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Author Notes: like the ones that rhyme with "bandito" —Katherine Hysmith
Serves about 4
- 1 cup masa harina (or very finely ground cornmeal in a pinch)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup hot water
- oil for frying
- a lot more salt
- In a large bowl, add the masa harina, oil, salt, and hot water, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Towards the end, the mixture will be difficult to stir and you’ll need to finish combining it with your hands.
- Turn the mixture out on a piece of parchment paper. Gather into a rough rectangle and top with another piece of parchment paper. Roll out until about 1/8-inch thick. Gently remove the top piece of parchment. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the rolled dough into little strips (about a half inch wide) and then cut again in the other direction, creating little rectangles about 1-inch long.
- Set a deep cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and fill with about an inch or more of oil. When the oil is around 350 degrees, gently drop a few masa rectangles into the pan. They should immediately rise to the top and sizzle wildly. Fry for about 30 to 40 seconds, turning once or twice, then remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined wire rack. Repeat with remaining masa rectangles, frying about a dozen pieces at a time, until all the dough is used. While the fritos are still hot, sprinkle generously with salt. And try not to eat all of them before your chili is done.