Friday, March 13, 2009
Last night I had some friends over for margaritas and Mexican food. Since I'm making a point to use my grill pan I decided to make fajitas! I love making fajitas mostly because it gives me an opportunity to make fresh tortillas. Also, I can dictate exactly what goes into my fajita while giving other people additional options. I'm not a huge fan of Mexican food so I leave out tons of things when I roll my own fajita and basically make myself a tasty wrap with chicken and veggies.
Charlie first suggested that we make our own tortillas after watching a You Tube video called 10 Minute Cooking School: Sin City Breakfast Tacos. Robert Rodriguez, the director of the movie Sin City, enjoys cooking so he began filming his own little cooking shows in between takes. This one is a lot of fun to watch, and he does a nice job of explaining how to make his grandmother's tortillas. Here's the link:
About a year ago we made the breakfast tacos as described in the video, and they were really good. I highly recommend giving them a shot. However, the best part of that video is the info on making your own tortillas. I've written out a basic recipe below with photos.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter (or lard) cut into small pieces
3/4 cup warm water
1. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in the butter and mix with your hands until the butter is worked into the flour and evenly distributed. Add the warm water and stir until combined.
2. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead by hand until the dough it is smooth and elastic.
3. Cut the dough into 8 to 10 golfball-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball. You may need to add a little more flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the work surface or your hands. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
4.Heat a non-stick pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Take one ball of dough and stretch it into a 6 inch disk, pulling from the inside. Place the disk on a well-floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll it into a 10-inch tortilla. It should be approximately 1/8 inch thick.
5. Cook the tortilla on the hot griddle, flipping it after 20 seconds. Cook until the tortilla stiffens and small brown spots begin to appear. Some of the tortillas may develop air pockets as they cook (this is fine).
6. Place warm tortillas in a cloth-lined basket and cover to keep warm while cooking the remaining tortillas.
Homemade tortillas are surprisingly easy to make, and they taste so much better than the kind you buy in the grocery store. They can be filled with any number of fresh ingredients to make fajitas, tacos, wraps, or quesadillas.