This past week I had a major score (at least in my book). I went to the local thrift store to drop off a few unneeded items and thought I should take a quick look inside for a few needed things: lamps, tables, etc. I did find a really nice lamp, which made me happy, but the real prize was the $15 sewing machine I found sitting in a box on the floor. It did have a severed pedal cord, but I was confident this was within our repair abilities. So, I scooped up the machine and quickly made my way to the register (I was so excited that I tripped over something and almost fell on my face on the way.)
I have been wanting a sewing machine for a few months now and have been patiently waiting for the right deal to come along. This was the machine I had been waiting for. As it turns out, this repair work was well within our abilities and I now have a new (to me) sewing machine that I can barely use. And now that I have it, I’m just as excited about playing in my new unfinished craft room as I am about hanging out in the kitchen.
As a result, I’m not producing anything impressive from the kitchen and I’m so inexperienced with my new sewing machine that I find myself with few original things to share.
Although I don’t have any fun culinary creations to share, I have a classic that is worth a post all its own. Below is a clean eating tortilla recipe. Have you ever read the label on tortilla shells? I’ve tried, and it’s similar to a bread label. They are long; I can’t read much of it, and I won’t buy them. The farmer’s market near my old house had these awesome tortillas that were made on site. I used to buy them on Sunday morning and they would be gone by Monday night. Homemade tortillas are just too good.
This recipe comes from a dear friend who spent months learning to farm sustainably in South America. She learned to make these while staying on a farm in Guatemala. When this recipe came to me, it was shared as “adding about this much” and “a little of this”. I have put quantities with each ingredient, but be conscious of the fact that you might find it necessary to reduce or increase certain portions.
What you’ll need:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
½ cup canola oil
~ 2 cups water
Begin by placing all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mixing together.
The next step is to add the liquids. The water is added about ½ cup at a time until the consistency is right. When the dough is finished, you will be looking for moist but unsticky dough. It will not have a completely uniform texture.
Add the oil and some of the water. Using one hand, gently mix everything together. Once all of the liquid is incorporated, add a little more water. Mix through. Continue adding water until you have achieved the correct consistency.
Begin to pull chunks of dough off and roll into 2 inch balls. Set aside and keep covered. I find it helpful to lay the dough balls in rows so you can see which were made first. It is important to keep these covered to prevent the dough from drying out and developing a tough skin.
After all of your dough has been portioned out, preheat a large dry pan over medium high heat. I use this, but a cast iron skillet would work well also. While the pan heats, begin to roll out the tortillas. Using the balls you rolled out first, roll out each on a well-floured surface using a rolling pin. Tortillas should be rolled to about ¼ inch thick.
To cook tortillas, place in the hot pan. It will stick slightly until it begins to brown. Once it begins to brown on the first side, you will be able to see small bubbles forming and be able to slide it across the pan. Flip it and allow the tortilla to brown on the other side. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Once you begin rolling and cooking tortillas, you can get into a routine of rolling one out while one cooks. Be sure to carefully brush out any excess flour after cooking each tortilla. This will prevent burning.
Results: These tortillas work well for any Mexican or Latin American dish. They are also delicious with a drizzle of honey. If allowed to cool completely, they last for a couple of weeks in an airtight container. If you want larger tortillas, use larger dough portions.
***Update: For tortillas with a lasting flexibility, lightly brush both sides with oil before cooking. Store in a large, sealed container in your refrigerator for up to one week.