Foodie Friday: Tortillas

Since moving here, we’ve discovered that making certain things from scratch isn’t as hard as we thought it would be and have decided that we will probably continue to do some of it when we’re back in the States.

Tortillas…. Yeah, probably not one of those.

They’re not that hard to make, really, but I figure if I’m going to spend all that time rolling and pressing and shaping and cooking, the end result should have chocolate in it. (Although one day we did roll up some bananas and Nutella that we brought from the States, and that almost changed my mind….)

Plus, neither Chris, Sarah nor myself can really get the tortillas to stay round. Sometimes we end up with round(ish) tortillas, but often they’re the shape of Africa or something. (It does make for an interesting variation on the cloud game, though, in which everyone says what shape it looks like, and really, what better tribute to the country of Nigeria than flat bread in the shape of the African continent?)

Despite our inability to consistently form round tortillas, we have them at least twice a month, and often even every week.  We often make spinach tortillas as well. The first time we made them, I was so excited to surprise Chris with them. I had made chicken salad (from a packet someone mailed us from the States, actually), and I felt so restaurant-y, like I was presenting him with this healthy, hip meal. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t exclaim, “Wow, these are amazing! And is that spinach in those tortillas? You’re amazing! Brilliant! What a great idea to add health benefits to our regularly scheduled tortillas!”

Nope, silence.

Finally, I asked, “So what do you think?”

“They’re good.”

Good? Really? That’s all I get?

“They’re spinach tortillas. They have spinach in them. Like tortillas but with spinach in them.”

(You’ll have to excuse the repetition. I really thought it was novel and so grocery-store like of me that I honestly could not understand the lack of awe.)

“Cool. I can’t really taste it, though.”

Can’t. taste. it??? Ouch.

Well, since my recovery from that (and the realization that he just might be right), I’ve decided that if the spinach can’t be tasted, well then why on earth wouldn’t I make them?? Added iron, fiber, vitamins, and you can’t even taste it? Sign me up! So we make these often as well. Though I’ve yet to try them with bananas and Nutella. (I’m not entirely convinced you can’t taste the spinach… though green-ish tortillas with chocolate hazelnut doesn’t really appeal to me, anyway….)

Even Sarah has acquired a taste for Mexican food.  One day she asked if she could borrow our rolling pin so she could make some at home for her family, and she filled them with fish. Her family loved them.

Maybe because she didn’t use spinach. 😉

Flour Tortillas

Combine:

  • 4 cups flour (We use ½ whole wheat flour)
  • 2 tsp. salt

Cut in:

  • 6 tbsp. shortening or oil

Add:

  • 1 cup water

Form a ball. Add more water if necessary, until bowl is clear of all dough. Knead well on floured board and make balls the size of an egg. Let stand 15 minutes. Roll thin with a rolling pin to about the size of a salad plate. Place in ungreased skillet and cook for about 2 minutes on one side. Turn and cook one minute longer. A few light brown spots should appear. (Or black, if you get distracted, which, as a mother of a toddler and infant, I, of course, never do.)

Makes about 2 dozen.

-From Wycliffe International Cookbook

Tip: Start cooking the tortillas while rolling out the rest of the dough. Stack cooked tortillas on a plate or in a bowl with a clean towel around them until all are cooked.

For spinach tortillas, I usually cook a big batch of spinach at one time and puree some, freeze them in quart size bags, then throw one of the (defrosted) bags into the mix. I don’t really measure, but I sometimes refer to this recipe for spinach tortillas.  It calls for 9 ounces of cooked fresh spinach, chopped (about 4-5 cups of packed, chopped spinach), or frozen spinach, for ½ the tortilla recipe that we use. Add the spinach mixture, including the water left in the pan from cooking, to the flour mix (It will mix in easier if the spinach is hot or warm.). Knead or stir, adding additional flour as needed (may take a cup or more of extra flour) to make a smooth dough. Knead dough for about 5 minutes, which will mix the spinach in better, and give the dough an even consistency. The spinach tortillas will need to cook a little longer than the plain flour ones.

p.s.  We had pictures of Chris, The Tortilla Cooking Machine, turning out some finely shaped tortillas, but the internet’s not cooperating with picture uploads tonight, so I’m afraid we’ll have to leave you wondering until next time….

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2 thoughts on “Foodie Friday: Tortillas

  1. Thanks for the recipe – I’m going to try it! One would think that living in latin america I would have amazing, fresh tortillas at my fingertips, but alas… not in Chile..

  2. I once made a fiasco batch of first-attempt crepes that tasted like the best hand rolled tortillas I ever had. lol…

    In Miami, I used to frequent a taqueria that did hand rolled tortillas with all their drive-thru fare. LOVED IT. So good.

    🙂

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