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Photo and column by Lindsay Kucera/The AS Review

This recipe was born primarily from my desire to have fresh tortilla chips. You know how delicious those are when they’re hot and extra crunchy. You and your friends eat baskets and baskets of them waiting for your entrées at Mexican restaurants.  However, I’ve found it is socially unacceptable to go to a restaurant and not order anything besides another complimentary basket of chips. So, I have been forced by society to develop my own chips with the corn tortillas I have at home, as well as a recipe for a delightful chipotle black bean dip. The dip, by the way, makes fabulous filling for burritos as well.

Costs: $8.50
Makes: Chips and dip for four people

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper
1/2 onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tomato
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
10 corn tortillas

For the dip: In a medium frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil on medium heat. Roughly chop the bell pepper, onion and garlic and sauté in the oil until cooked through. In a mixing bowl, mash the black beans thoroughly. Turn down the heat to low and add the black beans, combining carefully with the vegetables. Add in the spices and mix well. Keep on low heat for between five and seven minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the pan into a bowl and let cool. Chop the tomato and cilantro and mix into the dip. The dip can be served warm or cold.

For the chips: Coat the bottom of a small frying pan with vegetable oil and put over high heat. Using a knife or pizza cutter cut the tortillas into six triangles each. Carefully put the triangles in the oil. Cook for about seven seconds before using a slotted spoon to flip the chips over. Remove from oil and set on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Repeat with all chips and then bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 F to get that extra crunch.