What a day for National Days! There are at least nine to choose from, everything from Ag Day to Tamales. Some revolve around particular dishes, such as Melba Toast, while others just bring a smile like Puppy Day. Who doesn’t love puppies?
With so much inspiration to choose from, I decided to go with one that’s sure to please – National Chip and Dip Day. Chips and dip are quick and easy, perfect for parties, game night, or just vegging out in front of the TV. How complicated can it be? Open a bag of chips, fill a bowl with your favorite jar of dip and there ya go.
Of course, to make the day even more special, you could make those almost-from-scratch dips with powdered flavoring added to sour cream. Those aren’t half-bad. I like the Chive Onion Mix, and I add some chives snipped from my herb garden. Kiddo likes the Ranch Dip Mix on baked potatoes. Yum!
Today is also Tuesday – as in Tijuana Tuesday in our house. Naturally, making a skillet of warm, spicy dip to serve alongside homemade tortilla chips were perfect. Add a pitcher of Margaritas and we’ve got the makings for a great celebration.
Spicy Skillet Dip With Home-Made Tortilla Chips
Homemade Tortilla Chips
8 standard Corn Tortillas
1 cup Corn Oil
Kosher Salt to taste
The Day Before: Lay Tortillas out on a cooling rack overnight, exposed to the air. The tortillas will fry better if they are dried out first.
The Day of: Using a very sharp knife, cut each tortilla into 6 triangle-shaped wedges. Set aside until ready to fry.
Heat the oil on medium high heat until a small piece of tortilla dropped into the oil sizzles. If you have an infrared thermometer, you are looking for about 350 degrees. DO NOT allow the oil to heat to the point that it smokes. If the oil begins to smoke, IMMEDIATELY move the pan off the heat.
Line a large plate with paper towels. Have several other sheets of paper towels ready to layer between batches of freshly fried chips.
Using tongs, carefully place a handful of tortilla triangles into the hot oil in a single layer. Distribute the triangles so that they do not overlap. Allow the triangles to get coated with oil on all sides.
Fry for about 2 minutes, until the chips just begin to color and are firm, not pliable.
Using tongs or a slotted spoon with a long handle, remove the chips from the oil to the paper towel-lined plate.
Immediately sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Place another paper towel on top of the chips, ready to receive the next batch.
To control the heat of the oil, increase heat to high when the triangles are added, then lower heat when the chips begin t color. This will prevent the oil from overheating between batches of chips.
Continue to cook the triangle chips in small batches, placing the freshly fried chips over a new layer of paper towels each time. Don’t forget to sprinkle with salt while still very hot and fresh from the fryer.
Once the last batch of chips are fried, pat all the chips with some paper towels to remove any excess oil.
Place chips in a basket lined with paper napkins.
Spicy Chorizo Skillet Dip
Dip Topping Garnish
1/2 Yellow Onion
1 Roma Tomato
3 whole Jalapeno Peppers
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Cut onion from root to tip. Peel and roughly dice half the onion, set aside. Set remaining half onion aside until ready to mince.
Cut tomato in half from tip to end. Remove seeds, dice meaty flesh of the tomato and set aside. Slice jalapeno into rounds, set aside. Tear cilantro for garnish, set aside.
Cut avocado in half, remove stone. Leave avocado in skin, cut flesh into cubes. Sprinkle with lime juice, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside.
Thick-grate cheddar cheese using larger holes of grader. Cover cheese to keep fresh and set aside.
Chorizo Bean Dip
1/2 Yellow Onion
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese
1/2 lb Chorizo
2 (16 oz) cans Refried Beans
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Mexican Oregano
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Mince remaining 1/2 an onion into very small pieces and set it aside. Using small holes in the grater, finely grate the cheese, set aside.
Heat a large cash iron skillet over medium heat. Crumble chorizo, cook through, breaking meat apart as it cooks. Remove chorizo from the skillet with a large slotted spoon. Discard all but about a tablespoon of the chorizo grease.
Add onions to the skillet, sauté until tender. Add refried beans, stir to blend. Return chorizo to the bean mixture.
Season with Cumin, Oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in 1/2 cup fine Cheddar cheese. Lower heat, let simmer until cheese is melted.
Remove from heat. Stir bean mixture so all the melted cheese is blended into the dip, smooth top for garnish.
Scatter thick cut shredded cheese over the top of the bean dip mixture. Garnish with cilantro, chopped onions, tomato and jalapenos. Unwrap avocado, turn inside-out, allowing diced avocado to fall onto the dip.
Serve with warm chips and a pitcher of Margaritas if desired.
1 Lime, zested
4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons Sugar
Zest lime, place zest into a plate. Cut lime into quarters, set aside.
To the lime zest add kosher salt and sugar. Blend.
Rub rim of each glass with the quartered lime. Press rim of each glass into the zest-salt mixture to coat the rim well. Set glasses aside until ready to fill.
Margarita – Per Glass
Ice Cubes needed for mixing
4 oz Silver Tequila
2 oz Lime Juice
1 oz Simple Syrup
1 oz Grand Marnier
Ice Cubes as needed for serving
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add tequila, lime juice, Simple Syrup and orange liqueur. Cover and shake until mixed and chilled, about 30 seconds.
Fill prepared glass with ice. Strain margarita into the glass.
Repeat for each margarita, serve and enjoy!