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Homemade Tortilla Chips & Queso Dip

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INGREDIENTS

Queso Dip

Ingredients – makes about 2 cups:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. corn starch
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt – to taste
  • 1 cup milk – whole milk preferred, but low fat will work.
  • 4 slices (3 oz.) of American processed cheese food spread – Hill Country, Kraft, Velveeta, etc.
  • ½ cup (3 oz.) Mexican melting cheese like Chihuahua or substitute a shredded Mexican blend.

Homemade Tortilla Chips

  • Corn tortillas – 6-inch diameters. Each tortilla yields 6 wedge-shaped chips
  • Corn oil – other oils will work, including lard, but I find corn oil works quite well
  • Fine-grained salt

INSTRUCTIONS

The Process:

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the corn starch and mix over low heat until well mixed. Warm the milk in the microwave and add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps, until the mixture boils and begins to thicken. Add the cheese and salt and continue mixing until the cheese melts and becomes smooth. You now have a basic cheese sauce, which you can serve with tortilla chips, just as it is. If it gets too thick, add a tablespoon or two of milk. Leftover cheese dip can be reheated. Use low heat and stir vigorously to remove lumps and dissolve the ‘skin’ formed over the dip. Add milk, if needed, to thin.

Now let’s make it special. Spice it up! Add some hot sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder, or your own favorite spices. I added 1/8 tsp. cayenne and 1/8 tsp. paprika. It added just a touch of flavor. Add to it! Try adding tomato, peppers, etc. I added one seeded and diced Roma tomato for some color and ¼ diced green pepper for a little flavor. You can be creative here.

Instructions:

Slice corn tortillas into wedges or strips – I prefer wedges. Cut them like a pie – into six sections. It is best if the tortillas are a little ‘stale’ or dried out. You can spread them on oven racks at 200 degrees for a few minutes to dry them out a bit if they are real fresh. They should not be real dry – but not limp.

Heat about ¼ inch of oil in a deep frying pan to medium – medium-high heat. It takes a little bit of practice to get the heat just right. You do not want it to smoke (too hot), but the chips should ‘sizzle’ when added to the oil. As soon as the edges just start to turn tan, flip them over with a spatula and cook a bit more. Be careful. They brown very quickly. The whole batch cooks in about a minute. When they just turn brown, remove them quickly, place them on a plate lined with paper towels, and sprinkle them with salt immediately. Repeat the process until you have the desired number of chips. These are really good!


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