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Jan 31, 2009 03:43 PM

Beyond stale tortilla chips...any hope?

I opened a bag of tortilla chips last night, and the bag actually smelled stale before I even tasted a chip. Sure enough, they're over the hill. Do they stand a chance in a second life as a base for tortilla soup, or tortilla casserole? Can I cook them down to a corn meal-type substance, or should I just chuck 'em? Any ideas would be great. Thank you in advance!

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  1. Put them in the food processor and grind to powder. Slowly add to simmering stock to build nice base for a tortilla soup

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockandrollbbq

      Thank you! Okay, bear with me...can I use a blender (I have no FP). I just made some stock earlier this week from scratch...hapy to use it :) If/when I add canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, when do I? I'll just google tortilla soup recipies, Never mind, and thank you again!

    2. before you try to salvage them, are you sure they're just stale, and not rancid?

      5 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        You know what, I'm not. They're natural and preservative-free so they just might have gone completely bad, huh. How can I know for sure? Thanks.

          1. re: DeppityDawg

            Yep. Not awful, like rancid milk for example. Definitely *off* though.

            1. re: chownewbie

              staling affects texture much more than flavor. if they're merely stale, they should still taste pretty much the same, but they'll either be chewy/pliable or completely dried out. if they taste "off," however, there's a good chance they're rancid. i'd toss them.

      2. I think as a base for tortilla casserole is fine. (In my version, they get pretty darn soggy...) You can crisp them up before making them into something else in the oven.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jaykayen

          You know, if you brought them within a reasonable time before you opened them, you should have returned them to them store.

          You can always feed birds with them as a last resort.

          1. re: Whosyerkitty

            Good idea about the birds. Is two weeks a reasonable amount tof time?

        2. Think of your tortilla chips the way good cooks think of wine. If they aren't good enough to eat alone, they damn sure aren't good enough to cook with!

          What's the "best by" date on the bag? If they're old and you just bought them, take them back!

          3 Replies
          1. re: Caroline1

            Definitely not good enough to eat alone. Great point; enough said. I bought them at Albertson's I think, not like TJ's or anything with a reputation for a great customer service policy. Also, bought them a while back, and surely don't have the reciept. Oh well.

            1. re: chownewbie

              Hey, if a bag of tortilla chips is the only food you ever waste, you're waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of me! '-)

              1. re: chownewbie

                I always seem to have old tortillas, chips, or tostadas around, and use them in tortilla casseroles. One would never know the difference. Of course, the chips you bought might have been nasty to begin I don't know. I live in México, so these products are always around and probably better than those in the US.

            2. Sounds like you've already tossed them, but I suspect that what you descibe as a "stale" smell IS actually rancidity. You mention rancid milk - as far as I know, spoiled milk gets sour, not rancid. And sour milk is actually part of some recipes. In contrast, when fats in a food item become rancid, the food should not be used. Not that the occasional bad chip or nut is going to do you in, but rancid fats are associated with increased risks of cancer and organ damage. The nutritionists on CH know far more about the dangers than I do.