Friday, October 8, 2010

Karina's Corn Tortilla Taqeria...

I few weeks ago I invited my friend Sophie over to join the roommies and me for dinner. I had some leftover fake gound beef I wanted to use up, so I decided to have a taco night!

I noticed I was out of corn tortillas, and as I was about to head out the door to buy some, the idea to make them from scratch popped into my head. I had never taken this challenge on before, I wondered if it might be easier than I imagined...

I happened to have some left over Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina (golden corn four). I looked on the back to see what its recipe called for, and was in disbelief at its simplicity:

Mix salt into the masa harina corn flour. Slowly pour the water into the dough to get a good consistency. The dough should be firm and springy when touched, not dry or sticky. Let rest for about an hour, covered.

Preheat a griddle or flat surface. Divide the dough into 2 inch balls. Press dough between two pieces of waxed paper, or flatten according to a tortilla press directions. Place flatten dough on a hot griddle or flat surface and cook until the top of the tortilla starts to look cooked, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and heat for a few seconds. Makes 12 – 6 inch tortillas.

I, of course, took the liberty of adding some cayenne pepper and cinnamon...

At first I tried it with just my hands and no wax paper but it was really difficult to get them to stretch wide enough and not fall apart. Then i decided to try rolling them out with a jar. This worked better but to get them not to stick to the jar, I brought out the wax paper and then it worked perfectly.

Sophie jumped right in to help so I could get back to the other elements of the meal!

I had begun cooking some orzo pasta on the stove and decided to saute onion, a bunch of organic spinach, chopped peaches, cherry tomatoes and lastly, pistachios.

Once the orzo was cooked and soft, I drained it and added it to the spinach/peach saute pan. I spiced with some sea salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, thyme, cumin, and a dash of cinnamon. Lastly, I added some chunks of leftover vegan (almond) pepper jack cheese and let it melt in!

I had also sauteed some onion, garlic, and chopped up carrots in another pan before adding the fake ground beef to it. I spiced this with sea salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne...

I took my other peach and some ripe avocados and made a peach-guacamole by adding lemon, sea salt, cayenne and a splash of olive oil.

I took my non-stick saute pan and heated it up for several minutes until it got really hot. Without oil or anything, you simply place a tortilla in it and move it around with your fingers in a small circular movement until it starts to turn golden brown and even dark brown in spots. Then you just flip it and do it on the other side. SO EASY!

I still had some roasted corn hummus I had made earlier in the week so I set that out as another taco topping...

We assembled and devoured. By far the best (and most personally satisfying) tortilla I've ever had. That equals one heck of a taco.

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