Tuesday, June 09, 2009

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

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8 Comments:

At 6/11/2009 9:34 AM, Blogger Jennifer Hugon said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I'm SO trying these this weekend after I get some lettuce at the Farmer's market.

Yummy!

 
At 6/11/2009 9:46 AM, Blogger Kelly said...

you're a better woman than me. I would have picked up a bag of Tostitos! Or Shearer's kettle chips. And eaten the whole dangblame thing.

 
At 6/11/2009 9:49 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Normally, I would, too, Kelly. But I'm trying really hard right now to curb my snack expenses (both to the wallet and to the body), and I'm trying to find healthier ways to satisfy and perhaps even change my cravings. Not really a case of virtue -- more a necessity.

 
At 6/11/2009 9:50 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Definitely worth a try, Jen -- and you might even try adding a touch of dried herbs, too. Let me know if you need some good salsa -- I've got more. :-)

 
At 6/11/2009 10:04 AM, OpenID eatclosetohome said...

Oh, hey! That's something I've never thought of making before...and I love me some corn chips! And there's all the cornmeal I've never quite gotten around to using...Thanks, Jennifer!

 
At 6/11/2009 10:06 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I'd never thought of it before, either, Emily. It was one of those "a-ha!" moments when I thought, well, they come from some kitchen somewhere, right??? And they're quicker to make and crunchier than cornbread. :-)

 
At 6/11/2009 11:59 AM, Anonymous jasmine said...

May have to consider these for a local meal in this summer's challenge -- cornmeal I can get locally.

 
At 6/11/2009 1:07 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Good idea, Jasmine! That should make a good, light summer supper for you.

 

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