Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chips and Dips ~ Make your own!

Chips and Dips - Make your own!

*** Too Easy ***

Chip recipes ~ Dip recipes below

Why are you purchasing chips and dips for parties and family, when it is so very easy to make them?
Tortilla chips have to be among the easiest to make! Pita chips are pathetically easy as well!

To make tortilla chips, buying corn tortillas is the easiest way, but it is also easy to make corn tortillas.

Take a package of corn tortillas, and stack 5 tortillas on your cutting board. Using a straight edge knife, cut the tortillas into wedges. Usually quartering them is the easiest way, but you can cut them into any  shape or size you wish.

Using a deep fryer, or even a skillet, heat your oil to 375 and fry several pieces at a time until golden crispy. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and then salt as wanted. Best in my opinion when served hot, but they can be served hot or cold.

You can do this for pita bread and flour tortillas well.

Here is a simple flour tortilla recipe:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder   
2 tablespoons lard or shortening
1 1/2 cups water

1.     Whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a mixing bowl. Mix in the lard with your fingers until the flour resembles cornmeal. Add the water and mix until the dough comes together; place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few minutes until smooth and elastic. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
2.     Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a well-floured rolling pin to roll a dough ball into a thin, round tortilla. Place into the hot skillet, and cook until bubbly and golden; flip and continue cooking until golden on the other side. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer; continue rolling and cooking the remaining dough.

Here is a recipe for corn tortillas:

How to Make Corn Tortillas

Makes 16-18 tortillas.


2 cups masa harina
1 1/2 to 2 cups water


Before you start

You'll need a special corn flour called masa harina for making the tortillas. Masa harina is corn flour that has been treated with calcium hydroxide or "lime" which makes it more nutritious by releasing the niacin in the corn, and easier to digest. Masa flour can be found at most grocery stores, or online. Look for masa harina that is only corn and lime (calcium hydroxide) for corn tortilla making.

You can make the tortillas completely by hand, by forming a thin pancake with the dough between your hands. But unless you are somewhat experienced in this method, you'll get more consistent results by using a tortilla press. These too are available in Mexican markets and come either in wood, aluminum, or cast iron. 

To make 16-18 tortillas, start with putting 2 cups of masa flour in a large bowl. (Hint: for added "lift" you can mix in 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.) Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of very warm water to the masa flour (according to the directions on the package, some brands may call for different amounts of water). Mix in and let sit for 5 minutes or so. Begin working the masa with your hands to make the dough. Work the dough for several minutes. Press the dough with your fingers and the palms of your hands as if you were kneading bread dough. If at any point through the tortilla making process the dough seems too dry or too wet, add a little more water or masa to the dough.

Take a piece of the masa dough and shape it into a ball the size of a plum, or slightly large golf ball. Make about 16-18 balls from the dough.

Pressing the Tortillas

Take two pieces of wax paper or plastic from a plastic bag and cut them to the shape of the surface of the tortilla press. Open the tortilla press and lay one piece of wax paper on the press. Place the masa ball in the center. Place another piece of wax paper over the masa ball. Gently close the press and press down, until the dough has spread to a diameter of 6 inches.

Cooking the Tortillas

Heat a griddle or a large skillet on high heat. Working one at a time, hold a tortilla in your hand, carefully removing the wax paper on each side. Allow the tortilla to rest half on your hand, and half hanging down, and gently lay the tortilla down on to the skillet. Start working on pressing the next tortilla. Cook the tortilla on the hot pan for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. The tortilla should be lightly toasted and little air pockets forming.

Remove the tortillas to a tortilla warmer lined with dish towel or paper towels, or wrap them in a dish towel to keep them warm. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat.

Potato Chips:

"Making home style potato chips is fun and easy. Guaranteed they won't last long! A food processor with a slicing attachment is very helpful. Experiment with the thickness; you may like them thicker or thinner."
4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced paper-thin
3 tablespoons salt
1 quart oil for deep frying

1.     Place potato slices into a large bowl of cold water as you slice. Drain, and rinse, then refill the bowl with water, and add the salt. Let the potatoes soak in the salty water for at least 30 minutes. Drain, then rinse and drain again.
2.     Heat oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C). Fry potato slices in small batches. Once they start turning golden, remove and drain on paper towels. Continue until all of the slices are fried. Season with additional salt if desired.

Ranch Dip :

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayo
(Or just 2 cups sour cream)
2 packages or two tablespoons ranch dressing mix (Make your own)

Combine ingredients in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

French Onion Dip:

"This creamy and rich dip is a hit at any party. Fresh onions cook down to give this dip the sweetest flavor, far superior to any powdered soup mix French onion dip."

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1.     Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook and stir until the onions are caramelized to a nice golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the onions from the heat and cool.
2.     Mix together the sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic powder, white pepper, and remaining kosher salt. Stir in the onions when they are cool. Cover and refrigerate the dip for at least 2 hours before serving.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip:
(Leave out the artichokes for just a great spinach dip)


3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
1 (8-ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (recommended: Rotel)
1 cup shredded 4 cheese blend

Tortilla chips and cut vegetables, for serving


Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it foams, add the shallot and garlic, and saute until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the flour and cook while stirring until it becomes a light blonde color.

Slowly stir in the heavy cream, and the drained spinach, and simmer until it starts to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and cheese and cook until the cheese is melted. Remove to a serving bowl.

Knorr Spinach Dip:


    1 box (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
    2 Cups sour cream
    1 cup Mayo
    1 package Knorr® Vegetable recipe mix
    1 can (8 oz.) water chestnuts, drained and chopped
    3 green onions, chopped (optional)


    Combine all ingredients and chill about 2 hours. Serve with your favorite dippers to your favorite people.

Make your own copycat Knorr Vegetable Soup Mix:

There might be any number of reasons you would want to make your own version of this soup/dip mix. Price of course, although a good approximation won't be cheap at the outset but over time will prove to be a real money saver. But there are health reasons--sodium, carb count, sugar, msg allergy, who knows what all. For myself too much starch, sugars and carbs. But i do love that spinach dip, so I came up with my own solution.

Vegetable broth powder, which has the essential elements w/o all the unnecessary stuff, (Maltodextrin, salt, onion, carrot, autolyzed yeast extract, garlic, tomato, natural flavor, xanthan gum, parsley, spice extractives.) Dehydrated leeks (to keep it as authentic as possible) and dehydrated vegetable soup blend (Carrot, onion, tomato, spinach, celery, red bell pepper, green bell pepper), you need soup mix not stew, for the proper mixture you get in Knorr's. Toss in dehydrated spinach for the dip or you could use the frozen or fresh called for or even half and half. When you smell this recipe you will swear you just tore open a pkg of Knorr's.

2-4 teaspoons broth powder
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon dry leeks
2/3 cup soup mix veggies, for the Knorr packet which weighs 1oz, adjusting the figures to your taste.

For about $24 but I figure I have enough ingredients for approximately 48 packets, at 50� a packet, with only the stuff i want and nothing I can't have in my diet, and i don't have to wait around for a sale or hunt in obscure places to find a good deal. I am winning all around.

Pizza Dip:

1 Cup cream cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Cup pizza sauce

Take your cream cheese and Italian seasoning and mix together.
Put into bottom of 8 by 8 casserole dish.
Top with half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Pour pizza sauce on top of the cheese.
Then top with remaining cheese, sprinkle with more seasoning, and bake at 350' for 30 minutes.....yup, its that easy! SERVE WITH CRACKERS OR NACHO'S