Monday, September 6, 2010
Flour Tortillas and A VIDEO!
It all started with the flour tortillas. I am aware that corn tortillas are the more authentic choice for Latin American food, but I'm from Delaware (by way of New Jersey) and I'll admit that I can't resist a burrito wrapped in a thin flour tortilla or fresh sizzling chicken fajitas in a warm flour tortilla. I even admit that I stockpile extra fresh tortillas when I visit Tex-Mex restaurants. Sure, you can buy flour tortillas at the grocery store, but they aren't as moist, chewy, and flavorful as the ones served at the Tex-Mex places. For years I just settled for whatever was in the refrigerated section of our grocery store, but now I've found an alternative.
About a month ago I found this tutorial online and decided to try the recipe. I couldn't believe it only had four ingredients. I made some slight changes and whipped up a batch one Sunday night. We weren't even having Tex-Mex food, but these tortillas were so good that we pulled some grilled chicken off the grill and immediately wrapped it an the warm, soft, chewy tortilla. My husband said they were perfect. I think they're great. I've stopped purchasing packaged flour tortillas at the store and I always take an extra half hour to make my own. We've even eaten them three days later (after storing them in a Ziploc bag in the fridge) and they are still fine after 20 seconds in the microwave.
Just think of the possibilities: tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, burritos, enchiladas...
Here's the video, which just happens to be my first YouTube project. I know nothing about making movies, so cut me a break on this first video. E did all the filming and I took a few minutes and pulled together a two-minute tutorial. Check out the video at the end of this post!
adapted from John Mitzewich
yield 6 medium tortillas
1 3/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening (a.k.a. Crisco)
Combine dry ingredients. (I do this by pulsing in a food processor.) Mix in vegetable shortening until the mixture resembles wet sand. (Again, I pulse in a food processor.)
Mix in 1/2 cup of hot (not boiling) water until the mixture starts to form a ball. Knead by hand for 2-3 minutes, then shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
Shape dough into balls (8 for small tortillas, 6 for medium tortillas, 4 for large tortillas). Use a rolling pin to flatten each ball as thin as possible. Use a small amount of flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking (I roll these out on a wooden cutting board. Silpat would work well, too.)
Preheat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet to medium high. Do not grease. Place flat tortilla in skillet and flip over when bubbles form on the surface (about one minute). Flip again after about 45 seconds. The tortillas should be light brown with the traditional dark spots.
Place tortillas on a plate covered with a clean kitchen towel (or a tortilla holder) until ready to serve. Serve warm with fillings of your choice. Refrigerate leftovers and reheat for 20 seconds in the microwave.