In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, over medium heat, heat an inch and a half to two inches of oil to 350º F. 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 in batches, 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 a brown paper bag or paper towels to drain.
Toss warm chips with a little salt, possibly a little cayenne or favorite spice blend.
Keywords: Appetizer, Mexican or Southwestern, Salsa, tortilla chips, tortillas