Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tutorial: Baked Tortilla Chips

To save money, I've been trying to bake from scratch more of the things that I buy from the grocery store--especially stuff, like chips or condiments or baguettes, that it would be healthier NOT to buy at all, sigh.

If you start with a package of corn tortillas (If a healthy, organic brand is available, I purchase that one. If none of the brands look particularly healthy, I purchase the cheapest!), homemade tortilla chips are way more delicious, and CRAZY cheaper, than store-bought tortilla chips. They're healthier than store-bought (depending, of course, on the quality of tortilla), and, since you can only bake one pan at a time, they come with built-in portion control. I often find that my laziness in not wanting to get up off my butt and make more tortilla chips trumps my greediness in wanting to eat a million tortilla chips. Yay?

So, preheat the oven to the broil setting, get out a big pan, then grab a stack of corn tortillas and, using kitchen scissors, cut the entire stack into quarters. Spread them out without overlapping onto the pan, and spritz really quickly with any oil other than olive, which shouldn't be heated this high or it'll give you cancer or something. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Pop the pan into the oven (I don't care what rack you use) for 4 minutes, then take them out and, using tongs, flip all the chips over and spritz with oil.

Pop the pan back into the oven and set the timer for another 4 minutes. At this point, check out the chips. Do they look crispy, with some brown spots?

Take them out and nom them! Otherwise, leave them in and watch them--it sometimes takes some futzing to figure out the perfect time. If you have to leave your chips in for more than one extra minute, then add a minute to the time that you first broil them before you flip them over.

I have a heavy hand with the oil spritzing and the salt, which means that my chips don't keep well--I think the salt is supposed to make them soft, and the oil is supposed to make them tough, if you try to store them. I usually make one batch at a time, and simply bake more if it looks like people want more; the chips don't take that long to make, and it cuts down on waste. I eat them with either this cashew-spinach dip or this salsa that I make so spicy that it practically burns my tongue off. Yum!

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