The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Textured Corn Chips

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carrot4u's picture
carrot4u

Textured Corn Chips

Hi All, 

I am a self taught sometime  professional cook, and very amateur baker. I am about to embark on a new restaurant concept initiative which is heavily Mexican influenced and as part of my research, I am looking to make my own tortillas on site, as well as my own Corn Chips, or Corn Tortilla Chips.

I want the wheat tortillas to be thin, supple, yet strong...so not too filling, I've been experimenting with a few different recipes I've found online..some with baking powder, some without..some with lard, others with Olive Oil and others with Bacon Fat..so I'd welcome Ideas or suggestions for recipes which meet these criteria.

The second thing I am after is a Corn Chip which after it is fried or baked, will curl and contort...the idea being my nachos should be textured, not just sit flat in the dish, when preparing and serving...multiple shapes and textures...which allows for plenty of air around the corn chips to allow circulation of heat..

So any ideas, recipes or cooking techniques which would help me achieve that effect would be greatly appreciated.

thanks :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Textured or wavy baking sheet or pan?   Screen mesh baskets, one inside the other for baking or frying?  Draping on an oven rack?  Extruded chip dough through a shape that encourages curling...   

carrot4u's picture
carrot4u

Thanks Mini, some interesting ideas...

I Used to buy them for my restaurant in Australia many years ago, from a company called Senor Nila, and he used to make them in his factory...for me, they were just perfect...no two corn chips were the same...they were the same size, but all different shapes...so you used to grab a hand full, throw them in the dish and they would sit up and provide the height, depth and aeration I wanted...

The reason I mention all this, was  he had a production line and produced them in massive quantities, they were deep fried ( i think ) and I'm not sure how I would apply your ideas in a commercial environment to produce the quantity I would need to make on a daily basis.

I thought perhaps his secret was in the recipe, perhaps the edition of baking powder to the corn tortillas? I don't know, and sadly he passed away many years ago and his wife simply close the factory and moved back to Mexico.

Thanks so much for your suggestions though..

Antilope's picture
Antilope

making flour tortillas:

Rick Bayless Homemade Flour Tortillas

On YouTube is an episode of Rick Bayless in his show, One Plate at a Time, where he is making homemade flour tortillas from scratch. The episode is called "Making Quesadillas".

Here's a link to on YouTube where he makes the flour tortillas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sD3UwVctjU

I made these recipe notes while watching that episode:

Rick Bayless Homemade Flour Tortillas

Makes One Dozen, 7-inch, flour tortillas

3/4 cup (175 gr) cold tap Water
1 tsp (6 gr) Table Salt
2 3/4 cups (3/4 lb) (340 gr) All Purpose Flour
1/3 cup (65 gr) Shortening (vegetable or pork fat).

Mix salt into the cup of water.
Place flour and shortening in food processor.
Pulse until shortening is well mixed.
With food processor running, pour in salty water slowly.
Process until dough forms a ball. It should be slightly sticky.
Remove from food processor and roll dough out into sausage shape on slightly floured counter.
Cut into 6 even size pieces.
Cut each of the 6 pieces in half to make 12 pieces of dough.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball.
Place 12 dough balls on plate and cover with plastic wrap.
Let dough balls rest on plate, covered with plastic wrap on counter, for 1/2 hour.
Roll out each dough ball into a 7-inch tortilla, one at a time as you cook them. Dust counter with a little flour
while rolling out tortilla. Using a rolling pin, roll out tortilla from the center to edge, while rotating tortilla.
Cook in a dry or slightly oiled cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Turn over after a minute or two.
Cook until tops of bubbles that form are browned.
As each tortilla is cooked, stack in a cloth lined (clean dish towel, etc) basket and cover with the cloth.
They will steam and soften each other as they sit in the covered basket while you cook the remaining tortillas.

Makes 12 flour tortillas.

Source: One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless, episode "Making Quesadillas", as viewed on YouTube.

BobS's picture
BobS

Pretty easy and very good.

carrot4u's picture
carrot4u

Thanks Antilope, I'll definitely give this ago... :-)

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

sometimes have tortilla machies for making tortillas on site.  Here's a YouTube video of one in operation.

From Googling the term "tortilla machine", it appears that there are also similar machines for making corn tortillas and corn chips.  I've no way of knowing what might be available to you in Oz, so you might have to some more research to locate a manufacturer or importer who can provide one.

Paul

Antilope's picture
Antilope

that are served at restaurants like El Toritos or Chi Chi's. 

I have developed a microwave version of this dish that is done in about 15 minutes. Here's my recipe:

Microwave Mexican Restaurant Sweet Corn Cakes

Makes 6 cups, 12 servings - On table in 15-minutes

This is a Copy Cat Recipe that I developed for the microwave. I wanted a quick recipe to copy the sweet corn cakes (Mexican spoon bread) that are served at Mexican restaurants like El Torito's and Chi Chi's or sold as a mix at supermarkets. This is ready to eat in about 15 minutes. For a less sweet dish, reduce granulated sugar to 1/3 cup. For a firmer sweet corn cake, microwave an additional 3-minutes.

If you've never had these at a Mexican restaurant, they are similar to a firm, sweet, grits or polenta, with a corn tortilla flavor. The corn tortilla flavor comes from the masa harina flour. A good substitute for the masa harina flour is 1/4 cup of finely crushed Fritos corn chips.

I got the idea of making this recipe in a microwave from Cook's Illustrated. They have a microwave polenta recipe that cooks in 12 minutes.

I made this in an 1100-watt microwave.


Ingredients

1 cup yellow cornmeal, uncooked
1/4 cup masa harina flour (or 1/4 cup finely crushed Fritos corn chips, use in place of masa harina)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (or 1/3 cup for less sweet)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk
1 cup water
1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted



Directions

Stir all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl, mix well and set aside until needed. 
Mix all wet ingredients together in another bowl. Stir until well mixed.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir out any dry lumps in batter.

Pour into a 3-quart covered, microwaveable casserole dish.

Cover and microwave on high for 6-minutes.

Stir well. Stir bottom and sides of dish well to remove any dry lumps.

Cover and microwave on high for another 6-minutes.

Stir a few times and serve warm using an ice cream scoop or disher.

This gets thicker as it cools and reaches room temperature. If you want a more
gritty sweet corn cake, use polenta corn meal instead of regular corn meal.