12 February 2013

Flat as a...tortilla

I do try to resist getting new kitchen gadgets, but we eat a lot of shop-bought tortilla wraps and I thought it might be better to make them myself. Not least because the ones from the stores contain a long list of 14 ingredients, including carrageenan which is under suspicion of being a carcinogen (although the name suggests to me that it is in fact a species of leprechaun (which I also would be reluctant to eat)).

Therefore my birthday request this year was for a tortilla press, because, enthusiastic though I am, I can't face the effort of rolling tortillas out by hand. As today is pancake day, it seemed like a good opportunity to try it out.

It is a very simple low-tech device, made of extremely heavy cast iron. You make the dough (2 cups of flour (half wholewheat, half white), ¼ cup vegetable oil, pinch of salt (I forgot to add that, actually) and enough warm water to bind everything together - I did all this in the food processor as though I were making pastry), let it rest for half an hour, then it's time to play.

You have to encase the dough with plastic to stop it from sticking to the press. I cut a freezer bag open down the two sides and folded it over the lump of dough. Two cups of flour makes about 12 tortillas this size (6 inches in diameter).

Then you shut the top down, press down with the lever, et voilĂ !

I cooked them in a non-stick frying pan at a fairly high heat for about a minute each side.

I had a couple for lunch as quesadillas, with cheese and slices of pickled pepper inside.

But the true test was in the evening, when I gave the children the same thing for their tea. "You have to make these again!" was Child1's comment, while Child2, who invariably won't eat the cheeseless 'crusts' of quesadillas made with shop-bought tortillas, said "I would eat these without cheese". The dog, who usually gets to gobble down Child2's leftovers, was the only one destined for disappointment.

Not bad for a foodstuff made with three ingredients! I'd love to try making them with proper corn masa harina - but first I'll have to find a supplier...


Lisa from Iroquois said...

We use a lot of store bought tortillas here too. I like to avoid the yeast in bread where I can and my MIL finds them easier than bread, being nearly toothless. So my question to you is this - how long do they stay "fresh" enough to work with?

Amanda said...

Hi Lisa - these all vanished today, so I can't speak from experience! But would think that if you wrapped them in a plastic bag, they would last in the fridge for up to a week.

Lisa from Iroquois said...

When I learned how to make naan bread I discovered it was not complicated either, but somewhat more time consuming that this sounds.