In the next instalment of our new food column THE FEEDING TROUGH, Witchdoctor’s resident gourmand (when he’s not being our tech guru) whips up a tasty, nutritious and easy-to-make meal that’s perfect for winter.
As the days get cooler, I start to crave warming comfort food. It doesn’t get much better than homemade corn chips, which are healthier and taste a million times better than the store-bought awfulness that is Doritos. Besides, that brand also uses palm oil, which is a cardinal no-no for me. Add a serving of chilli beans and you’ve got a delicious and healthy yet surprisingly easy meal to make.
You’ll need a tortilla press to make the corn chips. These typically cost around $50 and can be found in most good kitchen shops. Virtually all the ingredients in this recipe can otherwise be found in supermarkets.
Feeds 2, cook time 45 minutes to an hour
- Tortilla Press
- Sharp knife
- Cast iron pan, oven roasting trays
- Clean large bowl
Ingredients (Corn Chips)
- 2x cups Masa Harina
- 1x cup water
- Peanut, sunflower or rice bran oil
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt
Ingredients (Chilli Beans)
- 1x 400tg tin of tomatoes
- 1x tin of red kidney beans
- 1x large onion
- 1x stick of celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2x large dried chillis
- 1x teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ Teaspoon ground chipotle
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1x Pinch of dried oregano
- 1x pinch of dried thyme
Steps (corn chips)
- Add 2x cups of masa harina to a large clean bowl (don’t try to substitute cornmeal or flour, it won’t work)
- Mix in 1 cup of water until a dough starts to form
- Work the dough into a ball and then roll it out into a long sausage shape
- Cut the sausage into equal-sized 1 ½ inch chunks
- Place a clean plastic bag over the top plate of the tortilla press and a clean plastic bag on the bottom plate
- Place a chunk of masa harina dough on the middle of the bottom plate and close the top plate to and press the dough into a roundish tortilla.
- Carefully removing the raw tortilla from the tortilla press, set the raw tortilla aside and repeat until all the chunks of Masa Harina are pressed into tortillas
- Pre-heat the oven on fan or bake mode to 180c (check your oven’s manual for the best setting for baking)
- Heating the cast iron or heavy pan on an element set to high, place 1-2 raw tortillas in the pan, turning them over to cook both sides (it should take a minute or so for each side)
- Once all the tortillas are cooked, use the scissors to cut them into rough triangle shapes
- Place the cut tortillas into a bowl and add a generous glug of oil and then a pinch of salt
- Using your hands mix the tortillas, oil and salt so they are all evenly coated
- Spacing the cut tortillas out in oven trays, making sure they are not covering each other, place the baking tray in the oven and set a timer for 5 minutes
- Check the tortillas once the timer goes off, they should be crisp, not soft. Make sure they are not burnt
- They will probably need a little more time in the oven. If they do, set a timer for 3 minutes and place the tray back in the oven, keep an eye on them so they don’t burn
- Once the timer goes off, check to see if the tortillas are crisp to the touch. If there are still some soft tortillas, place the oven tray back in the oven and set a timer for 1 minute, keeping an eye on them
- Once they’re all crisp, remove from the oven to cool.
- Finely cut the onion into small pieces
- Finely chop the garlic
- Finely cut the celery
- Chop the dried chillis into small pieces
- Place a largeish pot on a medium heat element and add oil
- Once the oil has heated, add the onions, thyme and oregano. Stir until the onions begin to cook, making sure they don’t burn.
- Add celery, paprika, chillis, chipotle, cumin and mix through the celery/onion
- Add the tomatoes, breaking up tomato chunks as your stir
- Add the garlic mixing through the tomatoes
- Once the tomatoes begin to simmer, open, drain and add the kidney beans, stirring through the chilli mix
- Leave to simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure the chilli beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Divide up the corn chips and add a generous helping to each bowl, then add a helping of the chilli beans.
Serve with a cold beer and something good on TV. Provecho!