Monday, August 16, 2010

Tortillas, it's breakfast taco day

Connor wanted breakfast tacos this morning. We are on the one week before school starts mark and I'm sort of caving to his culinary requests. School or packed lunches for the next 9 months doesn't sound appetizing.

I dashed to the fridge to discover no tacos. Now, I'm no rocket scientist but I'm pretty comfortable with the assertion that breakfast tacos without the actual tacos makes it much less than it could have been.

I do, however, have flour and shortening and that, in a nutshell, is the makings for some killer tortillas.

I do own a comal, a flat, round, low sided cast iron pan. You certainly do NOT require a comal to make tortillas, a cast iron pan works best but any pan that you can get screaming hot will do the trick beautifully. You should actually own a cast iron pan anyway because, well, you just should. They are beautiful cooking vessels and once you start making your own tortillas you will certainly dash out and buy one.

The other appliance I have is a tortilla press. It is far less required than the cast iron pan. Any rolling pin, wine bottle or other flattening device will work so there's no excuse whatsoever for you to continue to buy bags of flat bread. You can make your own by investing an additional 10 minutes and I don't know anyone so important that they can't spare 10 minutes to go from a bagged item to a homemade one. Let's begin!

In a bowl combine (I use a pastry blender because, if you've followed along at all, I have hot hands)
2 cups flour (all purpose)
1/2 cup shortening
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Blend it evenly then add
3/4 cup very warm water.

Mix with a fork until it turns into a ball then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead a couple of times and roll it out into a fat snake. Chop into 16 pieces, roll each piece into a ball and put on a plate, covered in plastic. Allow them to rest while you assemble your pan, your eggs and your cheese. HA! not even 10 minutes, 5 minutes added to your day!

After the dough balls have rested a couple of minutes, flatten them with whatever method makes you happy; tortilla press, rolling pin, fingers it's all good. You may notice that I use ziplock freezer bags, cut in half, in my tortilla press. I like the texture and thickness and the raw tortillas pull off beautifully.

Put them in a DRY hot pan. Cook them a minute or two on each side. They will bubble up and puff when they are done on the first side, flip them and continue to fry them off until they are beautiful and cooked through. Keep them warm in a towel or tortilla holder. I prefer a towel because it keeps them soft.

I do a one egg omelet because Connor isn't sure he likes eggs. (?) I mix one egg, salt and pepper and a teaspoon of soft butter in a bowl and add a tablespoon of water. Pour into a very hot, wide pan in which you've melted some bacon fat. Immediately sprinkle with whatever cheeses you have in the house and roll, sprinkle Parmesan on top and serve with some of the tortillas.

Voila! One instantly happy pre-teen and it took only a few minutes more than pulling tortillas out of a bag and trust me, they are way more than a few minutes better tasting!

Make them, you'll be glad you did.



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Woman, you never cease to amaze me. You are quite a woman and I would definitely want to be just a little like you!