Monday, March 14, 2011

Homemade Tortillas

 In a recent effort to cook more and eat out less, my personal recipe book has been undergoing forced expansion due to the lack of ingredient availability in fair Saigon.  One of our favorite quick and dirty domestic meals - burritos - was completely unavailable to us before my discovery of niche import grocery stores.  Beans, cheese, canned corn, ripe avocados and tomatoes had been found, but one important ingredient was missing: tortillas.  In fact, you can purchase them here, but who would want to smear their beans on preservative-laden, week-old dried out torts when you could just make them yourself?

Combine 3 cups of flour in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1 teaspoon of salt.  You can also substitute 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour if you desire a healthier tort.  Mix together.

Add 4-6 tablespoons of butter.  Use a fork or other modern utensil to mash the butter into the dry ingredients.

Start adding warm water to the mixture.  Don't get the water too hot as burns are painful and can impede the production process!  Get your hands in there and start mixing.  Add water slowly, a cascade of H20 will leave your dough sticky and unmanageable.  You should use about a cup.

Once mixed, knead for 2-3 minutes like a feline driven to ecstasy.

Divide dough into small 1 1/2 inch balls, this recipe should make about 24 tortillas.  Leave balls in mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth (or plastic wrap if you live in a humid climate).  Let the dough rest and catch its breath for 10-15 minutes.

Utilize the downtime to prepare your toppings and filling.  I have been making a lot of onionless guacamole (one large mashed avocado, the fresh juice of one lime, and a pinch of salt) and corn salsa (half a can of drained corn, chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh cilantro chopped finely, and a slight drizzle of habanero Tabasco).  Also, open a can of refried beans and slice up some cheddar cheese.

Once dough is ready, prepare a lightly floured work space and start rolling out your balls.  Start from the middle and roll them out to the edges.  Tortillas are like runway models - the thinner the better!

Put your rolled tortillas into a non-stick pan and a crank up the heat.  Cook for 30 seconds, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds, or until little brown spots start to appear.

Once you have cooked them all, add some cheese and beans to some and heat a bit longer.

Top with guacamole and salsa.

1 comment:

Carol said...

Yum Yum. My little tortilla maker!I miss this meal since we don't have a kitchen, or skillet for that matter! Someday when my ship comes in and I start cooking again I will give this a try.