It was a chain of Mexican restaurants that was pretty popular before taking a steep dive in quality and declaring bankruptcy right before a hepatitis A outbreak in Pittsburgh was traced to onions at the restaurant.
The dearth of American Chi-Chi’s means you can’t find a reliable source for fried ice cream anymore. Oh sure, your local Mexican restaurant might have and I think there’s a Thai version around, but chain restaurants like Chi-Chi’s give you the assurance of the same flavors and appearance no matter where you are.
I’ll fully admit Chi-Chi’s fried ice cream may not have been the be-all-end-all of Mexican fried ice cream, but I liked it. It was often the reason to go there for dinner.
I didn’t realize I missed it until I stumbled across a new product from Mission Foods: Sweet Sugar & Cinnamon White Corn Tortilla Chips.
Let’s ignore the redundancy of “sweet sugar” for a second, okay?
These things are awesome. I tasted one and immediately was wrenched back into the serape-draped environment of Chi-Chi’s. The chips tasted like my memory of fried ice cream.
I set about recreating it even more, without the ice cream part though because I didn’t want to actually fry ice cream.
What I ended up with is all too easy to make quickly and take to the couch for snacking. Pile of the tortilla chips. Drizzles of Hershey’s syrup. Dollops of Cool Whip. A couple more drizzles of syrup. Boom.
Keep the spoon you used to transfer Cool Whip from the tub to the plate so you can scrape up left over Cool Whip and chocolate. But really the whole snack turns into finger food as you dip the chips into pools of chocolate and whipped cream.