Friday, March 25, 2011

Homemade Tortilla Chips

I feel like it is so long since I've done a DIY cooking or baking post!  Since Baby #3 came along, it is just so much harder to spend my days making homemade English muffins or bagels!  Still, I absolutely love trying new "from-scratch" projects, and slowly, slowly I'm getting back into them again.

Last week, I was watching some short videos on Swagbucks to earn more bucks, and of course I clicked over to the Food Network videos.  Paula Dean had a video on frying your own tortilla chips, and it looked so easy.  We love chips and salsa around here, and I'm always looking for ways to save on our weekend snack.

As luck would have it, I had just bought two 12-packs of Wegmans corn tortillas for $.50 each, so I decided to try this project that very day.

I fried the chips in canola oil, since that's the oil that I keep around for general baking.  I put about 3/4 inch in my stainless steel skillet, and heated it on my electric stove at about medium high.  I did have to keep turning the temperature down as I cooked, since of course electric stoves don't keep consistent heat.  The biggest problem I have with frying is that I don't have an electric skillet that keeps a constant temperature, so I just have to do my best with adjusting the dial.

Really, it was pretty simple to fry the chips.  After heating the oil until it bubbled when I splashed in a drop of water, I fried each chip for a minute or so on each side.  It was fairly easy to tell when they were done, because they started to really look like chips.  After they came out, I laid them on paper towels to soak up the extra oil and sprinkled them right away with Kosher salt.

The chips were attractive and delicious!  They reminded me of the kind of tortilla chips you get at a nice Mexican restaurant. Since I cut the tortillas into quarters, a package of 12 made 48 thick, substantial chips.  I'll bet that's about as much (at least by weight) as you get in a regular sized bag of tortilla chips, for which I pay $2.50/bag for Wegmans brand.  The packages of tortillas I used are over $1 regular price, but I bet if you purchased those huge bags of corn tortillas you could get as low as $.50 for 12, or even lower.

Of course, any time you fry individual pieces one by one it is a little time-consuming.  And since I certainly couldn't hold a fussy baby while working with hot oil, I had to do this in fits and starts.  Also, although the chips still tasted good a couple of days later, they weren't quite as crispy as store-bought chips.  However, it was neat to make a snack that was a little more traditional "chip" than our homemade corn chips.

I think this project would be great for a weekend or party, or for a Mexican dinner if you have a little extra time.  I definitely plan to try it again.

Check out more great frugal ideas at Frugal Fridays.

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1 comment:

  1. I brush oil on my tortillas and put them under the double boiler...


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