Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Doritos: Dilemmas and Options

The way I see it, there are four options for creating these homemade Doritos:

  1. Make both the tortillas and the powdered cheese from scratch
  2. Make the tortillas from scratch, buy the powdered cheese
  3. Make the powdered cheese from scratch, buy the tortillas
  4. Buy both the tortillas and the powdered cheese
Obviously, the true spirit of the project dictates that I make everything from scratch. On looking into it, it seems like this is actually possible to make both the tortillas and the powdered cheese from scratch. I mean, obviously it is because someone, somewhere has to actually make these, but there is often quite a difference between the tools, ingredients and techniques available to commercial food producers, and what's available to you in your home. 

So first, the tortillas. I once watched a TV food show, I forget which one, where a lady makes her own tortillas. She had this round, flat press that shaped the meal into a tortilla and it was uniform in thickness and size. I obviously don't have one of these, so I rendered this task an impossibility. A little research, though, lead me to this website that has a recipe not only for homemade Doritos, but it include the recipe for the tortillas, too. It seems that you use the rolling pin to shape the tortillas, and that doesn't seem too hard. 

Now, the powdered cheese.  Apparently all it takes is about 10 hours in a dehydrator, then a spin through the food processor to turn the dried cheese into powder. And therein lies the problem. The food dehydrator.  I looked into this a bit further and, while it seems possible to use a basic oven like a dehydrator, it takes quite a bit more work and the end result isn't consistent. Some sites even recommend things like propping the oven door open and putting a fan in front of it. And running the oven for 10 hours? Count me out. 

But buying a dehydrator? I don't know. At this stage, it's sort of a level of commitment that I'm not quite prepared for. Not that I have any thing against buying additional cooking gadgets - not that at all! But a dehydrator has never even been on my list of somedays. Also, truthfully, I'm concerned about the possibility of making my own jerky, and what that would do to my world.  

So, for the time being, it looks like options 1 and 3 from the above list are off the table.  I think that, since we're at the very beginning stages of this project, I should maybe take the easy way out, just this once, and buy both the cheese, and the tortillas. If I manage to pull them off (including if I manage to find some form of powdered cheese), I'll try making the tortillas from scratch. And all the while, I will contemplate the idea of buying a food dehydrator. 

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