Monday, June 23, 2014

Tortillas from Mexico

Tortillas are surprisingly easy to make.  Once you make your own you won't use shop-bought again.  They are extremely versatile and the humble tortilla can be tarted up and changed from a snack, to a breakfast, to a starter, main meal and even a dessert.  With a tortilla the possibilities are endless.  You can make them in advance and store them.  Cut them into wedges, season them and bake them in the oven to make tortilla chips.  Fold them around a filling to make taco.  Roll it around a filling, smother it with a spicy sauce and bake it in the oven to make an enchilada.  Use it as a wrap for a healthy lunch.  Turn it into a pizza base.  As you can see, the choices are endless.
4  cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/2 cups warm water
Butter for spreading
Put the flour, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.  Add the oil and mix it in with your fingertips.  Pour in the water, a little at a time, working the liquid into the dough until a sticky ball forms.  You don't want the dough to be too dry or to wet.  That's why I suggest pouring in a little at a time so that you get the right balance.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for about half an hour.  Divide the dough into balls so that you are ready to roll them out into large circles.  Depending on the size of the tortillas you are wanting to make, you should get about 8 out of the dough.  Roll out each ball on a lightly floured surface so that you get the size or thickness you want.
Heat a dry pan over high heat.  Do not oil or grease it.  Place a tortilla in the pan and cook it for about a minute on each side until the dough stiffens up a bit and brown spots form.  You need to keep an eye on them so that they don't overcook otherwise they will be hard.  Once you have cooked both sides, remove from the heat and spread one side with butter and roll it up.  This will stop it from drying out and cracking when you want to use it after it has cooled.
Cindy Vine is a South African currently living and working in Kyiv in Ukraine. She is the author of Hush Baby, Defective, C U @ 8, Not Telling and The Case of Billy B. All her books are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format.

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