's not just the flavor, though. I like the texture. Solid enough to hold some serious dip, but not tooth-breakingly hard. Just enough crunch.

And a nice amount of flavor without making you feel like you're dipping straight into a spice jar with a spoon. I mean, yeah, I want a lot of flavor, but I also want to know I'm eating a potato chip.

Want to know what the 24 flavors are?
The regular chips are:
  • Sea Salt & Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Jalapeño
  • Backyard Barbeque
  • Spicy Thai
  • New York Cheddar
  • Honey Dijon
  • Sour Cream and Onion
  • Sweet Onion
  • Fully Loaded Baked Potato
  • Unsalted
  • Cheddar Beer
  • Jalapeño Jack
  • Red Chili Salsa with Mesquite
Krinkle Cut chips are:
  • Zesty Ranch
  • Buffalo Bleu
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Cheddar & Sour Cream
  • Classic Barbeque
  • Sea Salt
Reduced Fat chips are:
  • Reduced Fat Sea Salt
  • Reduced Fat Krinkle Cut Sea Salt & Vinegar
  • Reduced Fat Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
Baked chips are:
  • Bakes Sea Salt & Vinegar
  • Bakes Honey Hickory Barbeque
  • Bakes Sea Salt
  • Bakes Cheddar & Roasted Tomato
  • Bakes Sour Cream & Onion
Organic chips are:
  • Organic Country Style Barbeque
  • Organic Sea Salt
  • Organic Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
  • Organic Sweet Chili Garlic
My favorite (so far) is the Buffalo Bleu, but I certainly haven't tried them all. If you're looking for a different sort of dip, this avocado dip is pretty danged good, and it was perfect with those Buffalo Bleu chips. Unlike guacamole, this dip doesn't go brown quickly, so you can make a larger batch and keep it refrigerated for use over several days.

Avocado Dip

1/2 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/2 avocado
1 teaspoon dry chopped chives or 1 tablespoon fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lime juice

Combine all of the ingredients and blend well, mashing the avocado until the mixture is smooth. It's fine if you have a few "bumps" of avocado, but this isn't meant to be chunky.

Serve cold or at room temperature and keep unused portions refrigerated.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kettle Brand. The opinions and text are all mine.