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Restaurant Style Homemade Chips and Salsa

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Chips and salsa

Ever wonder how restaurants are able to give chips and salsa away as an appetizer for free?  Chips and salsa is usually an expensive snack depending on if you go generic brand or not. I mean a bag of chips is $3-$4 and really good salsa is in the same price range.  So how can they just give it away? Well good thing I am writing this article about how to make both the chips and salsa.  With this recipe you will be able to make them easily and cheaply.  Not to mention you will also be able to control the ingredients, and therefore the flavors, for your lifestyle.  The recipe below is just a generic base that allows you to have creative license with; it also tastes good just the way it is.

Ingrediants

Salsa

Restaurant Salsa
  

28 oz. Crushed Tomatoes

1/2-Cup Fresh Cilantro

1 Small Onion (Use different onions for different flavors.  Purple onions have more bite; more of the "onion" flavor and yellow are sweeter.  I tend to use the yellow onion for most recipes but to each their own.)

3 tablespoons of sliced pickled jalapeño (Most stores sell them in mild, medium or hot.  I usually use medium because I can go either direction easier than with either mild or hot.)

2 tsp. of salt

2 tsp. of garlic powder 

Making the salsa is incredibly easy.  Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend for about 30 seconds.  Pour the salsa into a bowl, cover and put in the refrigerator over night. By doing this the flavors will start to blend together and you will get a more complex flavor then you would if eaten right away. 

I use the Ninja to make my salsa.  The best part is the interchangeable parts for making single size servings of smoothies or protein shakes.

Ninja Professional Blender (BL660)
Amazon Price: $149.99 Too low to display Buy Now
(price as of Aug 22, 2014)

Chips

Homemade Corn Chips

1 bag of corn tortillas

Peanut or canola oil for a fryer

Salt or any other seasoning

Take your tortillas and quarter them as if you were cutting a pizza. I usually just take the whole stack and cut it in half twice.  

 There are two different ways of making the corn chips.  They can be made in either a fryer or the oven.  The oven is healthier while the fryer is faster and produces a better chip.  They both are dependent on the quality of the tortillas you bought.  I like to bake them mostly because I'm trying to stay healthy.  However I have made them both ways and they taste good regardless, though the fried ones taste more like the bagged versions.

 The Oven:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While it is preheating place the quartered pieces on a cookie sheet about 1/4 inch apart; this will help with crispness.  Placing them closer will make the chips chewy and you won’t get that golden goodness.  Sprinkle the chips with salt or whatever seasoning you want to use. When the oven is up to temperature put the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes or until golden.  Don't over cook them because they will cook a bit more once they come out of the oven.  Repeat the process until you have cooked all your chips.

 The Fryer:

Preheat the peanut oil, if you are allergic to peanuts use the canola oil, to 350 degrees in a fryer.  Dunk about 10 quarters into the hot oil making sure that they are not touching.  After about 4-5 minutes pull them out and place them on paper towels, like you would with bacon, to get all the grease off.  When they have been degreased I place them in a brown paper grocery bag while still hot, sprinkle them with salt and then shake the bag to evenly coat with salt.  The hot oil will help the salt stick to the chip.

Saving money is awesome

When you make your own chips and salsa you will be saving money.  Plus there is the added benefit of controlling the ingredients which usually will taste better than the store-bought variety.  The corn tortillas will cost only a little less than a bag of chips.  I just like to bake mine for health reasons.  The real savings comes from making your own salsa.  When you make this recipe you will have enough leftover cilantro and pickled jalapeño for about 5-6 batches.  If you where to buy enough crushed tomatoes to use up all the other ingredients your total cost would be about $1.00 per 16 ounces of salsa.  Prices will vary depending on where you live so your total cost could be more or could less.   Even if it costs you more than $1.00 you will still spend less than you would for store-bought salsa.

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Comments

Sep 24, 2014 6:42pm
goatfury
This is awesome, and exactly the approach I've used for years. You did a great job making it super easy to follow!
Sep 24, 2014 7:58pm
dtroms
Sweet deal! Thank you for the positive feedback. Making homemade salsa is a favorite of mine. I love making it way cheaper then anything you can buy in the store.
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