Eeek! Today is one of my favorite days of the year: the kick-off to the football season. While I know it is only pre-season, in my book, its like a pre-funk to the main season event. It allows us to build up our excitement and support for our teams of choice — and gives a preview of what is to come.
What better way to kickoff the season than with the football staple — guacamole and chips? Here are a few recipes for homemade tortillas, tortilla chips and guac courtesy of “How I Made It From Scratch”
Making tortillas from scratch can be time consuming, but for the price of one package of tortillas or one bag of chips you can buy an entire bag of masa mix. Plus, you get the satisfaction of working the dough by hand and putting all of your weight into forming the tortillas. I got a little assembly line going. One ball ready to be smashed, one flat tortilla ready to be cooked, and one on the fire. Most of the time is spent waiting for each tortilla to cook. If you have a griddle large enough to do two or four at a time, you could greatly cut down the prep time.
Makes 16 tortillas
Prep time 1 hr 15 min
2 cups loosely packed masa mix
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups water
Mix the masa and salt in a bowl and then add the water. Mix thoroughly to form a soft dough. If the dough feels dry, add more water one tablespoon at a time.
Preheat an ungreased skillet or griddle on medium-high heat.
Find something that you can use to flatten the tortillas. It will take quite a bit of pressure to get them flat and thin. I have a small pie pan that fits nicely inside of a larger pie pan. If you have a 28oz can of tomatoes, it would probably work pretty well too. If you have a tortilla press, a) that’s awesome, b) you probably already know how to make tortillas. Line both surfaces with plastic wrap.
Form dough in a small ball (about ¼ cup).
Press dough as flat and thin as you can get it. Use the plastic wrap to help you peel the dough off of your makeshift press.
Cook each side for about 50 seconds. I like to cook it until it just starts to brown slightly around the edges.
Place in a cloth tea towel or napkin to keep warm.
These tortilla chips are a little denser and crunchier than the bagged chips you buy in the store but tasted awesome and they won’t break in the sturdiest of dips. They reminded me a lot of pita chips. If you have kosher salt, I recommend it over table salt because it will stick to the chips a little better.
Makes 64 chips (about a bag)
Prep time 1 hr 15 minutes
1 batch of tortillas (see recipe above)
Cut tortillas into quarters
Prepare a drip rack. Place a cooling rack in a cookie sheet. The chips will shed more oil if allowed to drip than if placed on a paper towel.
Fill your favorite frying vessel with at least an inch of vegetable oil. The tortillas will warp when cooked so you need enough oil to ensure that they can remain submerged in the oil.
Heat oil over medium-high heat. Test the oil temperature by frying a little tester piece of tortilla. If it bubbles rapidly the oil is hot enough. If the oil smokes it is too hot.
Fry the tortilla quarters one batch a time so that the frying pan isn’t over crowded. Using tongs turn the tortillas over once to ensure even cooking. When the boiling slows and the tortillas start to turn golden brown, transfer them to the dripping rack, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and start the next batch. Before removing the next batch, transfer chips to a tea towel lined bowl.
You can use corn tortillas and cut them into triangles. Instead of frying, you can also baked them on a sheet at 350 for about 20 minutes (checking halfway through). Remove from oven when they reach desired crispiness.
I like my guacamole with a little spice kick, garlic, and enough lime juice to taste. You might want to cut back or remove any of the ingredients except for the avocado. However, I recommend that you don’t completely cut out the lime. The acidity helps keep the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown. Also, feel free to add fresh cilantro or substitute the Serrano peppers with something milder like jalapeno or poblano. You can easily substitute onion for the shallot. I like shallot because it’s can be diced much finer than a standard onion.
Prepare a couple of hours before your party, but not overnight. That will give the flavors time to meld but not enough time to turn brown.
Instructions are for 1 large or 2 small avocados. Scale appropriately.
1 to 2 Serrano peppers
1 small shallot
1 small garlic clove
1 large avocado
Remove the white pith and seeds from the peppers. The pith contains most of the heat but is otherwise bitter and the seeds are just bitter.
Mince the peppers and shallot. You want the flavor, but no large fiery nuggets or chunky onions.
Smash the garlic down to a paste (quick tips). Raw garlic has such an intense flavor that even minced it can overwhelm the taste buds.
Dice the avocado (see quick tips for a tip on how to remove the seed cleanly and safely).
Juice the lime and add all ingredients to a bowl.
Smash everything together with a potato masher or fork.