8 corn tortillas, each sliced into 6 triangular wedges
vegetable oil for frying
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups grated jack cheese
1/3 cup coarsely chopped pickled jalapeños
salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl toss together salt and spices. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat about 2-inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. There’s no need for a fry thermometer here, just get the oil hot (this usually takes me about 5 minutes) and test the readiness of the oil by dipping in a tortilla piece. If the tortilla begins to actively sizzle then the oil is ready. If the tortilla is lazily sizzling, give the oil a few more minutes to heat.
Add about 8 tortilla wedges at a time, being sure not to crown the skillet. Gently toss to fry both sides, cooking for about 2 minutes until deeply golden on both sides. Use a slotted, heatproof spoon or a pair of heatproof tongs to remove the crisped tortillas and place on a wire rack set over either a rimmed baking sheet or a few sheets of paper towel. Immediately toss with the seasoned salt. Continue to fry until all of the tortillas are crisp chips, seasoned well. Allow to cool.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until no lumps remain and the mixture is a thick paste. Continue to whisk for 2 minutes. This will cook some of the flour taste out of the mixture.
Slowly stream in the milk, whisking quickly and constantly. The mixture will appear to seize and lump up at first, but continue to add the milk and whisk vigorously. Once all of the milk is added, cook, whisking occasionally until the mixture has thickened slightly. It will be the consistency of thick soup.
Add the grated cheese and chopped jalapeños. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thickened. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
To enjoy, dip into chips. Try to share. It’s really very good.