Wednesday, November 28, 2012

my from scratch tortillas

I promised you tortillas today.  Like I said before, these are super easy and basic, so I feel if I am able to make them without turning them into a huge disaster, they MUST be foolproof.

I didn't figure out how to make them because I'm a tortilla snob - I did it because there are few things worse than trying to get dinner ready and realize you are out of tortillas and that would mean taking the Dude into a grocery store at dinner rush time... unnnngghhhh.  I'd rather make them myself than face that.  And it takes about the same amount of time, plus I don't need special ingredients.

I got the idea for a recipe on AllRecipes for Indian roti.  I simplified it a little and it ended up being exactly like a tortilla.  I made them first last New Years Eve for our crazy buffet, and the husband (a very picky eater - especially when it comes to my pathetic cooking) asked me if I would be offended if he said this was his favorite thing that I'd ever made.  I might have been - since it was so simple - but I don't get compliments on my cooking very often so I took it.

First, throw 2 cups flour into your Kitchenaid mixer thingy.  And 3/4 cup warm water, plus a teaspoon or less of salt.  Then let the dough hook go at it for a few minutes.   Oh, and preheat a nonstick pan up to a lowish medium-ish temperature.  It's tricky for me to get it hot enough, but not burn-y, so I start it early at a low temp so it's ready to go.

Don't let it mix too long, or it'll be too chewy.  I think if I added some lard or something they'd be softer, but these are just fine and I don't need extra lard in my diet.

Pinch off a wee bit and roll it into a ball.

Then roll it out on a floured surface until it's a nice circle looking thing.  Doesn't have to be paper thin, just use pressure to get it the way you want.

I don't put anything onto the pan, and it doesn't stick since there is plenty of flour on the tortilla.  My first one always cooks slowly, but I fiddle with the temperature and it start bubbling on each side around 30ish seconds.  I flip it around a few times and push on it to get the air bubbles poppin'.

While that's happening, I'm always rolling out the next one.   The whole process only takes a few minutes and I feel very productive while I do it.

I throw them into a pan right on top of each other and don't usually cover it until the end so they don't get too steamy or moist.  This batch made about 8 - you can make them bigger or smaller.

I have rice cooking in the rice cooker during this whole process.

And a can of black beans with a clove or two of garlic (or a dash of garlic powder) in it simmering.

I keep it super simple.  I grate some cheddar cheese and sprinkle some taco seasoning into it to give it lovely flavor, then nuke a bit of freezer corn.  I didn't have sour cream that night and didn't miss it.  I always have a container of lime juice too - and salsa is a if-I-have-it option.  But just beans, rice, cheese and lime are always enough.  Oh, if I have cilantro then booya, or if I actually cook up some beef or chicken woohoo, but the meal doesn't feel like it's missing much with just these basics.  It's delish.

WG actually eats it only with cheese then eats her beans and rice separately  and the Dude only eats the rice and cheese.  But I eat it up and feel very good about myself.  Really - if I can do it, anyone can do it.  Let me know if you attempt it.  This is my I-have 30-minutes-to-get-dinner-ready-what-do-I-have-on-hand-so-I-don't-have-to-run-to-the-store meal.  What's YOUR I-have 30-minutes-to-get-dinner-ready-what-do-I-have-on-hand-so-I-don't-have-to-run-to-the-store meal??  And pasta doesn't count.


Cathie said...

Turn on the oven to preheat. Mix up a box of Jiffy cornbread mix. Pour into a greased casserole dish (I think mine's 8 or 9 inches square). Drain off the juice at the top of a can of chili beans and pour it over the top of the cornbread. Bake. Top with cheese and/or sour cream. Literally you can put it together in less than the time it takes to preheat the oven.

Jane said...

What do you suggest if I can't roll out the dough because my fingers won't bend around the rolling pin?

Jane said...

Because my triger finger(s) prevent me from kneading or rolling out dough right now, we eat a lot of ready-to-cook tortillas from Costco. They are tons better than the pre-baked ones and I still get to "cook."
It counts.
Cheese, chicken and tomatoes, plus sour cream and salsa make nice quesadillas.

Master P said...

Those Costco ones are AWESOME but you have to live closer to a Costco than a mazillion hours away (curses!) I don't think your trigger schuff would let you make these. Come visit me and I'll make 'em for you!!

Mara said...

I needed some inspiration for dinner yesterday and after reading your blog I decided to make those tortillas. It seemed super simple. I guess I did something wrong,cause mine didn't taste that great. Family was not super thrilled about it. Maybe because I didn't use the mixer?
My favorite tortillas are the ones from Costco too!

Master P said...

I think you do need the mixer because it gets the gluten and stuff all activated. You'd have to knead them too long to get the same effect I think. I so wish I lived near civilization and Costco!!

Cathie said...

A French rolling pin. No handles, use the palms of your hands.

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