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Tortilla Strip Croutons. Go For It.

When we made our own tortillas with heirloom corn, we used to laugh at the customers who complained that a dozen tortillas was too many. I didn't laugh hard but it made me really realize how different we all are. A dozen tortillas is not a problem in my home. Rancho Gordo heirloom bean soup with tortilla croutons Once in a while, even at my house, there are too many tortillas. Throwing them out would be a sin but as they get older, a great way to use them is to fry them and use them as croutons. Traditionally, this is a topping for Tortilla Soup and Sopa Azteca but try them over a bowl of beans with lots and lots of broth. Or a green salad. I like to slice them thin. Others like little squares and some prefer triangles. Life is all about the choices you make. This one isn't worth fretting over. Most Mexican friends would use corn oil but my understanding is that it's not the healthiest stuff at this point. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I use sunflower oil from Trader Joe's. It's not traditional but it's neutral. After frying in a small skillet, I pour the strained oil into a beer bottle for later use. I believe three times is the maximum for frying and then it's time to splurge on some fresh oil. Remember that this is best with older tortillas. When they're fresh, it's said that they absorb more oil and take longer to get crisp. I hear that you can keep them for several days in an airtight tin but I've never had them last for several days. If it's not me, it's someone else who picks at them until they've vanished.

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