By Sheela Prakash, EPICURIOUS
Tortilla chips go stale fast. Don't throw them out: put that sad, half-empty bag in your pantry to good use.
While there are definitely days when I can tackle an entire bag of tortilla chips with nothing more than a jar of salsa, most of the time, the tortilla chips win. That's why, all too often, my cabinets contain a half-full bag that's gone stale.
But those stale tortilla chips have a secret: they love an extreme makeover. Here's how to turn a half-full bag of chips into something much, much more:
1. MAKE CHILAQUILES
In this traditional Mexican dish, chips are layered with a spicy red chile sauce, queso fresco, and Monterey Jack cheese, then broiled until gooey and bubbling. The stale chips hold up well under the layers of sauce and cheese, softening just enough. It's a pretty hefty dish as is; topping it with a fried egg (or two) puts it over the top.
2. USE AS A GARNISH FOR SOUP
All soups want a garnish, and that's where tortilla chips come in. Top your bowl with a few broken-up pieces to add texture to every spoonful. While this move is a must in Mexican tortilla soup, it works on a simple tomato soups or your favorite chili.
3. SCRAMBLE WITH YOUR EGGS
Looking for a way to up your breakfast game? The Tex-Mex dish called migas is simply scrambled eggs with crushed tortilla chips thrown into the mix. It's crunchy and addictive--you may never make plain old eggs again.
4. TURN INTO CRUMBS
Pulse chips in a food processor to make crumbs and use them in place of breadcrumbs in pretty much anything. They're particularly great sprinkled over mac and cheese just before baking, or used as breading for chicken.
5. CONSIDER THE CASSEROLE
Casserole-averse? Give this a try and maybe you won't be: Line the bottom of a baking dish with crushed tortilla chips and assemble any casserole on top--the chips form a crispy crust on the bottom of the pan. (And while you're at it, throw some chips on top of the casserole, too.)
6. RE-CRISP THEM
If you've exhausted every way to repurpose them, stale tortilla chips can be revived in the oven. Just lay them out on a baking sheet and toast them in a 400°F oven for three to five minutes until they're crispy again.
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