Thursday, October 6, 2011

Herb-Garlic Tortilla Chips and Fresh Guacamole


My favorite kind of tortilla chips are what is usually found at Mexican restaurants. They are made from corn or flour tortillas that are deep fried, seasoned according to the chef’s tastes and usually served with a salsa made at the establishment. It is the perfect start to any meal.

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The first party I ever catered, I started the meal with my own tortilla chips and fresh salsa. The chips alone received the most compliments. I think they were memorable because it stood out from the ordinary tortilla chip found anywhere from grocery stores to vending machines. The chip gave the entire meal a gourmet feel.

For this recipe, I make homemade tortilla chips and fresh guacamole. I start by infusing oil with fresh herbs and garlic, which imparts a unique and aromatic flavor into the corn tortilla chip when fried. I then season it with salt and fresh grated parmesan cheese. The unexpected flavor from the chip makes this snack impossible to stop eating – Not to mention, the tasty and fresh guacamole that goes with it.

BEHIND THIS BITE
I have had this recipe for a long time. I started writing my column a year-and-a-half ago and I usually challenge myself to create something new each week. It makes the job easy to use a treat I had created long ago. I saw the flavored-oil technique on the Food Network's Tyler's Ultimate, I think he used it for fish and chips. Somewhere a long the line I thought it would be a good way to flavor tortilla chips.

I have made these chips a number of times and I have never had leftovers.

The guacamole is something I picked up at a cooking class taught be Sue Torres, chef and owner of Suenos in New York City. It was the first cooking class I had ever taken and it was a ton of fun. I learned a lot about making fresh salsa as well as the guacamole. I highly recommend taking classes or attending demonstrations regardless of experience, there is always something more to learn.

My family requests the guacamole more than any other dish I make, it's always a hit. Seriously, my family tears into a platter of this stuff like werewolves on a veal farm.

I decided to create this for myself this week while enjoying an afternoon of football – and thought it was time to share it here.

Eat well, cook often ...

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