Easy homemade tortilla chips

Whether you just need a handful, or want to wow dinner guests with a big bowl of hot fresh chips, you can make your own homemade tortilla chips in minutes.

The Rowdy Chowgirl
Crispy, crunchy, salty, and fresh, make exactly the number of tortilla chips you need for a party, or a one-person snack.

The problem with tortilla chips is that they come in a giant bag. A giant bag of greasy, salty goodness. And I’m just one person, but I will eat the entire bag if given half a chance. I’ve often wished that tortilla chips came in little snack-sized bags, but if they do, I’ve yet to find them.

Admittedly, there are worse problems in life. But the good news is that this is a problem with a quick, cheap, and easy solution that  involves oil and salt. The best kind of problem and solution, really.

I have mentioned before that I worked doing prep in a Mexican restaurant for a few years while I was in college.

I spent mornings back then at my prep table, drinking Mountain Dew while rock music rattled the stereo speakers and cool morning air wafted in the open back door. I cut up a lot of things, including corn tortillas for chips. I would take a thick stack of tortillas, cut through it quickly four times like a pizza, shove the triangular pieces off my table into a giant tub, then grab another stack and repeat this process until the tub was full. This wasn’t precision work, so my mind wandered or I shouted insults back and forth with the guys at the grill while my hands hustled. Throughout the day, the fry cook took handfuls of  those tortilla triangles and plunged them into the fryer, poked them around a bit with a long set of tongs, then at the perfect moment, turned them out of their basket, all hot and crispy, into another tub.

Even if you don’t own a deep-fryer, this is an incredibly easy process to replicate at home. It only takes about ten minutes, and the chips are so much better than anything you can buy in a bag.

Here’s how: A wok is ideal for this, but you could also use a largish heavy-bottomed saucepan in a pinch. Either way, just keep a close eye on your oil during the process and don’t walk away.

Pour about two inches of vegetable oil into the wok, and turn heat to high (or more like medium high on a gas range). Place a stack of six or so corn tortillas on your cutting board, and cut them in half, then in fourths, then eighths. You should now have a pile of tortilla triangles. Continue to cut as many tortillas as you want.

Check your oil by tossing a drop of water in. When it sizzles hard, try a tortilla triangle. It should fry madly, but if the oil is starting to smoke, it’s too hot—turn it down a little. Gently toss in a handful of tortilla triangles. The sizzling and boiling should really escalate. Agitate them around a bit with a slotted spoon or a spider, if you have one.

Chips only take a few minutes to cook. Fish one out when they look crispy but not yet brown and try it. If it’s crunchy they’re done. If it’s leathery, give them another 30 seconds. If they start turning brown, you’ve gone a little too far but they are probably still pretty edible.

Scoop cooked chips from the oil–this is where the spider is especially handy. Put chips in a bowl, salt lightly, and toss another handful of triangles into the oil. Continue this process until you have enough chips—or a little more than enough. Because you’ll be amazed at how delicious they taste. You may not decide to make your own tortilla chips every time, but they are well worth the effort every now and then.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Easy homemade tortilla chips
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today