Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Frying tortilla chips

I went to the store the other day to get some tortillas. My husband likes breakfast burritos and we have a bunch of sausage in the freezer that needs used up before we move, so I opted to make him some with eggs. We spotted some corn tortillas that were the right size and decided to give them a try since neither of us had ever tried them before.

Lo and behold, they were too dry and stiff to use. The tortilla ripped as soon as I tried folding it over. What now? What else can you use them for? Tortilla soup, I suppose...but a whole package of tortillas? I think not! Instead I decided to try making my own tortilla chips out of them.
I'm not that much of an experienced fryer (working in the grill at McDonald's doesn't count!), so I looked up what I'd need to do. Really all I wanted to know was the temperature to set the oil at since the rest is basically common sense.

I sliced them into 8 pieces while in stacks of 2 and ended up with a big pile to fry up.


The recipe I found said to heat the vegetable oil to 375 degrees F. I got my candy thermometer out but since I wasn't using a tall pot I couldn't clip it to the side and it kept falling into the oil. Not to mention it's not supposed to touch the bottom of the pot anyway, but to hang suspended in the liquid to take the temperature. That wasn't going to happen since I was using a rather shallow pot--I didn't need inches of oil for this afterall! So after the third time of dropping the thermometer into the bottom of the pan I gave up and just guessed the temperature was correct. 

Preparing to fry.

You can see in the photo that I did attempt to just bake some instead of frying, but they turned out terrible. Baked tortilla chips don't taste good at all!

I set the stove to about 6 or 6.5 (so a higher medium heat). After I started frying I lowered the temperature to about 5.5-6. I placed about 8 tortilla pieces in the pan at a time and they were done in less than a minute.

When they turned golden (compared to yellow) and crispy, I picked them out with tongs, laid them on paper towels, and sprinkled them with salt. It's a very quick process and anytime I left the room for a moment they often became overcooked! 

I'm glad I tried this. There was no use in tossing a whole package of tortillas, and goodness knows my husband loves tortilla chips. They're a little greasy but I'm not sure how I'd change that. I wonder if I can learn to make tortillas myself, and then my own tortilla chips? Hmm....

Golden and delicious!