Like I mentioned in my last post, holiday flavors can get a little tiring, but that’s not the only thing that gets tiring over the holidays. Those extra pounds that are inevitably gained between December and January can weigh you down in more ways than one. I love a good dessert as much as the next person, but it can be a bit much during the holiday season. That’s why today I wanted to share with you an easy, and essentially healthy, appetizer that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Whether to bring to a holiday pot luck dinner, or a cocktail party in your comfort of your own home – chips and salsa are not only delicious but quick and easy as well.
Chips and salsa have long been one of my favorite snacks. Although I am a chocolate girl at heart, I wouldn’t necessarily chow down on it for a late night snack. Sometimes all I need is one square of chocolate to satisfy a craving. The same does not apply to chips and salsa. Empty bags of Tostitos can often be found at the bottom of my garbage bin, and store bought salsa jars line my fridge walls. Once I start a bag, I have trouble stopping. I just find them so addictive. Unfortunately although salsa is fairly healthy for you, store bought tortilla chips are not. But fear not, homemade tortilla chips are a much healthier alternative – and they are so easy. Also they just sound more impressive. I whipped up a batch once for a Friday night dinner I hosted for my sorority. They were gone in minutes, followed by a chorus of “You MADE these?!”
Yes I did, and you can too. The salsa takes a little more prep work but its totally worth it. All it takes is a sharp knife and some fresh, good quality produce.
1 package of tortillas (I used a tomato basil flavor, but regular or spinach would work as well)
A tablespoon of olive oil (to brush on the tortiallas)
4-6 Roma tomatoes (depending on size)
¼ cup chopped red onion
½ – 1 jalapeño pepper (depending on taste preference)
¼ cup of cilantro
2-3 large pinches of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line to baking trays with parchment paper. Slice the tortilla into wedges, or strips – depending on what you feel like. You can usually get about 6-8 decent sized chips out of a regular tortilla. Spread the chips out over the trays, don’t place them too close together or else they won’t get crispy. Brush each chip with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Put the racks in the oven for 10-12 minutes and remove once they start to become golden. Let them cool for about 5 minutes before enjoying.
Finely dice the tomatoes, red onion, jalapeño pepper and cilantro. Make sure you remove the seeds from the pepper, and I would recommend gloves and jalapeno’s can be irritating to the skin. Place into a large bowl and mix together. Squeeze out the juice of one lime over the salsa. Add salt to taste and mix again. If you find that the salsa is too chunky for you, toss it into a food processor and pulse it about 10 times at one second intervals. That’s what I did since my sous chef (aka mother) got a bit lazy with her dicing. The salsa can also have a little too much liquid so if you want, you can strain it as well. It all depends on your taste and texture preferences.
Serve with chips and watch the crowd go wild….
OR you can do what I did and make some nachos! These were so incredibly good I cannot even begin to describe it.
Homemade tortilla chips
½ cup of grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
6 Green olives, sliced
4 pickled jalapenos, sliced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chips onto a lined baking tray. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over top of the chips and place in the over for 3 -4 minutes until the cheese is melted. Transfer chips to a dish or plate. Place a heaping spoonful of salsa in the middle and sprinkle olives and pickled jalapenos on top. Enjoy!