Monday, February 2, 2009

Making tortillas

One of the things I missed most when I moved from Albuquerque was being able to get fresh flour tortillas.

There is a restaurant called The Frontier right next to the University of New Mexico. It is a student dive with good, cheap food and the best tortillas. You could watch them go through a machine. They'd go in as balls of dough, be rolled flat, puff up as they cooked and come out steaming hot and delicious!

I went there often when I was a student and I would never leave without a dozen tortillas in my bag.

When we moved to California, I just couldn't be happy with store bought tortillas, so I learned to make them on my own.

Here's a recipe:
2 c flour
1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 Tbs shortening
2/3 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of mixer. Add shortening and mix until there aren't any big lumps. Add water and mix thoroughly. Dough should be pliable. Let sit for 30 minutes. Divide into 9 parts and roll into 8" circles. Stack them as you roll them out - sprinkle a bit of flour on them to prevent sticking.

When they are all rolled out, flip the stack over and begin heating a 12" frying pan over high heat. Let it heat until very hot.

Put the tortillas in one at a time.

They will develop bubbles.

When they have puffed, flip them over to cook on the other side.

Sometimes, they will continue to puff after you flip them until they are just pillows of air

When done, remove and place in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.

Sit down and enjoy. Great with chile, beans, posole, enchiladas, burritos.

And if you want an extra special treat, take one that is still warm, spread butter on it and then liberally drizzle it with honey. Yum!

Photo of frontier from ushlambad's flicker album

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