The difference between eating and fine dining is a thin line.
That’s why I don’t buy a bag of chips when I need a salt and potato fix. Not even those fancy Cape Cod chips, Hawaiian chips or those frou-frou chips with artificial habanera-mango flavors. Read the ingredients on the back of the bag. MSG, onion powder flavoring, malt dextrin, yeast extract. That’s not a chip recipe, that’s a junior high school science lab.
I just want a sturdy chip that won’t break in the dip when I camped out in front of the TV.
The recipe for homemade is simple. Thinly sliced russet potatoes deep-fried in a basket for 3-5 minutes, drain, blot dry and salt immediately.
But the variations in chips don’t stop there. Though potato chips are probably America’s number one snack food, don’t get boxed in.
Thinly slice carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, even beets and deep-fry them as you would a regular batch of potato chips.
The same holds true for tortilla chips and the results will make you forget about buying another bag of Doritos or Tostado’s again. The secret is buying high-quality corn tortillas. Simply cut the tortilla in to triangles and deep-fry them in batches as you would regular chips, turning once until golden brown. Which brings us to the recipe of the day and difference between fine dining and just plain snacking.
Right after World War II in a Mexican border town across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas a young chef at the tiny cantina called The Victory Club invented this dish. His name was Ignacio Anaya but his amigos called him “Nacho”, and a snack legend was born.
Originally called “Especial de Nacho”, it was nothing more than fried tortilla chips topped with queso fresco and sliced pickled jalapenos. Today they have evolved into much more.
½ Lb. Tortilla Chips
1 cup Homemade Chili
1 Cup Mexican-Blend Cheese
Fresh Jalapenos, Sliced
Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Throw the chips on a great big serving platter. Top with the chili and the just throw everything else on top. Top with the sour cream and cilantro.
Next time: Dips and Hors D’oeuvres