Maytag Blue Potato Chips

maytag blue potato chips

It’s been about a decade from my last visit, but I still fondly remember the Maytag Blue potato chips from J. Gilbert’s steakhouse in Glastonbury. The house-made potato chips topped with a blue cheese sauce are pure genius — reminiscent of orange nacho cheese-smothered tortilla chips, but more elegant, unexpected. They don’t appear on their gluten-free menu, which gave me a big clue that the base of the sauce is a flour-containing bechamel¹ since Maytag Blue cheese is gluten-free. No sweat. Make a gluten-free roux for the sauce using millet flour instead of all-purpose, then whisk in whole milk and melt in a nice wedge of cheese and you’re done. Well, almost.

I cheat when it comes to the potatoes. Instead of making chips from scratch, I rely on my favorite kettle-cooked variety — the olive oil potato chips from Trader Joe’s. They only contain three ingredients — potatoes, olive oil and salt — and hold up well to the sauce, maintaing a crisp texture longer than thinner-cut varieties. To give them a straight-from-the-fryer feel, I recommend warming them in the oven for a few minutes before drizzling with the hot cheese sauce. Stacked a couple layers high and finished with a sprinkle of chives this appetizer is a thing of beauty.

Maytag Blue Potato Chips

(inspired by J. Gilbert’s)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 8+ as an appetizer

Ingredients

Blue Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) millet flour
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 113 grams) cold whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces Maytag Blue cheese² or other gluten-free blue cheese

Chips and Garnish:

  • 14 ounces Trader Joe’s kettle cooked olive oil potato chips or other thickly cut chips, warm in oven on a couple rimmed baking sheets for several minutes just before plating
  • Chives, snipped into rings

Instructions

Make sauce:

In a small saucepan (2-quart), combine millet flour and butter (this is your roux); set over medium heat. Whisk mixture as the butter melts to break up lumps. Cook for about 30 seconds once mixture is smooth and reaches a simmer.

Slowly whisk cold milk into roux (now you’ve got a b├ęchamel sauce in the works); whisk constantly to prevent sticking and keep it smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer, and continue to cook until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon and when you run your finger through it a distinct track remains.

Reduce heat to low, crumble in blue cheese and add black pepper; whisk until mixture is smooth. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer, whisking often. Continue to simmer until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon and when you run your finger through it a distinct track remains.

Transfer mixture to a heatproof jar (1/2 pint) and set it aside to cool for a few minutes — it’ll develop a bit of a skin on top as it cools, so stir before using.

DO AHEAD: Blue cheese sauce may be made several days in advance; cover jar and store in the fridge fridge. Reheat gently over low heat in a small saucepan. To get more of a pourable consistency, whisk in a small amount of extra milk — add a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Plate:

You have a couple choices for plating: a large community platter or individual small plates. (I used a tea cup saucer in the photo above — and arranged the nicest looking chips around the outside and for the top layer.) Here’re the general guidelines:

Arrange warmed chips in a single layer (overlapping edges just a bit) on the platter/plate — for every 1 ounce of chips, drizzle 1 tablespoon of blue cheese sauce on top and sprinkle with chives. Add another layer of chips and cheese, using the same ratio above, and another sprinkle of chives. Serve immediately.

Notes

¹ And/or they don’t have dedicated potato chip fryers, so the oil gets contaminated with gluten from other fried items (ie onion rings, calamari). Cross-contact is the worst.

² Verified the gluten-free status over the phone; it’s not listed on their website (or if it is I couldn’t find it!). Contact info is available here.

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