Saturday, May 1, 2010

How To Make: Tortilla Chips

Recently we were at a real Mexican restaurant, and by real I mean authentic Mexican food, not a bunch of people like myself who, while we enjoy cooking it, just can't compete with the real deal. There they had served nice warm tortilla chips and fresh salsa with every meal. The tortilla chips were dark in color, slightly thick and perfectly crunchy. The were of course, made right there at the restaurant, and me being me, decided I could do it myself at home. I bought a large stack of corn tortilla and let them sit out overnight to become stale and dry out a bit. Then I cut them into wedges and fried them up, but they weren't these nice dark, incredible crunchy chips. Instead they were kind of toothy and definitely need some salt. I found that if I threw them in the oven for a bit on low heat that they would loose the rest of the moisture and become dark, creating the perfect tortilla chip for  the nacho's and Chilaquiles that I was making that night.

What You Need:

A stack of corn tortilla chips
Veg Oil

What To Do:

Flip through the stack of corn tortilla's just to loosen them from each other. Then let sit overnight to help dry them out. When you're ready to cook them, heat a couple inches of veg oil in a large pot to about 375 degrees.
Cut each tortilla in half, then each half into thirds. When the oil is hot, add in some of the tortillas. Make sure you stir them for the first 30-60 seconds so that they don't all stick together. Then let them cook, stirring occasionally until they are no longer soft and floppy, about 2 minutes or so. Remove to paper towels to drain excess oil and give a sprinkle with some salt. Work in batches until all the tortillas are cooked. Place chips onto a baking pan and into a preheated 200 degree oven. Let them cook until they have become brown and crunchy. Try and eat them the same day as they go stale quickly. 

Here's another way to make them:

Not into frying? I don't blame you. Lots of fat and calories there. You're in luck though! Tortilla chips can easily be made in the oven as well. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. After cutting your corn tortillas into wedges, place them in a mostly single layer on a baking sheet. Give them a quick spritz with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. You can even sprinkle them with garlic or cayenne for a tasty difference. Then just bake them for 10-15 minute or until they've slightly browned and have become crisp. 

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