Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tortillas (Vegetable Oil)

Tortillas are traditionally made with lard (rendered pork fat). This is nearly impossible to find here in South Africa, so I have gone to making them with vegetable oil. The tortillas are not as fragrant as traditional ones, but they do taste good and are a wee bit less difficult to prepare than those made with lard.

2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp vegetable oil
¾ c milk, warmed just to take the chill off

Sift together dry ingredients into medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle oil over the top.

While stirring, slowly add milk until all liquid is absorbed and you have a sticky ball of dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until dough is no longer sticky…add more flour to the board if necessary (about 2-3 minutes). Form into a ball, cover with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.

Cut dough into eight pieces. While rolling one piece, keep the others covered with the damp cloth. Lightly flour your pastry board or counter top. Roll dough into a ball, then flatten with your fingers into a circle about 4” (10 cm) in diameter. Using a rolling pin and starting at the centre of the circle, roll to the edges (like rolling pie crust) until you have doubled the size of the tortilla.

Heat an iron skillet or griddle (or a roti pan) on high…do not add oil, although a shot of non-stick spray may be ok. Place the tortilla on the hot surface and cook until bubbles form on the surface. Turn and cook the other side until it puffs up a bit. Remove to a warm plate and cover with a napkin or towel. Keep covered even at the table to keep them warm.

If there are leftovers, wrap in plastic and store in the fridge. Reheat in a dry skillet (I do it over the open flame on my gas stove, but you have to be quick or you’ll get either burnt tortillas or blistered fingers!)

Use with Mexican food, make burritos or wraps, or just butter and eat as a snack!


Melinda said...

This sounds like an easy to do recipe. I love Mexican food--and as a person who's lived in the Bay Area for many years, I am very spoiled by excellent Mexican food (that the E. Coast cannot touch!).

I love LaCumbre and Pancho Villa in San Francisco. Pancho Villa also has a place in Modesto--both are so yummy.

I'll have to try this recipe!

Thanks, SV!


cindy said...

My grandma used to swear by lard for her pastries and baking. When I was in Austria several years ago, a traditional country dish I came across was called "sausica". (I'm probably not spelling that right...) Basically, it is like the cold grease from a frying pan that is spread on bread! Great to have you back in your kitchen, SV! cgn

Sophia said...

Love it. Happy new year to you, and a great 2011 to all!