Daily Archives: May 28, 2007

Homemade Tortilla Chips

corn tortillas

Crunch. You’ve sat there dipping your store bought chips into salsa, guacamole, even bean dip. These things are salty! Do these taste a little stale? Processed, even? How come these chips don’t taste, or even look like the ones you get when you sit down in Mexican restaurants? How do they make those?

It’s easier than you think… Bake or fry, you can make your own tortilla chips at home. I promise that not only will it be cheaper than buying bags from the stores, but it is also healthier, and even fun.

Corn tortillas are useful for so many things. Enchiladas, soft tacos, even well… chips! Each brand of tortillas carries it’s own set of flavor. When making your chips, be sure to choose the brand you like. I like Guerrero.

To fry: Slice the tortillas into pie-like slices. About three corn tortillas will make one serving of chips. Heat oil (vegetable or canola) in a pan (or wok) to about 360* F (180* C). Layer cut tortilla into oil, making sure to keep each piece separate. Fry until crisp and lightly browned. Remember, that chips will cook slightly even after removing from hot oil.

cooked chips, layed out to drain

Add salt (and other seasoning) if desired. This is the best part, as you have absolute control over the salt content of your chips. Repeat procedure with your remaining tortilla pieces.

In Mexican restaurants, chips are served best when warm. This is achieved either by serving them to guests right after they’ve been fried (or baked), or by keeping them under a heat lamp. I prefer to serve my homemade chips right after they’ve been fried.

To bake: Lightly brush whole tortillas with vegetable (or canola) oil. Cut into pie-like pieces, and spread into single layer on greased baking sheet. Add salt as desired. Bake at 400* F (205* C) for 10-12 minutes, making sure to turn chips halfway through the baking time. Keep an eye on them, as ovens cook differently. They should be crisp and light-golden brown. Transfer to paper towels to cool.

Usually the chips disappear as fast as the homemade guacamole, or salsa. But if you do have leftovers, be sure to keep them in an airtight container. After all, the reason you made these it to avoid that store bought stale taste, right?

chips, ready to store

After this, you’ll make sure you always have corn tortillas in your kitchen. Can you do this with flour tortillas? Sure, why not (cooking times will be faster). But why?