Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tortillas 101

So, I have always love to cook and bake, and thankfully I have a mama that taught me lots in the kitchen. Marrying Mr. Martinez also opened up another wealth of food knowledge in my mother-in-law, Carol. Due to her food allergies and her desire to live a healthy lifestyle, I can always count on her recipes to use natural, healthy ingredients... and they are always SO yummy! One of the major things I have been dying to learn to make is her homemade tortillas. 

We have been trying to plan a "Tortilla 101 Seminar", and this cold weather gave us the time! I hadn't been out of the house since Monday afternoon, so by Wednesday night I was about to pop! We drove slooooooooowly down the street to hubs' parent's house (a normal 5-minute drive took us 20 minutes!), made a drink, and then got to work! 

Forgive the awful pictures of me and keep in mind that we have been hibernating for the past few days! Therefore, ponytail, bangs pinned back, and minimal make-up it is! MIL got me all aproned up (gotta be authentic if I am gonna work this domestic diva thing, haha), and I still ended up making a mess all over my shirt and the floor! Oh well, it was my first time and I am sure I will get better at it! 
After we got the dry ingredients all mixed in with the hot water, it was time to start kneading! It was kinda sticky and gross to start with, and I am all about texture... ew. But after a few turns on the board, it was smooth and lots easier to manipulate! MIL had to step in a couple of times and really show me how to put my shoulders into it, apparently I was being too easy on the dough!! After kneading for awhile, the dough had to rest for 30 minutes, so we ate a yummy dinner while we waited! This was an awesome idea, because it kept hubby from eating all the tortillas as quick as I could get them out of the pan!

The next step was to break off pieces of dough, roll them into small discs, dust them with flour, and place into a covered bowl until all the dough was made into balls. As you can see from the picture, this is a multi-tasking kinda thing! I was able to chat with family and watch TV while doing this... it's not difficult to do, but it's all about the process!

On to rolling them out! This was probably my favorite part - very therapeutic. Being my first try, I wasn't always successful at making the tortillas into very perfect circles, but I guess that just added to their homemade charm. ;) The recipe makes 2 dozen tortillas, and I ended up with 25. So, maybe a few of them were a smidge too small. ;)

D sat at the bar in front of me and flipped the tortillas for me as I continued to roll them out. He also popped the bubbles for me... the steam that builds up in those tortilla bubbles is HOT! We made a pretty good team, if you ask me! ;) We used a mixture of all-purpose and whole wheat flour, and the wheat flour in the tortillas just made them smell soooo good as they were cooking! 

It's like they smelled healthy, but I mean that in the best possible way! Check out the tortilla in the pan in this picture to the right... I finally got the hand of rolling them into a round shape towards the very end! Luckily, I also have my own cast-iron tortilla pan that you see in the picture, so it will be even easier to recreate MIL's tortillas at home! We took a dozen home and left the rest for the in-laws. 

The finished product. :)  *Tear, I am so proud! I had a couple with my lunch today... they are so amazingly delicious!



wow that is such a cool thing to make and what a cool memory - you can pass that down as a family heirloom recipe, how special! I'll bet they are delicious, despite being messy :)

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