Sonny and I were brainstorming creative food ideas for our our Kentucky Derby® inspired party theme for 14 Hands Winery, and the famous “Run for the Roses” nickname of the Derby kept coming up. We started racking our brains on what kind of food we could make to look like roses (aside from the ever-popular rose radish garnish), and somehow rose tortilla chips came up! It suddenly seemed like a tortilla could be treated in a similar way that I often use a large paper circle to make paper roses, and thus the experiment began…
It definitely took some trial and error, but ended up working out in the end! I’m going to be totally honest though – even though the steps to make these aren’t difficult, per say, they do take time to make and it requires a lot of them to make a serving platter look “full”. This definitely isn’t a dish for when you’re in a big rush! It IS something fun to try when you want to stretch your creative muscles and really surprise your guests with something clever, though. I mean, what’s not to love about “Run for the ROSE CHIPS and Salsa” at a Kentucky Derby party, right? ;) I’m thinking with a little creativity this concept could work in nicely to other themes too.
Here’s how to make them:
– 4″ Corn Tortillas, warmed (or larger tortillas + a 4″ circle cookie cutter)
– Vegetable Oil
– Basting Brush
1. Warm your first few tortillas in the microwave. (I just did 10 seconds – you want the toritillas warm enough to become malleable so they roll without tearing, but not so hot that you can’t handle them comfortably.)
2. Brush both sides of a tortilla with vegetable oil.
3. Cut the tortillas into a spiral shape with a (very imperfect) solid circle in the middle. The circle will act as the base of the “rose”.
Keep in mind that the skinnier the spiral, the more rolling you’ll need to do, so don’t make it too thin. I like to start out semi-thin, then get slightly wider with the cut as I move towards the center. Spin the tortilla as you go to make the cutting easier. (If you happen to have a lazy susan style cutting board, that would be especially ideal here!)
You should end up with a spiraled tortilla that looks kind of like this:
4. Start rolling the tortilla form the outer edge and working your way in…
Once you start rolling, follow the curved path that the tortilla will naturally want to take:
5. Once you get to the center of the tortilla, use the circle as a “base” for the rose. You can use your fingers to slightly loosen the rose if the coil is too tight. (You want to leave some open grooves in the rose for the salsa to seep into.)
Here’s the top and side view of a rolled tortilla rose that’s ready to pop in the oven:
6. Continue making as many tortilla roses as you’d like, then place them on a baking sheet and pop them in a 400º oven for approximately 10-13 minutes. Definitely keep an eye on them towards the end, as it’s very important NOT to overcook them. You want them just on the cusp of crispy and very slightly chewy… if they’re overcooked and too crunchy, it will be hard for your guests to bite through all the “petals” at once! If you take them out at the right time though, these are actually super enjoyable, especially ladled with a great salsa or cheese sauce.
If you’re unsure about the timing, I’d suggest just cooking a couple at first to make sure the cook time is right for your oven, then cooking the full tray of them with a better understanding of how long they should actually take.
7. Serve hot, right out of the oven. ENJOY! :)
Find lots more “Derby Style” party inspiration, including other creative Derby food ideas, check out the full party post right here!