Corn Chips with Barbecue Spice
by Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Living in Ohio can have its ups and downs. The upside is that for the most part, I have great access to almost every type of food imaginable. I can even get my hands on ground camel and kangaroo meat, and that king of fruits, durian.
But I was raised with Southern sensibilities. As a child, we had driven from St. Louis down the old hwy 67 towards Texas. I’d dozed off when my dad pulled in to the old Texaco for gas and I missed out on picking out a snack. No one wanted to wake me- but later, when I did, Dad offered me the choice between whatever it was he had bought for me, which is now lost in time, or the option of having the bag of BBQ Fritos he had picked for himself. I had never had them before, so I opted for his treat. And imagine the startled look on my face as I devoured them: it was one of those revelations of food that one never forgets where and when one was when they first became experienced.
And since then, my whole life I have eaten this junk as one of my guilty pleasures. But then a couple years ago they began suddenly disappearing from shelves in Ohio. I was a bit dismayed.
I even searched them out on the internet and discovered they are still sold down in Kentucky, but closer to Lexington than Covington. It’s kind of hard to imagine driving several hours just to get a bag of chips! But I was tempted. 😉
But you know, I am a “can do” girl and am not afraid to experiment with new foods or putting together different flavors. I seem to have an instinct for it.
And I have made many the batch of Chex mix or seasoned baked fries doing my own versions of tasty snacks. One time I even posted a BBQ type recipe to food.com for fries and recall that at the time it would have worked much better if I had only had access to tomato powder. At the time I opted to use sauce and well, it was good, but. It could have been better.
Recent years have brought tomato powder to my home from different spice companies. I will tell you it is a bit pricy (although not quite as pricy as saffron, my favorite spice!) but you don’t need very much at all. I have also heard that you can make your own tomato powder by drying and grinding the skins of tomatoes. Later in canning season I may try that when I skin tomatoes for my homemade marinara sauce, which I put up in jars. If I do try it, I will post and let you know how it turns out, so stay tuned!
Anyway, while I have had to work from memory, and don’t have access to the proprietary ingredients of Frito-Lay, I will say I have done a great job here. I admit they aren’t exactly-exactly like my memory dictates. Perhaps mine have a bit more spice? But they could easily pass as the bbq corn chips of another leading brand. And if you are Jonesing for some bbq Fritos, I think this will do quite nicely. If they aren’t exact, they are awfully good, so I don’t need to change the recipe here.
I think you will enjoy them.
BBQ Fritos Clone
- 1 9.75-ounce bag regular Fritos corn chips
- 3 tablespoons corn oil or peanut oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon masa harina
- 1 tablespoon tomato powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked parika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned adobo salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Preheat oven to 250F.
- Drizzle corn chips with oil (I used a small squirt bottle to make sure it drizzled) and place in a plastic bag with seasonings.
- Shake lightly until chips are coated and spices are taken up.
- Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 250F for 30 minutes to one hour, turning occasionally, until chips are hot and dry.
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