Heating Pans If you want to sear meats properly, you need to make sure your pan is sufficiently heated. Don't just turn on the heat and toss the meat in and pray. Depending on the thickness of your pan and the type of meat, you might need to heat a pan for 5 to 10 minutes on medium-high heat to get a really good sear. Add oil after the pan is heated.
My Favorite Pan My favorite pan is a twenty dollar cast iron pan. I remember vividly how my step-father coveted his iron pan and warned us about not using soap to clean it. Seasoned and maintained properly, an iron pan can last forever. It is better than any non stick pan and far more durable. It's thick base holds heat better than any pan in my arsenal and prevents food from burning by dispersing the heat.
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.