blue corn tortillas, reincarnated

August 15, 2010

in holidays and parties,snacks,what's in the fridge?

I’d like to tell you that I won on an all paid vacation to Japan and New Zealand and have simply been having too much of a fabulous time to post. I’d like it even better if that were true.

You might have chalked up the blog’s silence to oppressive New York summer heat smothering my desire to enter the kitchen except to pour myself a tall glass of frosty water and sit undisturbed in my air conditioned living room which has been in arctic mode since June. You wouldn’t be far from the truth here. The weather is easily blamed for everything, why not for a lack of posting on my blog?

I haven’t been deathly ill, so no worries there. Despite outward appearances to the contrary, I have not lost my cooking inspiration. In fact, I’m still brimming with ideas and have recipes listed 3-4 items long for every weekend since I started the blog that would keep me busy well into the next year. They’re not all fully developed, but they’re not idle sketches either. So, it’s not for lack of ideas that the naked beet has been idling.

I know other blogs have entertained you and filled you with great cooking ideas in the meantime and I promise, I’m not jealous (okay, just a little bit.) But I’d like to refill the void again, if you can forgive the absence. (Growing fonder, yet?)

During my kitchen forays this summer, there was a chicken enchilada recipe I made a few times. The first result was liked well enough by those who ate it, but was not special enough to post about. The second attempt was much better and again loved by dinner guests, but still I felt it needed some tweaking before appearing on the blog. A new ingredient or, perhaps, more spiciness? So for the third attempt, I used hot peppers and blue corn tortillas. The result, experienced only by me and Olive, was an overly hot, mushy disaster. That’s when I decided to slowly back away from “the enchilada improvement project.” I’m determined to get back to it, though, because I’ve been asked for the recipe from the second go-around (ego wins here), and I think the recipe is on the verge of fabulousness.

Not all of the blue tortillas in my most recent attempt were put to use. Thankfully or not, those corn tortilla bags come in packs of at least fifty in my neighborhood, so as you can imagine, I had quite a few left. By the way, if you can’t use all of them up within a week, I suggest freezing them because they keep well that way. Although I wasn’t quite ready to pull out my blue corn flour purchased on our trip to Arizona and experiment, I’ve had blue corn on my mind for a few weeks.

Lime chips enjoy big love in this household, so it seemed only logical not to let a good tortilla go to waste. Also, with kitchen fires low this summer, avocados have been a regular staple of my dinners. So here is my foray into homemade chips (no preservatives required). As accompaniment, insert your guacamole recipe of choice. My guacamole is a pretty standard lime juice, salt, tomatoes, avocados, and red onions version you see in the very first picture above. (You can go wild and add jalapenos and corn, or even olives if you’re feeling eccentric.)

lime blue chips

makes 96-120 chips

4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lime juice
4 tsp lime zest
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp kosher salt + more for later

16-20 blue corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350º. In a small bowl, combine all the dressing ingredients and mix well. With a brush, spread the oil over both sides of each tortilla, making sure to oil the entire tortilla, edges and middle. Keep them stacked on top of one another as you go. Once both sides are oiled well, cut 3 times to get 6 chips out of each tortilla. I found that a serrated knife worked really well to cut through the whole stack of tortillas at once.

Lay each chip on the baking sheet, making sure they do not overlap or touch and bake for 12 minutes. When done and out of the oven, I suggest salting them again ever so slightly while they’re still warm. Let them cool a bit before placing in a bowl (or a bag to preserve for a party). If baked for 12 minutes, they will remain blue and will have a hint of chewiness right out of the oven and will crisp up over time. If your oven is truly hotter than 350º or you’ve kept them in longer than for 12 minutes (or if you use 2 baking sheets one below the other in the oven in an attempt to hurry the process), the chips from the bottom pan will be much crispier out of the oven but will yellow on the edges of the chip. This is purely an aesthetic preference. I think if you were to use white flour or yellow corn tortillas, this exactitude would be less important.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

A. C. Parker | Feeding the Saints August 16, 2010 at 8:48 am

Hey, welcome back! I love blue corn tortillas, and I love lime—so, from my perspective, you couldn’t have made a tastier return to posting. Now for that margarita to go with the chips and dip (I’ll drink in your honor).

gluttonforlife August 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm

The Naked Beet rides again! I can’t resist frying my tortilla chips for that super satisfying crunch, but I might give these a whirl. Wish I knew where to find the blue ones…

margarita August 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

Hey! Where can I buy blue corn tortillas? I live on the Upper West Side, but oddly, Fairway doesn’t carry them.

the naked beet August 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

What about WF or a local latin market further up west?

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