Back to Basics – Just add salt

After the most epic failure that was my gingerbread house, I decided a return to basics was necessary.

Let me give you a little background. I am a very good cook. I have always loved experimenting, making up my own recipes and basically just winging it when dinnertime comes around. A can of beans, a box of pasta and an onion? I can do something with that, and it will likely be pretty darn good.

Baking, on the other hand, always scared me a bit. It’s so precise and sciencey. I can fix an over salted soup or a tough cut of meat. I can’t recover from overworked dough or, as you read in my previous post, poor gingerbread house engineering and building.

I used the oven. It’s baking.

Tonight for dinner I decided to try to replicate a delicious soup we tried at a local Mexican restaurant in Ligonier, PA. It was a white bean, chicken chili in a clear broth. I am new to this whole food blog thing, so I didn’t get a good picture of the finished product which was beautiful and delicious. However, I did capture several proud oven moments as I made some delicious roasted peppers and homemade, baked, corn tortilla chips.

Roasted peppers add so much more flavor than raw, or even roasted.

Super Duper Easy Roasted Peppers

  1. Turn on oven to broil
  2. Place whole peppers or cut pieces on baking sheet
  3. Spritz or drizzle with oil
  4. Broil until skin turns black. Turn over, if needed
  5. Plunge into cold water
  6. Peel off skin and remove stems (if you left them on) once cool

DON’Ts

  1. DON’T worry about the seeds. If a few end up in your dish, it’s cool.
  2. DON’T fret about removing all of the skin. A little of that char adds to the flavor
  3. DON’T forget to put on an oven mitt before removing the hot pan from the oven.
  4. DON’T not have an aloe plant nearby to treat dumb burns

Baked corn tortilla chips

  1. Cut 12 corn tortillas into fourths
  2. Put in a bowl with 2 T olive oil, salt and pepper. Add other seasonings like garlic powder, cumin, or smoked paprika. I like mine plain with just a little salt and pepper.
  3. Spread in single layer on baking sheet. I had to do four batches, but I was only using one baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes

DON’Ts

  1. DON’T buy corn tortilla chips in the grocery store every again.

I feel better. After the gingerbread disaster I needed a win. These roasted peppers and baked tortilla chips are definitely “to bake.”

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