It’s Mexcellent! Part 1: Chips and Guac
I love tortilla chips. I don’t buy them because if I do, I’ll eat the entire bag. But, tortilla chips are the best vehicle for guacamole, and Sam came home with two ripe avocados the other day. So, I knew that I would have to make some chips and guac. Luckily, I had some corn tortillas in the fridge, so I’d be able to bake my own chips– healthier AND tastier than a lot of what you find at the store.
Homemade chips are super easy to make–especially if you use packaged corn tortillas, which I did. I use the ones from Tortilleria Chinantla, which is just a few blocks east, on Grand Street, at the edge of Bushwick and Williamsburg. They are sold at lots of markets and bodegas in my neighborhood.
- 1 package of corn tortillas (make sure you are using corn and not flour!)
- Olive oil (best if it’s in a mister)
- Cumin to taste
- Finely crushed sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tortillas into wedges– corn tortillas are small, so I cut mine into quarters. On a baking tray or stone, make one layer of the tortillas. (I end up using two baking trays so that I can fit all of the tortillas on without overlapping.) Mist with olive oil. (If you don’t have a mister, you can drizzle a little bit over the tortillas.) Sprinkle with cumin and sea salt. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Then flip each of the pieces and return to the oven for 7-8 more minutes, or until crispy but not burnt. (Baking times might vary depending on the color of your baking dish, or if you are using a stone. Keep a close watch on them for the last half so that they don’t burn.) Enjoy warm with salsa and guac.
Everyone has their own guacamole recipe, and I often add different things– scallions, or a few diced tomatoes, depending on what I have on hand. Spice to your taste. My only rule is– no sour cream! Ripe avocados are creamy enough on their own! And mash by hand– the food processor will eliminate any nice chunky texture.
- 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile (may substitute another kind of chile– ancho is what I always have on hand)
- 1 jalapeño, finely chopped
- 1/2 – 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 ripe avocados
- Juice from 1-2 limes
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt to taste
In a medium bowl, combine garlic, jalapeño, 1/2 chopped onion and spices. Cut each avocado in half, lengthwise. Remove the pits. Use a knife to score the flesh of the avocado into cubes while it’s still in its peel. Then, flip the peel inside out over your bowl, so that the cubed avocado pieces fall out. Use a spoon to remove any remaining flesh. Add the juice of 1 lime and mash with a fork, or a pestle. Add the cilantro and mix. Add more onion, lime juice and salt to taste. Enjoy with tortilla chips and a margarita!