How to Turn Leftover Tortillas into Tortilla Chips

by Kelly Senyei

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I was born and raised in Southern California, which means no excuses are needed to break out the chips and guacamole. But now that Cinco de Mayo is less than 48 hours away, my tortilla consumption is nearing its annual peak.

I'm wrapping and snacking on anything that fits inside or on top of a hearty corn tortilla, from enchiladas to tacos, burritos to quesadillas. With Mexican food favorites being enjoyed for breakfast through dessert, there's bound to be a few stray tortillas left without carnitas to hug or pulled pork to cradle. The solution to stray corn tortillas? Transform them into hot, crispy DIY tortilla chips.

To go from stacks of tortillas to crunchy carriers of guacamole (that is a tortilla chip's sole purpose, right?), simply follow these steps:

1. Slice your corn tortillas into wedges, or add a decorative flair by using a cookie cutter to stamp out shapes.

2. Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat until it reaches 360°F. (Your deep-fry thermometer is your best friend here.)

3. In batches, add the tortillas to the oil, frying them just until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chips to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season them with salt. Return the oil to 360°F between batches.

Once you've snacked on hot, homemade tortilla chips, it's hard to go back to the store-bought varieties. So bring the oil to a boil and whip up any of our tasty 10 guacamole recipes for the ultimate Mexican food feast on Cinco de Mayo.

Photo: Dana Gallagher