Make Your Own Tortilla Chips: Why Not?
The other day, I had an inspiration to make my own tortilla chips. I had just returned from a Bar Mitzvah party where they served bruschetta--the ubiquitous toast with a tomato/basil topping. It was lovely and I wanted more. That got me thinking: Wouldn’t a chip be better than a dried cold toast? Italian dip with Mexican chip? I know, some of you may be shaking your head and screaming, “No.. food faux pas.” Well, why not? After all, there’s no food cop in my kitchen, waiting to issue me the violation ticket, so I’m going to get crazy and fix myself the unlikely duo.
I had make my own tortilla chip before, so this comes easy. Making your own tortilla chip may sound like a wimpy way to beat the more fabulous, more well-known store brands—but don’t underestimate the power of homemade food. I can rattle off more than one reason to make your own tortilla chip but you be the judge. For one, it should be healthier, since you’re not counting on additives and chemicals to season up your chips. Two, you can bake it instead of the fried version (even though there are baked commercial ones out there). Three, you get to put whatever seasonings you desire. If you prefer plain ones, why not? But perhaps, the most pressing incentive would be the need to create, to make something amazing out of the "same-old" and feel a sense of achievement. The ability to wow someone (boyfriend, girlfriend, in-laws, anyone?) is wickedly satisfying. So, let’s get to it.
Check out your favorite brand of tortilla chips? How do they stack up in terms of taste and nutritional profile? Find out.
All you need is some left-over tortillas and a couple of wholesome seasonings. Which was precisely what one lady did to give birth to this ingenious creation—a crispy chip, tough enough to scoop up dip and salsa and yet flavorful enough to eat as a snack. The lady was none other than Rebecca Webb Carranza, a restaurant owner in Los Angeles in the 1940s. She was smart enough to recycle the misshappen tortillas she had from her tortilla factory into chips. She cut them into triangles, fried them and sold them for a dime a bag. That caught on and the tortilla chip industry was born. Rightfully, she became the recipient of the Golden Tortilla Award in 1994.
Making tortilla chip is fairly easy and this time, I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking.
- Tortilla, flour or wheat
- Extra virgin olive Oil
- Cayenne Pepper
- Dried Basil
- Sesame Seeds
You can get creative and add your favorite seasonings. Examples include rosemary, tarragon, cajun, curry powder, thyme, and oregano. If you choose to add fresh herbs, chopped it finely and rub it on.
Spread a thin layer of olive oil on tortilla. Layer on seasonings.
Using a pair of scissors or pizza cutter, cut tortilla into wedges. One tortilla yields 8 wedges.
Lay them on a baking sheet. May seems like an art form but really, no skill needed. Just maximize space.
Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until gold brown. Take out these gorgeous beasties out and they're ready for some serious dip.
Tomato, basil and olives--only 3 basic ingredients.
Any nutritional value in salsa? Read on...
While the tortilla wedges are tanning in the oven, I hop over to the chopping board to make some fresh tomato/basil dip:
- 2 tomatoes, finely diced
- 1/2 cup of pitted olives, finely diced
- A few sprigs of basil, finely chopped
Put all the above ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and
season with some garlic salt and pepper (if desired).
Light and refreshing, waiting for to be enjoyed.
Fun Facts about Tortillas and Tortilla Chips
- Tortilla comes from the Spanish word, “torta” meaning “round cake.”
- Tortilla is unleavened flatbread made from white, yellow, blue or red corn or wheat.
- According to legend, a Mayan peasant invented tortilla for his hungry king.
- Corn tortillas went as far back as 10,000 years ago and they were made from native corn with dried kernel.
- A typical Mexican family of four may consume up to 2 pounds of tortilla a day.
- Tortilla chips and salsa were so popular in Texas, they were designated the official state snack in 2003.
- National Tortilla Chip Day is celebrated nationwide on the 24 of February.