Cast Iron Pans Cast iron pan owners swear by them for their even dispersal of heat and non stick nature. However, iron is not as happy go lucky as other metals. Initially, the pan must be seasoned with vegetable oil in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least an hour. Each time you heat the pan with oil, it will season till it obtains a beautiful dark color. Don't wash off the black patina thinking it is dirty. In fact, never use soap or scour the pan or you will remove the essence of the pan. Dry your iron pan on the stove with medium heat but watch it so it doesn't burn.
My wife asked me to make these and after a little grumbling, I set out to do the best job I could. I mean what could be so great about dehydrated zucchinni chips, right? But that's what she wanted so I started thinking how to best make them. I experimented with lots of toppings but finally settled on simple. The sweetness of zucchini is concentrated when it is dehydrated. With a little salt and pepper, you have a surprisingly tasty and healthy snack.
It's important to have a dehydrator or a convection oven for this recipe. I have two options in my kitchen. First, I have a Oster Convection Oven which has an option for dehydrating. Technically, it is called a convection oven but it's really a fancy toaster oven. I just upgraded my kitchen so I also have a Viking Convection Oven which I have fallen in love with and also has a much larger capacity than the toaster oven. If you don't have either, set your oven to bake on the lowest setting or around 225 degree fahreneit. Use the same temperature for a convection oven but set it to the recommended convection setting for dehydrating.
A Mandolin is also critical for success in this recipe because uniform thickness is necessary for consistently crispy chips. I set mine to 1/4 inch but if you have just three settings, choose medium. The slices don't have to absolutely perfect but cut slowly with consistent pressure and you will be happy with the results.
Distribute your zucchini slices evenly on a cookie rack and place inside a Jelly Roll Pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Since you will likely have three pans, try one with the some parmesan cheese or maybe hot sauce. Definitely keep one plain with just salt and pepper but variety is nice.
Out of the oven, your zucchini strips should have brown patches and be fairly crispy to the touch. They will crisp up more as they come to room temperature so don't overcook them. Two to two and half hours should suffice for most ovens. Convection ovens are usually closer to the two hour time frame while regular ovens will take longer. Don't lament at the shrinkage as the strips will reduce to a fraction of their original glory. Just relish all that concentrated sweetness as you regret not having bought six zucchinis for a second batch.