Saturday, June 18, 2011

Buffalo Tortilla Chips with Blue Cheese Dressing

Chicken wings being such a wonderful part of so many great summer picnics, it seems like a good time for a snack recipe inspired by one of the most popular - Buffalo wings. Although buffalo, while happy to roam the range and watch the deer and the antelope play, do not normally have wings, the unique, delicious taste of Buffalo wings was named not for the animal, but for the city in far western New York State where they were first created.

Today’s recipe, Buffalo Tortilla Chips with Blue Cheese Dressing, pays homage to this classic treat. It combines the distinctive spicy-sweet tang of Buffalo wings with the taste and crunch of homemade corn tortilla chips. Garnished with celery and carrot sticks, and dipped in blue cheese dressing, is a worthwhile change of pace from the usual snack chip. And, to the best of my knowledge, you won't find them in the snack aisle of your local supermarket.

The only special equipment you’ll need is a tortilla press although, truth be told, if you have a rolling pin you can even get away with using that. A couple of important Cook’s Notes:
  • As noted in the recipe, use corn flour as described, not corn meal.
  • As with most things involving hot sauce, use more or less to adjust the heat. The quantities in this recipe make for what I would consider a medium heat that mixes beautifully with the cool blue cheese dressing.
  • Since, unlike wheat flour, corn flour does not contain gluten, the tortilla dough will not be toughened if overworked.
This recipe makes 72 chips (about 6 normal servings, or 2-3 teenage servings).

First we’ll need to make our Buffalo tortilla sauce:
Whisk together 1 cup melted butter substitute; 3 tablespoons of Tabasco or similar hot sauce; 2 tablespoons of honey, and  1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder.
To make the tortilla:
Combine the following tortilla ingredients and mix for about two minutes to form a soft dough: 1-1/4 cups of the Buffalo tortilla sauce you made in the previous step; 2 cups of masa harina (corn flour with “lime” (calcium hydroxide), either Maseca or a similar brand); and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. (If the dough seems a little dry, add warm water, 1 tsp at a time, until the proper texture is reached.)

Divide the dough into 12 – 16 balls, and cover with a damp cloth or paper towel while you form and cook the tortillas.

Using a tortilla press lined with heavy plastic (such as a flattened food storage bag), parchment, or corn-floured wax paper, or using a rolling pin, press one of the balls out into a tortilla 5” – 6” in diameter.

Place the raw tortilla in a non-stick pan (no oil or butter) over medium heat. Cook for about 30 seconds on the first side, flip and cook for 60 seconds on the other side, then flip again and cook the first side for another 30 seconds. (A small amount of browning is desirable.) While the tortilla is cooking, press the next one. As you stack the finished tortillas, keep the stack covered with a damp cloth or paper towel to prevent drying out.

When all the tortillas have been cut and stacked, cut the pile into sixths to make chips. Spread the chips out in a single layer on two large ungreased baking sheets.

Bake the chips until golden brown and crisp, about 12-15 minutes. (Rotate the baking sheets half-way through if using more than one shelf.) Keep in mind the chips will get a little crisper when they have cooled.

Allow to cool before serving. Serve with celery and carrot sticks (not pictured in the top photo, but you know what they look like) and blue cheese dressing for dipping.
All that’s left now is to enjoy them!

For a cookbook style, notebook-ready copy of this recipe, just drop me a note or a comment, make sure I have your e-mail address, and it shall be done!

Thanks for visiting; hope  to see you next week! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. My stream of consciousness went like this: mmmm - that sounds good! ooh - with shredded chicken! nachos! white Mexican cheese! tomatillo salsa!

    so, of course now I have to go shopping tomorrow.

  2. I usually make my own tortilla chips by using already made corn tortillas. I will try my hand at making these though. They sound very yummy!!!

  3. Amy, I love everything you said. Using the sauce-infused chips for chicken nachos sounds so good, and is something I never thought of. If you make it, I hope you'll post the recipe on your blog or elsewhere. Thank you for a wonderful suggestion!

    And thank you, Tawnya! I hope you will try making the fresh tortillas. If you decide to, all you really need to do is substitute warm water for the buffalo sauce, and add about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of honey. Then sprinkle the baked chips with your topping: salt, Adobo, or whatever else you like.(The first time I tested the buffalo tortilla chips idea, I made regular tortillas and brushed the sauce onto them for baking, hoping to create a recipe that would allow the option of using store-bought tortillas. Unfortunately, that didn't work out; you could taste the heat but not the tang. That is what led to putting the sauce directly into the tortilla dough.)

  4. Thanks for the neat recipe. You make fixing your own tortilla chips sound so simple! Shared this link on my facebook page.

  5. Thanks, Alaina. :-)

    And thank you also, JD. Making tortillas, and tortilla chips (which can also be made any way you like them with store-bought tortillas), really is easy and fun. The main thing is making sure the dough is pressed or rolled out thin enough, and getting the texture of the dough right. If the edges crack when you press it, it may be a little dry. And yet it should not be too moist because something that thin then becomes hard to handle. See what I mean? lol. Thank you also for sharing the link!

  6. Looks great Ben. I have thought often about making my own tortillas. Now I know a tried and true recipe. My project this week was falafel.


  7. Thanks, Sandra. If you decide to make these, let me know how you like them! And I am looking forward to checking out your falafel project; I love the way you do not just cook a dish, but really explore different aspects of it.