Let me start by saying that homemade tortilla chips taste fresher than store-bought chips, but they are also labour-intensive!
I had problems before I even attempted to make them. I made the mistake of buying fresh flour tortillas, which are very easy to find. Fresh “corn” tortillas, on the other hand, can be difficult to find, and not every grocery store carries them. I eventually found them in the dairy aisle at a larger supermarket.
Now that I finally found fresh corn tortillas, I had to dry them out. I took a short cut by placing them in a single layer on a plate, and microwaving them for a few minutes, but it took so much time!
When they cooled, I cut them into 4 pieces and fried them in small batches. I also used a ton of paper towels.
I decided to fry up the entire package of fresh corn tortillas because I was “not” going to make these again, unless I had deep fryer!
End result: Yes, they tasted great, but so do higher-quality store-bought tortilla chips! Don’t bother unless you’re very curious like me, or you happen to have a fresh batch of canola oil and a deep fryer.
The baked version is posted below, and I’ll give it a try next time.
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Adapted from simplyrecipes.com
- Fill a skillet (with deep sides) with oil to approximately 1” (vegetable, canola, corn, peanut or grape seed oil). Make sure the oil has a high-smoke point
- Fresh corn tortillas
- Kosher salt
- Tortilla chips fry better if they are dried out. Either leave the whole tortillas out overnight, exposed to air so they are stale the next day, or dry them out in the oven or microwave. To dry them in the oven, lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in a 350°F for 5 minutes. Or lay them out in a single layer (working in batches) on a paper towel in a microwave oven and microwave them for 20 to 60 seconds; depending on how strong your microwave is and how many tortillas you are drying. You don’t want them crisp at this point, just as dry as they would be if you left them out overnight
- Warning: If your oil is not at the right temperature, you’ll end up with greasy tortilla chips. I highly suggest using a candy thermometer. Temperature should be 350°F. Any higher and your chips will burn
- Cut each tortilla into 4 or 6 triangle-shaped wedges
- Heat the oil on medium high heat until a small piece of tortilla placed in the oil sizzles, about 350°F
- Place a paper towel onto a large plate and have several other paper towels ready
- Place a handful of tortilla triangles into the hot oil, in a single layer. Use metal tongs or a metal slotted spoon to distribute the tortilla triangles so that they aren’t overlapping, ensuring that all sides get coated with oil
- Fry for approximately 2 minutes until the chips just begin to color and they are firm and no longer pliable. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the chips from the oil to the paper-towel-lined plate
- Sprinkle with salt
- Place another paper towel over the top of the chips to be ready for the next batch.
Note that as soon as you put the tortilla triangles into the hot oil, because you are working with such a small volume of oil, the temperature will lower. Usually I compensate for this by increasing the heat to high. And as soon as the chips begin to color, I reduce the heat to low, so the oil doesn’t overheat in between batches of chips
- Continue to cook the chips, working in batches, placing the freshly fried chips over a new layer of paper towel each time, and sprinkling with salt
Baked Tortilla Chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Cut the tortillas into wedges
- Spread the tortilla wedges out on a baking sheet in a single layer
- Bake the tortilla wedges for about 6 minutes, then use tongs to turn the wedges over
- Sprinkle with a little salt, and bake for another 6 to 9 minutes, until they are just beginning to color
- Remove from the oven and let cool
- Sprinkle with more salt to serve