Kind of Cool Ranch Doritos
This is the first in a series of posts I’m working on called “The Junk Food Junkies.” My goal in these posts is to try to replicate some favorite junk foods in my kitchen. In general, I like to eat fairly healthily, but sometimes you need some snack food. I would rather make that snack food than buy it.
Enter Doritos. Not only one of my favorite snack foods, but the favorite snack food of my Macheesmo taste-tester (aka girlfriend). One day I was working through a bag of Cool Ranch when I looked over at the ingredient list and said, “Hey. I think I can make these!”
What I was worried about obviously, was the spice. The chips I knew I could meet if not beat. But the spice… that was going to be tricky. I had an obvious place to start though:
I poured this stuff into a bowl and thought it might just work as is. Boy was I wrong. The plain spice pack is incredibly strong. It is bitter and makes your eyes almost water. So I had to find a way to “dilute” the spice pack so it wasn’t so strong. This was the recipe I ended up with:
Homemade Ranch Chips
Yield: Lots of chips
One Ranch Dressing spice pack
2 to 3 Tablespoons seasoned salt
1 Tablespoon Paprika
1 Teas. Garlic Powder
20 corn tortillas, cut into sixths
1 quart oil for frying
Cast Iron Skillet
Candy/Deep Fry Thermometer
1) Mix together spices in a small bowl.
2) Cut tortillas into sixths.
3) Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. Use a thermometer please! You only need about 1 1/2 inches of oil in the pan to make the chips.
4) Fry chips in batches until they are lightly browned and stop bubbling in the oil, about five minutes per batch.
5) Remove the chips from the oil and immediately toss them with some seasoning mix.
The will continue to get crispy as they cool.
Mix that up and it should be much less bitter and more salty which is what you want.
Next, let’s make some tortilla chips. Homemade tortilla chips are one of my favorite treats because A) they are cheap B) they are easy C) they are better than anything you can buy in the store.
I like to use white corn tortillas cut into sixths.
Now you can bake these at 400 degrees with just a brushing of oil on them and that is fine. Personally, if I’m eating snack food, I want these guys fried. I’m throwing down with Doritos here. Frying is the way to go.
I filled my trusty cast iron skillet with about 1 1/2 inches of corn oil and let it heat up to 350 degrees. You know when it is the right temperature because your tortilla will float and bubble immediately. If you want exact results though, I recommend using a deep fry thermometer for the oil.
The chips are pretty easy to make, but it might take a few times to get it right. The biggest problem I have is if you don’t have the oil hot enough or you don’t let them cook long enough on both sides, you end up with a tortilla chip you can bend. NOT APPETIZING.
The one trick I’ve learned is that the chips will be crispy when they stop bubbling. The reason being that all the water is out of the tortilla which makes it stop bubbling and also super-crispy. Silent tortillas are crispy tortillas.
When they are done, take them out and put them on a paper towel to drain off some of the oil and sprinkle that awesome seasoning on them immediately.
I would recommend starting light on the spice as it is pretty intense. Just give a little sprinkle and then try them while they are hot. How many of you can say you have had Doritos while they are hot? Well, these are awesome hot!
I definitely did not use all of that spice that I mixed up earlier. I probably used about half of it on a batch of maybe 60 chips. I started to eat them from the plate and something just wasn’t right. So I put them in a big Ziploc bag and they immediately tasted better. Not sure what the deal is with that but homemade Doritos in a bag taste better than on a plate.
So if you get bored one weekend, I recommend these! They were actually quite tasty. The Macheesmo taste-tester and I had no problem polishing off the entire bag.
If you have suggestions for junk food I should try to make either comment or shoot me an email.
Also, if you liked this post, I would love it if you passed it along using the below links. I’m certain the vast Internet is dying to know how to make Doritos.