Quick & Easy Gourmet: Terrific Tortillas!
A fast, simple way to spice up your cuisine
Published: May 14, 2010
There are a few meals that taste better at the cabin than they ever do in a restaurant or at home. Whether it’s the weather, the solitude, or the sense of accomplishment of making dinner just a little bit farther from the safety net of the supermarket or food court, these cabin meals are more than just comfort food, they’re downright cuisine.
Photo by by John & Tanya Bäck
For me, chief among these meals is tacos. First of all, it’s a pretty foolproof meal. Just chop your veggies, brown your meat and add the spices. Then scoop and serve. That’s pretty much it. But, I like to fancy myself as someone a little more skilled than the average home cook, so tacos makes me feel a little ... well, underutilized.
That’s when the idea hit me:
I could make my own tortillas. Not only do homemade tortillas make you feel more like a chef, they taste fresher and are better for you. The best part? They’re incredibly easy to make.
Only thing is, unless you’re willing to invest in a tortilla press, you’ll likely have a hard time turning them into soft flour tortillas. That said, a little oil and a few quick minutes frying make perfect tostadas (shown below).
The best part about turning these tortillas into tostadas is that with a few quick cuts, you’ve got tortilla chips ready for salsa!
Andy Bennett’s wife claims he doesn’t know how to bake, but he feels these tortillas sort of count.
Homemade Tortillas Recipe
Those serious about their Mexican food will want to invest in a tortilla press. It flattens the dough balls into perfect tortilla discs every time. Sure, it’s a uni-tasker, but it’s really good at the one thing it does. Recipe makes 10 to 12 tortillas.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoons salt
- ¾ cup shortening
- Hot water
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add the shortening by hand until the mixture crumbles in your hand.
- Add just enough hot water to the mixture until it is moist.
- With your hand or a large fork, knead the mixture for approximately three minutes.
- Cover the dough with a dish towel and let it rest for at least ten minutes or up to an hour.
- Separate the dough into 10 to 12 small balls.
- Lightly flour your rolling area, and roll each ball with a rolling pin to about 1/8-inch thickness.
- Place each tortilla in a medium-hot cast iron skillet. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. To turn tortillas into tostadas, add oil to the pan and fry until golden brown.
To turn tortillas into chips, cut into wedges and bake in a 350° F oven for 8-10 minutes. Serve with salsa.