I've Got a Chip On My Shoulder
That's right. I've got an attitude today. It's my blog, and I'll kvetch if I want to.
I gotta tell ya, it ain't easy being the Local Foods Fairy (as some people like to think of me). Sure, I love my fresh produce from the garden or the farmers' market or my CSA, and yeah, I'll go the extra mile to get something produced locally by people I know and trust.
But I'm human, and I sometimes get my cravings for food products that are definitely not from around here. I know how Michael Pollan feels, getting busted at the Whole Foods in Berkeley for picking up cereal for his son: I got caught at the grocery store the other day grabbing a box of veggie burgers from the freezer -- and by the president of our Local Roots steering committee, no less.
Sometimes, I even like -- yes, you read that right -- junk food. Salty or sweet, loaded with bad fats, out and out junk food.
Take today, for instance. I started having a fierce chip craving halfway through the afternoon at work, and I knew I didn't have anything to satisfy the craving at home. Should I run out on break and get a small bag of potato chips? Should I swing by the grocery on the way home and pick up a bag of tortilla chips? How could I live with myself?
Then I remembered the power of the Internet -- and I searched for a recipe.
Yes, I found a simple recipe for corn chips, so I thought I'd give them a try as a guilt-free substitute for store-bought. The ingredient list was simple -- four items, well within Pollan's edict from In Defense of Food -- and the batter took all of a minute to whisk together. I spooned it onto a heavily greased cookie sheet and spread the batter out as thinly as I could, then slid the tray in to bake.
Well, I discovered that I had just a little too much water in the recipe as the chips ended up a little too soft, but in general, they turned out to be a pretty easy, wholesome, and tasty substitute for the bagged chips from the store. It took about 20 minutes to make them, and they were even warm when I wanted to eat them.
I arranged some on a plate and added fresh chopped lettuce (from the garden), some of my home-canned salsa, and local Cheddar cheese -- with just a sprinkling of fresh cilantro on top -- for an easy and refreshing taco salad that was all local and all healthy.
Yeah, I sometimes want something other than the usual local foods. And yeah, sometimes I'm just enough of a kitchen nerd to try something new in order to replace those non-local foods that I crave.
Wanna make something of it?
Homemade Corn Chips
The basic recipe comes from Kaboose, found on a Google search. I tweaked it a little (of course) and replaced about 2 T of cornmeal with ground golden flax seed. I think I would also cut back on the water next time. But overall, this seems to be a good base recipe that could be modify with added flavors at some point.
1 c cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1 T canola oil
3/4 c water
Mix ingredients together. Spoon onto a thoroughly greased cookie sheet and spread out with the back of a spoon. Bake at 400 F for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool on baking rack.
Makes about 2 dozen