Them's good vittles

I was tempted not to post for a couple days just to see how far the comments would go on that Harry Potter post.

Ann Aluru had the idea to swap recipes on our blogs, so I'm going to share what is currently our favorite: homemade tortillas. Not as hard as you might think and oh so delicious. We're never buying flour tortillas in a package again. Oh, and I have to give full credit to my brother Joe for giving me the recipe in the first place. For all I know, I'm violating some copyright or other. Meh.

4 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Cut in:
1/2 cup shortening (I use unsalted butter, but you can use Crisco if you wanna; I'm sure that traditionally lard is used, but the very thought of mixing that much pig fat into anything makes me ever so slightly woozy.)

Add 1 1/2 cups warm (must be warm!) water and stir until blended. Knead a few times. It's OK if it's a little sticky, but if it's too gooey, just add a little flour.

Cover the bowl holding the dough with a wet towel or plate or plastic wrap and let sit for an hour or so. (This step is very important. I've made the tortillas immediately after mixing the dough and they turn out very tough.)

When you're ready to make the tortillas, heat a cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Non-stick would probably work, but cast iron is really the best for this type of thing. Divide the dough into 12-16 pieces, depending on how big you like your tortillas. One at a time, roll each piece into a ball and roll out really thin. If your dough is sticky, you'll need to coat each one with a little flour first. Slap the rolled out tortilla into the frying pan, which should be hot and dry (no cooking oil needed) and cook on each side 30-60 seconds. You'll know when to flip it because it'll bubble up and get a little brown on the hot side.

Now you've got your choice of fillings. Our favorite is refried beans (also homemade) topped with cheese, avocado, fresh lettuce and herbs and taco sauce. When we're feeling really fancy we throw in some sour cream and chopped tomatoes as well. But you could also saute veggies (with or without chicken) for fajitas or make taco meat or huevos rancheros, whatever suits your taste. Any leftover tortillas are yummy for breakfast with butter and cinnamon sugar.


annalu alulu said…
That sounds awesome. And now I know why the second batch of chipatis are always better than the know, the ones that have been sitting in the bowl all day covered in plastic wrap until one of us is hungry again. i read you're supposed to let the dough 'rest' for at least 15 minutes on those, and i had no idea why (though i was sure there was one.) now i do. thanks!
annalu alulu said…
Oh, and here's something interesting my dad told me about lard:

before people switched from lard to crisco, and butter to margarine, people weren't having heart attacks all the time. so, use the real stuff, when you can, to save your arteries. but i'd pick butter over lard any day. even the word is disgusting. lard. yuck.

and one more thing: i read in "YOU: The Owner's Manual" that artery health is essential to a long and healthy sex life...makes sense, doesn't it? so feed your family well.
Tooz said…
Yuk, Ann--can't believe you brought that forbidden topic into this.
annalu alulu said…
ha ha ha, mom.

suze's not my mom, though, so it's okay.

Becca said…
One note about the lard use--most people were doing physical labor, not working in offices like today, so more exercise to keep the bad stuff from clogging the arteries.

Your dad's onto something, though. I much prefer using butter, full fat cheese, sour cream, etc., since I know where that stuff comes from and I think natural, albeit high fat foods are better in the long run than foods high in hydrogenated oils, trans fats, and preservatives.
the coffee lady said…
well isn't that special, Beck.
Suze said…
who are you, coffee lady? not to sound mean, but i'm serious about deleting comments from unidentified anons. i already did on the last post.
annalu alulu said…
i think it was my mom.
Tooz said…
It was.
annalu alulu said…
Suze, are your hands icky from cinamon sugar? Is that why you can't update your blog?

(i can't believe i'm the only one nagging so far)
Jenn Hacker said…
She's playing her pianny. Let her alone while she gets aquainted with her new child. Although, if we don't have something by tonight, we'll have to start singing!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and Suze? Jamie wants to take piano lessons, but I have a concern. Both his pinkies are crooked - like the tip of the pinkie comes out from the joint at a 45-degree angle (no kidding!) He was born this way with a matched set of adorable, unique crooked pinkies (which he is self-conscious about). Would this potentially cause problems with playing an instrument? It is also a long-standing family tradition that each child has to play an instrument in middle school band, then can decide in high school if they want to pursue it or not. Again, could the pinkie thingie cause difficulties?
Suze said…
I would not worry about the pinkies, Jenn. I have friends with hands so tiny they can barely reach an octave and they're still cracking good pianists. People learn to adapt with the hands they've got. I would assume that Jamie's learned to do other things with his crooked pinkies, right?
Jenn Hacker said…
I was going to put a comment on here, but it was too long. I'll just e-mail you.

(scoaztl - a lesser known Mayan God. He was the runty Half-brother of the one that starts with a Q that I can't spell)
Roy the Strange said…
Jenn, I think you are thinking of the Aztec god and his (and yes it is a him because he has a beard, weird because South Americans typically have no beards) name is Quetzalcoatl

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