Hold Up, José Andrés Dips His Potato Chips In Stew

José Andrés is known for his mastery of Spanish cuisine, so naturally, he can get down with several small plates or appetizers served as a full meal. The chef and cookbook author even sells his own line of snacks and small bites that are perfect for creating a spread of tapas, including tortillas de patatas, olives, and salted potato chips made with extra virgin olive oil. Those chips can be a snack on their own, but in a YouTube video for First We Feast, Andrés revealed that he enjoys using them to scoop up stew. Specifically, he enjoys the salty snack with a bowl of pisto.

"Pisto is a beautiful stew of tomatoes, zucchini, [and] onions," the chef explains. Originally from Spain, the ingredients in the stew depend on the region where you enjoy it. Typically, a variety of veggies are sautéed in olive oil and simmered with spices until soft. The finished stew is light on liquid, making it suitable as a dip, and the potato chips should be sturdy enough to scoop up the pisto without getting overly soggy. They can add a little extra crunch to your meal, and with this combo, your dinner can feel like a hearty, satisfying stew and a satisfying snack of chips and dip all in one.

Combining chips and stew can improve the dining experience

The slightly soft veggies in pisto and the crispiness of potato chips may be a little monotonous on their own when eaten separately. By combining the two, their contrasting textures can improve the experience of eating both foods. Kettle chips are a good bet to stand up to the stew without crumbling. If you want even crunchier potato chips, regardless of which type you choose, try freezing them.

Extra-crispy chips might also require some extra chewing, which can change the way your food tastes. More chewing helps your tongue to interact with the flavors in the food, and the saltiness from the potato chips comes out more, enhancing the flavor of the stew.

If you're skeptical, it's pretty easy to create flavorful 2-ingredient dips to pair with chips, but by swapping in stew, you can bring new life to last night's leftovers. José Andrés uses his hands to enjoy this combo, but if you'd rather use a spoon, you can crumble up the chips and sprinkle on top of the bowl. They might not stay as crunchy, but the dish will be neater to eat, and the chips will soak up more of the broth's flavor.

Other stews can be eaten with chips, too

Pisto may be José Andrés' favorite stew to eat with potato chips, but there are plenty of other dishes that work just as well. The most important factor is that the stew's ingredients should be chopped or shredded small enough to scoop up with chips. Think of it like a salsa — finely-diced vegetables make for a more even and stable distribution on the chips. Larger chunks of meat or veggies could cause breakage, so your recipe may need a little extra prep time than normal.

For a veggie-heavy option, a savory mushroom stew with potatoes, celery, and garlic can add extra umami flavor to your favorite salty chips. Another hearty option is a classic beef stew. You might want to shred the beef or break it up with a spoon after cooking, for easier scooping. Or, if you prefer a little seafood flair, pop open a bag of chips to enjoy with gumbo, instead of the standard accompaniment of rice.

You can also change up what type of potato chips you use. While the standard salted potato snacks pair well with a wider spread of stews, cheesy flavors can add extra savoriness to a cowboy chili packed full of beans and meat. Or, for some extra spice, scoop up some chicken stew with jalapeño chips. Sweet potato chips can also add some earthy and sweet flair to any of these recipes.