Elegant Survivalist, by M-J de Mesterton


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Elegant Survivalist

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M-J de Mesterton,

Author of

Elegant Survival

Elegant Home-Made Tortilla Chips


Frying Tortilla Chips for an Elegant Home-Made Southwest Appetizer

Posted at 12:16 PM on November 27, 2009

You don’t have to throw out your tortillas if they are past their prime. Make them into tortilla chips, which will be very popular with your family and guests, as they are pleasingly different from those bought in the store.Take a stack of tortillas and dust between the layers with salt, pressing it into them. Then, pushing down hard with a large knife twice at different angles, cut the stack into quarters. Lower a handful at-a-time of uncooked chips into bubbling hot oil. For this light and crispy batch, I used a combination of soy oil, which is now sold as “vegetable oil”, and lard. Peanut or corn oil are also good for deep-frying tortillas. When the chips themselves have developed bubbles and are slightly brown, it’s time to remove them from the pot with a runsible or slotted spoon. Drain them on paper towels, and dust with more salt if desired. The cooking oil may be strained, refrigerated and re-used for French fries, yams or potato chips. My recipe for Elegant Guacamole goes very well with these tortilla chips. So do sour cream or crème fraîche, and a mixture of sliced jalapeños with melted Cheddar cheese, baked on top of the chips for a few minutes in a hot oven.

©M-J de Mesterton 2009

Home-Made Tortilla Chips: an Elegant American Appetizer

M-J de Mesterton’s Elegant Guacamole Recipe is Available on ElegantCook.net

For green chile powder, which is a good substitute for chopped canned or frozen New Mexico green chiles, go North of the Border.

Elegant Tahini Sauce

M-J’s Simple Recipe for Elegant Tahini Sauce
Sesame paste mixed with lemon juice, water, salt and the merest hint of garlic powder makes an elegant tahini dip or sauce for mezedes, or pre-prandial appetisers.

Use this elegant and simple tahini sauce as a dip for flat-breads, steamed cauliflower, celery, other fresh vegetables, and fried potatoes. Optionally, you may drizzle olive oil over the tahini.
People find tahini sauce very pleasing in the summer months, and it is economical to make, since the sesame paste expands greatly when mixed with water and lemon juice.

Cheddar Cheese Stands Alone at Elegant Survival

Cheddar Cheese and Rock Painting by M- de Mesterton, Photo Copyright 2009
California Cheddar by Albertson's, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009

California Cheddar by Albertson’s, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2009
My three favourite cheeses are Cheddar (named after the town in England) and Parmesan (named after Parma, Italy). Of course, I am fond of other cheeses from around the world, such as Swedish Farmer’s Cheese, Danish Havarti, Kashkeval, feta, halloumi and brie, but these two cheeses seem to have many more applications.
One of the nice things about Cheddar cheese is its versatility: it is always welcome at a cocktail or drinks party, and melts well for nachos and other American dishes.
The charming host of America’s Test Kitchen, Christopher Kimball, also of Cook’s Illustrated magazine, has written about Cheddar cheese in its latest number, and has also conducted a taste-and-quality test of various Cheddars offered in most American supermarkets. I have always depended upon the quality and taste of Tillamook (Oregon) and Cracker Barrel brands. The test results bore out my choices. Another great Cheddar from the U.S.A., available in several western states, is Albertson’s supermarket brand California Cheddar (pictured here), costing about four dollars per pound, a price which is commensurate with that of the two aforementioned selections.

Here is the article about Cheddar cheese from this month’s Cook’s magazine.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2009