How to Fry Corn Tortilla Chips. The Little Things (Like Hot Corn Chips) That Separate Great Cooks from Good Ones!
In cooking, as in life, going just a bit further than you're expected to makes all the difference, and it's those little things that when added up make the difference between good cooks and great ones.
Take this here scenario as an example.
Imagine you have some friends over watching a football game, or sitting by the pool, or whatever. Everyone is feeling a bit peckish, so you announce that you are heading to the kitchen to fix a plate of corn chips and salsa for munching on.
- Now you could just pop into the kitchen and tear open a bag of tortilla chips to serve with your bottle of store bought salsa – and you will probably satisfy everyone, as you satisfy their expectations of what was coming - Nothing wrong with that.
- Now, imagine instead that you didn't reach for the store bought tortilla chips, and instead grabbed a package of corn tortillas out of the fridge, cut them into wedges as you heated a little vegetable oil on the stove, and then fried some hot and fresh chips to serve with that same store bought salsa (and it wouldn’t hurt to spread it all out nicely on a platter or something to that effect).
Now imagine the reaction your friends would have to a platter of warm and fragrant just fried chips with their salsa!!!
You went a small step beyond what was expected, and in doing so you surprised and delighted your guests or family with better food than they thought they were going to get. And that is a hallmark of a truly great cook, and a truly great host.
And the difference between frying up some chips and cracking a bag of store bought is probably 5 minutes in time, and a negligible difference in money.
Fried Tortilla Chips
- Store bought corn tortillas (as many as needed – each will make about 6 moderately sized chips)
- Mild tasting oil for frying (many oils will work fine here – corn, vegetable, palm, soybean, etc.)
- Cut corn tortillas into wedges of desired size
- Turn the burner on to medium high and heat about 1 inch of oil in a heavy high sided skillet or pot. Choose something that is very stable and that will not slip off the burner. You don't need to be deathly afraid of deep frying, but you should be kind of careful!
- When the oil is hot (You can test for this by tossing in a small chunk of tortilla. If it bubbles and floats immediately after touching the oil, then the oil is ready. If the oil bubbles ferociously immediately after adding the chip, then the oil is too hot.) add in your chips in batches – frying about 10 at a time.
- Fry, turning with kitchen tongs, for 1-2 minutes, or until the tortillas have colored slightly, and are well crisped.
- Let dry on paper towels, and sprinkle with a little salt
Serve immediately with salsa or guacamole!
A video demo on frying chips
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