Flour tortillas

These. Are. Amazing. I can say that without bragging because it’s not my recipe; I just made ‘em.

This is a Mark Bittman recipe that I scribbled down on a piece of paper without much documentation; I’ll assume it’s either from one of his NYT articles or from How to Cook Everything. These top every single homemade tortilla I’ve ever made or eaten, and they’re quick and easy to boot. NO BRAINER.

Flour tortillas

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 oz) AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. lard (yes, lard, people — don’t be afraid)
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Dust off your food processor and dump in the flour, salt and lard; pulse about ten times to cut in the fat
  2. With the machine running, add the water till the dough kind of all the sudden comes together in a ball
  3. Dump it on the counter and knead by hand for about one minute, then wrap in plastic wrap to rest for at least 15 minutes, but up to all day at room temperature
  4. Cut the dough into six pieces and heat a large (cast iron if you have it) skillet for 4-5 minutes on medium; roll out or press the tortillas till they’re quite thin, then cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, till little browned spots appear. Eat immediately (duh), or keep warm by wrapping in a towel, or cool then keep in the fridge in a large zip top bag.

I used these to make quesadillas with some leftover steak and cheese, but they’re also heavenly for veggie wraps, or slathered in butter and cinnamon sugar and rolled up for breakfast. Enjoy!

 

Taco sauce

I looked around at a lot of different taco sauce recipes and none of them seemed exactly right to me, so I kind of cobbled together my own according to what I had on hand. Very tasty!

Taco sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes or so until all the flavors get to know each other pretty well
  2. Store in fridge, cute jar label optional.

 

Homemade corn tortillas

I have a new toy! After doing a few batches of flour tortillas rolled out by hand, I realized that, um, I’m not very good at rolling out an actual circle. I bought this cast iron tortilla press from Amazon and I love it! I went with cast iron rather than lighter weight aluminum because the weight of the press does a lot of the work for me, and because I just have a thing for cast iron. It makes me happy.

I started by watching this clip — Alton Brown making tortillas. The step of lining the tortilla press with a ziploc bag is not one to be skipped! The negative reviews of the tortilla press on Amazon were folks complaining that the masa sticks to the press, but the dough should actually never come in direct contact with the press. Issue solved!

I used the recipe on the back of the Maseca bag The Cousin bought when she was here for salsapalooza — for four tortillas:

  • 1/2 cup Maseca
  • 1/3 cup water
  • pinch of salt

Really, could that be any easier? Mix the ingredients for about 2 minutes to form a soft dough, then divide into four equal portions.

After lightly pressing the tortillas (the first time I pressed too hard and ended up with paper-thin tortillas — not good!), I slapped them on a hot griddle for about 45 seconds on each side. Since these tortillas were destined for quesadillas I didn’t want to cook them all the way through, since they’d be meeting the heat again:

See how they’re just barely cooked? And already yummy?

Then I added last night’s leftover steak, sliced thin against the grain, with some tomatoes from the garden and some cheese. Sandwiched between two tortillas, this all went in the quesadilla maker (which gets a ridiculous amount of use in our house).

End result:

Love it! Crispy outsides, warm gooey/cheesy insides. Served with sliced tomatoes, this was fantastic. And quick. And easy! Definitely give this one a try.