Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~


Monday, May 26, 2008

Flour Tortillas

Making flour tortillas really is easy as pie. In fact, easier than making pie. There's no filling to make, no baking involved, and they take far less time to prepare.

But first, you need a recipe. Some people use a tried and true recipe, perhaps one handed down through their families. Others, like myself, use a basic recipe, but never really take the time to fully measure each ingredient. Until very recently, I have always 'eyeballed' the amount of shortening and flour. The most traditional of ways involved using pork lard. Of course, that would be undesirable given what we know about animal fats. Vegetable shortening works just as well. I like to use Crisco. 'Eyeballing' your ingredients can be a recipe for disaster, but for me, it worked. There is a downside to it: you never get consistent results. Sometimes my tortillas would turn out rather tasty, and other times, I would be disappointed.

So I decided I would carefully measure the amounts until I found the recipe I was certain would give me the desired results. It merits mentioning that there is always room for improvement, and each person can adjust the amount of salt and shortening. You only use four ingredients besides water. The dough is made in much the same way you would make pie dough, except you use hot water instead of iced water. After tearing off pieces of dough to form small golf ball size orbs, you use a rolling pin to shape them into a flour tortilla. Cooking them involves heating up a cast iron skillet or pan, and placing the tortilla to cook until small bubbles appear, turn the tortilla once, cook until it has small brown blisters, turn one last time, and finish cooking until it puffs up. At this point you may enjoy them with a little pat of butter, or use them as you would bread in a meal. But probably the most popular way to eat them is as 'tacos' or 'mariachis' as we call them in our neck of the woods. A tortilla 'mariachi' is a taco with any filling; usually breakfast style fillings are used.

Around here I only make them about once a month, and sometimes I take even longer to make them. They are not exactly considered 'health' food. My dear husband does remind me though, that it's time to make them. I take his request as a compliment and happily oblige. And there you have it, another one for the recipe box.


Tracy said...

They do sound easy to make...I should give it a try, instead of being so lazy and just buying them--LOL! ((HUGS))

Oiyi said...

The homemade tortillas sound wonderful.


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