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Beyond stale tortilla chips...any hope?

chownewbie Jan 31, 2009 03:43 PM

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!

  1. r
    rockandrollbbq Jan 31, 2009 04:04 PM

    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
      chownewbie Jan 31, 2009 04:19 PM

      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. goodhealthgourmet Jan 31, 2009 04:18 PM

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

      5 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
        chownewbie Jan 31, 2009 04:20 PM

        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: chownewbie
          DeppityDawg Jan 31, 2009 04:30 PM

          Did you taste one? You would know.

          1. re: DeppityDawg
            chownewbie Jan 31, 2009 04:31 PM

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

            1. re: chownewbie
              goodhealthgourmet Jan 31, 2009 05:10 PM

              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.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                chownewbie Jan 31, 2009 05:17 PM

                Off they go! Thank you :)

      2. j
        jaykayen Jan 31, 2009 04:20 PM

        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
          Whosyerkitty Jan 31, 2009 06:39 PM

          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
            chownewbie Jan 31, 2009 09:48 PM

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

        2. Caroline1 Jan 31, 2009 09:29 PM

          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
            chownewbie Jan 31, 2009 09:50 PM

            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
              Caroline1 Jan 31, 2009 10:06 PM

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

              1. re: chownewbie
                MazDee Jan 31, 2009 10:07 PM

                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 with....so I don't know. I live in México, so these products are always around and probably better than those in the US.

            2. greygarious Feb 1, 2009 10:33 AM

              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.

              1. c
                chownewbie Feb 14, 2009 11:05 PM

                Well, I'm pretty sure the chips were rancid, and I think I bought them that way. I definitely tossed the reciept, but on a whim asked the store what their policy was. Albertson's let me swap out for a new bag of Mission stoneground (very good by the way) tortilla chips. Nice to know TJ's isn't the ony place looking out for the customers. Thank you for all the ideas by the way.

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