Monday, October 10, 2011

Tortilla Chips

Years ago a friend of mine made fresh tortilla chips for my family.  He must have thought we were barbarians, we scarffed them up so quickly not a single chip made it into an actual bowl, much less got dipped in anything!  I remembered them looking easy, so I thought I might be able to do it on my own.
My sister Margaret and I got together with a bag of tortillas, a bottle of oil, and no plan.  After putting on aprons, we put about 20 oz of oil in a deep sided skillet over medium high heat, then set up cooling rack in a rimmed cookie sheet beside the pan.

You will need

1 bag corn tortillas, 30 count (on sale for $.89)

Vegetable Oil ($3.37 per 48 oz, $3.37/48 oz = $.07 x 20 oz = $1.40)

Salt ($.79 per 26 oz, $.79/40.92 Tbsp = $.02 x 3 = $.06)
Next stop- Frying oil!

Cut the tortillas into sixths, and set to one side of your heated oil.  Working in batches of 8 or so chips, scatter the wedges in the oil, and fry until they are starting to turn brown.  They will continue to brown a little after you take them out.  Fish them out with a slotted spoon or tongs, and lay them on the cooling rack.  Sprinkle with salt, and transfer to a bowl when they cool. I'm not big on paper towels, but if you have them, I would suggest lining your bowl with them because our chips were pretty greasy.
The basic line- plate to fryer to rack to bowl.

So were they crazy delicious?  YES!  They also made my whole house stink like a fryer, baked oil splatter into my favorite pan, and made a huge mess.  I forgot to turn on the stove fan (a reoccurring mistake for me, not having grown up with one), which might have off set the first issue.  The big mess wasn’t that hard to clean up (Unlike boiled over jalapeno jelly!!), and if I ever feel super motivated, I know I can get rid of the spatter. 

We don’t usually have tortilla chips in our house, so for me they were an extra special treat.  Unsurprisingly, Margaret and I ate a ton of them while we manned the frying process, so by the time we were done, I really never wanted to see them again.  Margaret took a good chunk of the leftovers up to New York to our sister Rosemary, who said they were still amazing days later. 

Sadly (for me), this was Margaret and my last joint experiment till at least June, because she moved to Chile last week!  I miss my partner in crime, but I know she’s enjoying herself down there. 
Bye Margs!

Try It:

$2.35 for 18 oz, or $.13/oz

Buy It:

Utz white corn rounds $3.50 for 17 oz, or $.21/oz


Try It, they're very tasty and cheap.  


  1. i've made tostadas from scratch. it does take a while to roll them, but, if you roll them thin enough, they puff up with air as they crisp in the oil. they are a whole different texture than store bought tortillas. you can break them up into chips if you like, or pile all kinds of goodies on them and enjoy them as tostadas. all you need is masa harina, water, and oil.
    i think i got my recipe from carol w.

  2. An easier, if not quite as tasty, way to do these is to slice them up and spray with cooking oil, then bake at 425 until they are crisp. If you are against spray oil, I bet you could brush some oil onto them.