Bet you had no idea there was even such a thing as a National Tortilla Chip Day. Well, truth be told, it is doubtful that many have ever heard of it. Prior to the writing of this article (well, actually, a few hours before committing the words to computer), the writer had no idea there was a national day for the popular corn snack. But there is, and looking for unique ways to prepare a tortilla chip-based snack or meal also rewarded the writer with various recipes far more adventurous than the regular tray of chips smothered in nacho cheese sauce or variations thereof. Eventually, it led to what at first seemed to be a fairly odd concoction -- Peanut Butter and Jelly Nachos.
According to Punchbowl.com, Rebecca Webb Carranza invented the tortilla chip in the 1950s when she started taking the misshapen and/or leftover pieces of tortilla bread and cutting them into triangular pieces, frying and serving them as chips. They caught on and were soon a nationwide sensation. In fact, the state of Texas made them their official state snack.
And the tortilla chip can be enjoyed in numerous ways. Often served in Mexican-style restaurants in large bowls with various salsas as an appetizer, the chips are basically food/tools for dipping other foods, usually sauces. For example, when nacho cheese was added, they became nacho chips or nachos (a term that many use to describe anything made with tortilla chips). The cheese toppings are often enhanced as well, sometimes with salsas, sometimes with various meats. These dishes can be found in their myriad forms in restaurants and in convenience stores all over the world.
But some people are more experimental than others. So, even though there have been various types of toppings and even salads built around the scoop/tool that is the flattened tortilla chip, even the most adventurous recipes still feature cheeses and meats, like Italian Nachos.
Except for one. Nick at Macheesmo.com says he decided one day, when he was out of bread, flour tortillas, pita bread, and Triscuit flatbread snacks, to put peanut butter and jelly on a tortilla chip. Why? Because peanut butter and jelly are one of his favorite foods (and are among many; in a 2002 study, it was estimated that the average American will eat 2,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before the age of 18). Nick even adds some apple slices to his recipe and decided to use a drizzle sauce for his topping.
When you think about it, it really is little different than eating a trail mix of nuts and fruits, except its scoopable and flatter. So...
Peanut Butter and Jelly Nachos
1 cup Peanut Butter
1 cup Jelly (mixed varieties, if you prefer)
1 Apple (cored and diced, optional)
1/4 cup Roasted and Salted Peanuts
Chop the apple and add a handful of peanuts. Set aside. Spread desired amount of tortilla chips on a flat tray or platter.
To prepare drizzle sauces, take peanut butter and jelly and place in separate sauce pans. Heat them but don't allow them to come to a boil. Heat will break down the cohesiveness of each, allowing them to become somewhat liquified. Adding small amounts of water helps the process. When sauces are at the preferred consistencies, drizzle both sauces over spread of tortilla chips.
Take your toppings (the apple pieces and peanuts) and spread over sauced tortilla chips. Serve.
It only takes a few minutes to make these crispy, salty, peanut butter and jelly snacks. And there's a bonus: Kids -- or the kid in you -- will love them.
But if Peanut Butter and Jelly Nachos aren't your bag of chips when it comes to celebrating National Tortilla Chip Day, there's all sorts of ways tortilla chips can be enjoyed, as a quick jump over to AllRecipes.com will attest. Enjoy!
(photo credit: Andrew Bossi, Creative Commons)