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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Flour Tortillas

On Monday, we had a large amount of leftover roast beef from the weekend, and I decided to make beef quesadillas. I make them with sauteed onions and peppers, strips of beef, and Monterrey Jack cheese. I serve them with salsa and sour cream.

You know how sometimes you decide in the morning what you are going to make for dinner, and then it's on your mind all day (making you hungry), and you get your heart all set on that exact meal, and then you realize you are missing a key ingredient? Well that's what happened to me, and the key ingredient was very very KEY... the flour tortillas. I almost always have a package or two in the freezer, but when I went to check, I couldn't find any. It was Labour Day and the grocery store was closed.

I was so looking forward to the quesadillas that I just couldn't relinquish the plan, so I made my own flour tortillas from scratch.

I have done this before. It takes a bit of time, but it is overall pretty easy. The thing that happened to me the last time was that when I put the tortilla dough on the frying pan to cook it, it shrunk up. That didn't happen to me this time, and the only thing I did differently was to let the dough rest a bit after I rolled it out.

I have decided that NOTHING quite beats homemade tortillas, they are just so far superior to the store bought ones, it will be hard to go back. I tried freezing the leftovers, so I will be able to determine if they freeze well. If they do, then I can see myself making these in large quantities so I'll never have to go back to store bought. Next, I am going to try some corn tortillas.

Flour Tortillas
makes eight 10" tortillas

2 cups flour
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 3/4 cup warm water

1. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.

2. Cut in the shortening until mixture resembles course meal.

3. Add warm water a little at a time, until mixture forms a soft dough without being sticky.

4. Knead until smooth and elastic. Roll into 8 equal size balls and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 30 minutes.

5. Roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface until very thin and about 10" in diameter. Layer them between sheets of plastic wrap and let rest for 10-15 more minutes (or until you are ready to cook them).

6. Place in a dry (no oil please) non-stick frying pan over med-high heat for about 1 minute on each side. You know its read to flip when it starts to puff up a bit.

7. Wrap with a tea towel while you are cooking the rest, so they don't dry out. Serve warm.