Sweet Heat Corn Chips
A few weeks ago I made a crunchy omelet that has been in my mind ever since. Not for the omelet exactly, but for the corn strips that I fried up for it.
After I fried them, I thought to myself, “Self. Those look like homemade Fritos.”
So I went on kind of a little kick thinking about ways to make these corn strips something special.
It turns out that the most simple application was the best. Just three little ingredients tossed on the corn chips made them one of the most addicting things I’ve made in awhile.
Sweet Heat Corn Chips
Yield: Serves 2-4.
12 corn tortillas, cut into strips
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Teaspoons chili powder
2 Teaspoons kosher salt
Oil for frying
Cast Iron Skillet or any large heavy pot
1) Cut corn strips into strips or any other shape really.
2) Mix seasonings together.
3) Heat oil in a large heavy pot. You only need about 1/2 inch of oil in the pot.
4) Add corn strips in batches to oil. Stir regularly as they cook so the strips don't stick together.
5) Cook for about 3-4 minutes until very crispy.
6) Drain chips for 15-30 seconds.
7) Season liberally.
The Quick Prep
It should go without saying that you don’t need to cut these guys into strips. Triangles or rounds would work fine also. Heck, you could cut them into Christmas trees if you wanted.
As far as the seasonings go, I wanted something salty, savory, and slightly sweet. So I picked up one ingredient that would accomplish each of those things: chili powder, sugar, and salt.
If you have the time (and patience), I really recommend making your own chili powder because it’ll be approximately 100 times more flavorful.
I make my own but then store it in an old chili powder container so it keeps longer.
Stir together the sugar, salt, and chili powder and you’ll have something awesome. Feel free to adjust this spice mixture to your tastes.
If you wanted it a bit spicier, you could add a pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper. If you want it sweeter, you could add some brown sugar.
It’s probably gonna be pretty good no matter what.
Anytime I’m making a chip product, I always do a test run before going into full production.
This gives you a chance to make sure your oil is at the right temperature and that your spice mixture is right before you start adding it to a whole batch.
This was my quick test batch which turned out better than I was expecting.
Cooking the Corn Strips
Any big heavy pot will work fine for cooking these corn strips. I like to use my cast iron skillet for anything fry-related.
The cool thing about this fry job is that you don’t need a lot of oil. Just about a half inch of oil in the pan will be enough to fry the strips. Once the oil is hot, add a few handfuls of strips to the oil and stir them around.
Try to make sure the strips are separated at the beginning. If you let them sit in the hot oil without stirring them, they’ll all stick together.
One batch will need to cook for about three minutes. It’s a really quick fry, but make sure they get nice and crispy before removing them.
Then just pull out the chips and let them drain on a paper towel for about 30 seconds. You want to make sure to season them while they are still hot and a bit greasy so the seasoning sticks well.
But a quick drain is necessary.
Then dump them quickly in a bowl and season them.
Season them liberally.
Don’t go easy on them.
The finished chips will be crunchy, salty, a bit sweet, and have this delicious smokey flavor from the chili powder.
You’ll have no problem polishing off a bowl of these guys.
I would only change one thing if I were to make these again…
I would double the recipe!