Warm, crispy, crunchy, salty, fragrant – there’s nothing like home-made tortilla chips. Pair them with a great Salsa or some stellar guac (like this Best Guacamole) and the result is heavenly! These are truly Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips.
You can buy chips and if you look at my Salsa Recipes (you should, how’s that for a shameless plug?) you’ll see I do, too, but there is no way you’re going to get anywhere near the taste you’ll get if you just brave the mess and fry up a few of your own.
About Home-made Tortilla Chips:
If you’ve read my blog much, you’ll notice I don’t do a lot of deep-frying, but sometimes it’s just so worth it. Homemade Tortilla Chips are one of those times. I know they can be baked, but truth be told, I don’t eat tortilla chips that often and I like them fried. I suppose if I did have them more often I’d be a little more cognizant of the health issues of deep frying, though. I look at it this way, though, I already decided I was going to indulge in junk food, why not go all the way? At this point, a few extra calories aren’t going to matter and baking them probably ain’t gonna save anyone! I’m kinda chunky, tho, so whadda I know?
There’s just nothing like pulling those hot tortilla chips out of the oil, laying them down on some paper towels or the old brown paper grocery bag and giving them a little sprinkle of salt or your fave seasoning. I not only think Homemade Tortilla Chips are better than store bought, they’re even better than restaurant chips – mostly because they’re going to go hot, right onto your plate or platter.
One thing about making my homemade tortilla chips? There’s no doubt that frying is a bit of a hassle and there’s gonna be some cleanup involved. That tends to be a bit off putting so it kind of limits how often I make them. The other is that if we have a bag of tortilla chips around, it’s crinkle crinkle crinkle, munch munch munch mindlessly till that bag is empty! When you make your own, you can make just enough.
Making Home-made Tortilla Chips:
If you’re planning ahead, set your tortillas out the night before. Just lay them out somewhere safe, and let them air dry. With less moisture they cook up quickly and evenly. You could even just lay them out in your oven right on the racks if you’re certain the oven won’t be turned on accidentally, if you need a secure place to dry them.
It really is great to have a thermometer if you’re going to deep fry. They’re not pricey unless you’re going to go and buy some kind of deluxe gadget. I see them at the grocey store for under five bucks all the time. If you don’t have one, just pull off a bit of a tortilla and drop it in the oil – it will bubble and the tortilla bit will float to the top when the oil is ready.
You don’t need a lot of oil, either to fry these chips up. Just an inch and a half to two inches in a deep pan so it doesn’t spatter on you and you’re good to go. Especially if you work in batches.
Saving Money on Homemade Tortilla Chips:
Not only do home-made tortilla chips taste so much better than bagged, the cost, even including store tortillas and oil is a fraction of the cost of buying a bag. The last time I picked up a bag it was $3.99 for 14 ounces. $4.56 a pound. Cripes. What a rip off. I mean, seriously? It makes me cranky! $4.56 a pound! (I’ve since had to reissue this post for some reason and now it’s 2018 – the last bag I bought was $4.99!)
When I see that kind of pricing, I just usually won’t buy – I don’t like telling the store with a purchase: “That’s a great price! Keep it up! I don’t mind paying through the nose!” Coz I do mind! Plus, frankly, they taste like crap. Some are also full of all kinds of junk I can’t pronounce and a ton of salt.
Check around when you buy tortillas. Check the refrigerator section, the “Mexican” food aisle and the aisle of American Mexican foods and pay attention to the end caps. What I look for is a great price, under a dollar for a dozen, and even without a coupon, without a sale, it’s always easy to find. I picked up a 36 count package of tortillas for $2.19. At 27 ounces, it was $1.29 a pound. If these were the equivalent weight of the bag, 14 ounces, it would cost $1.13. That doesn’t count the oil, which hopefully you’ll reuse.
Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Oil *
- Tortillas – flour, corn or specialty tortillas, your choice
- Salt and/or spices if desired
In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, over medium heat, heat an inch to an inch and a half of oil to 350º. You’ll know the oil is ready when you add a small piece of tortilla to the skillet and it floats and bubbles or you can check it with a thermometer.
Stack several tortilla chips and cut in half. (A pizza cutter works great for this.) Stack the halves together and cut into thirds or fourths. (I prefer fourths, small chips and no double dipping.)
Add tortilla chips to oil, wait just a few seconds and give a stir or two. This helps mix them up and gives a few bends and curls to the shape, the better to hold the salsa with. Don’t fry too many at a time, a handful or two.
When one side becomes golden brown, about 1 minute, flip them over and fry the opposite sides until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chips from the oil and transfer to paper towels to drain.
Toss warm chips with a little salt, possibly a little cayenne or favorite spice blend.
* Oil: Watch temperature closely; if you don’t overheat it (which can cause it to break down) it can be strained and reused.
Note: Tortilla chips fry up much faster if the tortillas are laid out the night before to dry.
from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com
I’ll be posting Homemade Tortilla Chips and co-hosting at Fiesta Friday Blog Party #238 with Mikaela @ Iris and Honey. If you have a minute, do stop by and check out Fiesta Friday and Mikaela’s very lovely site! I know you’ll love them both!!