What they say about Texas is true: everything is bigger, especially their state fair. As the largest in the nation, the State Fair of Texas® draws in more than 2 million visitors for its pig races, butter sculptures, amusement rides, and, of course, the indulgent (and slightly outrageous) food.
But as much fun as it is tasting these dishes IRL, sometimes you want to relive the experience of the state fair at home. To help you get started, Chef Tiffany Derry scaled down three of her state fair recipes so you can make them at home. Her secret ingredient to unlocking that state-fair-style? Adding Lay’s® Classic potato chips into every bite. From pimento cheese dip to crispy potato balls and mini Key lime pies, these recipes will transport you back to the fair’s grounds.
Lay’s® Pimento Cheese Bites
If you’re looking for an easy-to-make, no-fail appetizer you can rely on whenever you have guests over, try these pimento cheese bites. Once you’ve set your mise-en-place, this take on the Southern favorite quickly comes together in a single mixing bowl. The result is a deeply creamy dip with a bit of a kick, served on top of a crispy Lay’s® Classic potato chip, creating the perfect bite.
Yield: 1 ½ cup
- ½ cup white cheddar, shredded
- ½ cup yellow cheddar, shredded
- 3 tablespoons jarred pimentos or roasted red peppers, finely diced
- 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 3 tablespoons Japanese mayo
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- Lay’s® Classic potato chips, for serving
- In a mixing bowl, combine both cheeses, pimentos, cream cheese, and mayo, making sure there are no large chunks of cream cheese.
- Add cayenne, smoked paprika, garlic powder, white pepper, and salt. Stir everything together until well combined. The consistency should be loose enough to mix with a spatula. If it’s too thick, stir in another ½ teaspoon mayo.
- Place Lay’s® Classic potato chips on a platter and top each chip with a dollop of pimento cheese. Garnish with chopped chives.
Lay’s® Crunchy Key Lime Petite Pie
This recipe takes all of the core elements of the classic American pie – the custard and graham-cracker crust – and scales it down. The unexpected crunch and hint of saltiness from the crumbled Lay’s® crust bring a nice complexity to the dish, taking this dessert to new heights. Note that Key limes can be hard to find, especially when they’re out of season. But if you can’t buy them at your grocery store, regular limes work just as well.
Yield: 4 mini pies
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- ¾ cup Key lime juice
- 1 lime, zested
- 1 cup graham cracker crumble, (from about 8 graham crackers)
- ¼ cup melted butter, cooled to room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
- ½ cup Lay’s® Classic potato chips
- Additional Lay’s® Classic potato chips, crushed, for garnish
- Prepare the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks until they’ve lightened in color and have gained volume. Then whisk in condensed milk until well combined. Add the lime juice and zest, whisk until evenly combined and noticeably thicker, about 1 minute.
- Prepare the crust: Place Lay’s® Classic potato chips in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine pulsed chips with melted butter, sugar, and shredded coconut. The crust should hold together when clumped by hand.
- Preheat the oven to 325.
- Line the outside of the bottom of a 3-inch ring mold with plastic wrap. Then cover again with foil.
- Place ⅓ cup of crust into the bottom of the molds and press firmly.
- Add ½ cup Key lime mix on top of crust.
- Prepare the water bath: Place pans into a large baking dish and water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ring molds.
- Bake for 40 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Remove the pans from water bath and refrigerator until cool, for at least 2 hours.
- To serve, invert the ring onto the serving plate and remove plastic and foil. Run an offset spatula around the edges of the ring mold. The pie should easily slide off the ring mold onto the serving platter. Top the pies with crushed Lay’s® Classic potato chips to garnish.
Lay’s® Golden Goodies
At first glance, the recipe might look quite labor intensive, but it actually follows a standard three-stage breading process. To keep chaos at bay, clean off a countertop and set up your dredging station, so when it comes time to fry, you can work swiftly and avoid leaving yourself to clean up a huge mess. Deep frying melts the cheese inside while adding crushed Lay’s® Classic potato chips to the breading creates an extra crispy, golden crust. Together, the textures combine to create a delectable bite that encapsulates everything state fair food has to offer.
Yield: 8 potato bites
- 1 pound yellow or Yukon Gold potatoes
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 3 strips bacon
- 1 tablespoon sour cream
- ¾ cup cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup green onions, roughly chopped
- 2 cups milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 cups Lay’s® Classic potato chips
- 1 cup flour
- Canola oil, for frying
- Salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash and peel potatoes. Fill a pot with cold water and add ⅓ cup of salt, set the potatoes in the pot and cook until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.
- While potatoes simmer, cook the bacon: Place strips on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for 25 min. Once bacon has cooked and cooled, roughly chop it.
- Once potatoes are fork tender, drain potatoes in a colander. Return them to the pot, add butter and sour cream, and use a potato masher to mash potatoes until completely smooth.
- Allow mashed potatoes to cool slightly, then mix in cheddar cheese and green onions. Add salt to taste. Let cool slightly.
- With your palms, form the potato mixture into 2 ounce balls. Set the balls on a clean baking sheet as you form them. You should end up with 8 balls. Refrigerate to cool for about 30 minutes.
- Prepare the breading: Place flour in a medium shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, combine milk and eggs to make an egg wash and set aside. Place Lay’s® into a food processor and pulse until fine. In a third bowl, combine the Lay’s® with panko.
- Once potato bites are cold and firm, coat each potato bite in the flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg, then in the panko mix. Transfer to a sheet tray and repeat with the remaining potato bites.
- Add neutral oil to a deep pot until it reaches 2 inches up the side of the pan, and heat to 350 degrees. Fry the potato bites in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels and repeat with remaining potato bites.
- Serve potato bites with a dollop of sour cream alongside Lay’s® Classic potato chips.
Photographer: Joe Lingeman
Art Director: Becky Joy
Creative Director: Colleen Lennon
Food Stylist: Thu Buser
Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh
Producer: Hannah Lee