Warm tortilla chips

There is no reason to buy commercially made tortilla chips, when it’s so easy to make your own. And, if you buy the right brand* of fresh corn tortillas, they are far healthier, too. Warm tortilla chips are the perfect accompaniment to Five-Pepper Chili, but I also use them to make homemade nachos (also a great use for leftover chili!).

You don’t need any special equipment other than a sheet pan and an oven. Take a stack of four or five tortillas, cut them in half, then into wedges – I usually get six wedges per tortilla. Lay them out on the sheet pan so they are in one layer, no overlapping. Put the pan in the oven, and turn the oven on to 400°. How long they take to get crisp depends on two things: 1) how quickly your oven heats up, and 2) how much moisture was in the tortillas to start with. They can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes, but knowing my oven, I usually set a timer for 15 minutes and check them from there until they are as crispy as I like them. The first time you make them, start checking earlier until you get a feel for how long they take in your oven.

*There are a number of good brands on the market–La Fe is easy to find in the Boston area–but the key is to look at the ingredients. There should be only a few, the first one being (stone ground) corn; lime, water and a preservative or two usually come next. And not much else. If the first ingredient is flour, keep looking. In my experience, the national name brands (Chi Chi’s, Old El Paso) are just horrible, and contain far more ingredients than they should. Look for a Mexican brand with a name you don’t recognize – it will likely be the best choice.


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