Ridiculously Easy Tortillas

January 16, 2013

I admit, I realize that 98% of my readers are in the United States, and probably 80% are in California. And in California, there is no shortage of decent tortillas. So basically, this post is for 2-20% of you. But in any case…

Tortillas! Living in New Zealand has already proven to be a culinary adventure, and this is the next chapter. I have read on several kiwi blogs that while tortillas aren’t that hard to find in New Zealand, decent ones are pretty rare. Complaints range from ‘brittle’ to ‘weirdly elastic’ to ‘tastes like cardboard’. Instead of subjecting myself to disappointing tacos, I decided to just go for it and make my own. I mean that’s what all the other over achieving show-off foodie Kiwis are doing. And while I was prepared for a major cooking disaster, they turned out pretty darn good.

The recipe is from a fellow blogger who was also on the hunt for decent tortillas. It’s got very few ingredients and steps, which both increase my chances of success. Especially with the poor excuse for kitchen utensils I have at the moment (come on, big boat in the ocean!), like Bachelor Ben’s Bowl.

(And a side note: I had a quick lesson on preparing Mexican food with a good family friend before the holidays. I feel the need to say I’m sure these tortillas are nowhere near her standards. Also, I have yet to find lard in the stores here, which I think may be a key ingredient to the perfect tortilla. But if you’re reading, Cynthia, I’d be keen to see your recipe!)

Anyways, our key ingredients:

Ridiculously Easy Tortillas:

3 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup hot water

Combine flour, salt and baking powder. Whisk together. (Here is where I forgot to take a picture with Ben’s Bowl.) Add canola oil and mix together with your hands to create a uniform “crumby-ness”. Lastly, add hot water, knead together with hands.

Let dough rise minimum of a half hour, or place in refrigerator overnight.

Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Mine were just a tad larger than a golf ball.

Roll them out with flour, until they are about 8 inches wide and uniformly round. Unless you’re into oblong tortillas… that’s cool too.

I don’t actually have a rolling pin at the moment (re: boat somewhere on the Pacific…) so I used my trusty Enloe stainless steel thermos. Scott pointed out after all dinner was consumed that a wine bottle would have been a great rolling pin. Why didn’t I think of that?

Fry tortillas on a dry frying pan on med-high heat. It only takes about 30-45 seconds per side for the perfect brown bubbles to form, and then it is time to flip.

My taco fillings: black beans, sautéed onion, bell pepper, and salmon, with tomato,
avocado, cheese, and sour cream. Mmmmm!

I discovered the hard way, if the heat is too low, the tortilla turns into more of a cracker. Or a frisbee.

I stored the final product in the oven, on low, while I finished my cooking. This worked perfectly.

Don’t they look like real tortillas!?
Serve warm, with lots and lots of yummy ingredients!

This picture makes me truly sad that there are no left overs right now!

Lastly, look at what we got!

Nope, not good beer. Carlsberg is awful.

The astute reader will remember that I have been holding out for a kitchen table. We’ve got a bed, 2 chairs and a sofa, but haven’t had a table for the last 5+ weeks. I found this lovely piece on TradeMe.com for $120! It’s in beautiful condition. Hiring a trailer to haul it (behind our Subaru Justy, no less!) was quite the adventure, but alls well that ends well, and we ended up with a great table! Now we can finally have guests over!

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  • Reply Carmen Rasmussen January 17, 2013 at 5:08 am

    You could always use bacon fat instead of lard – that’s how my mom taught me. Not the healthiest but they sure taste good!

  • Reply Emily October 20, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Yum, those look amazing. What about using beef drippings, which seem to come in a plastic pint container. My husband had some in the fridge when I arrived to NZ so I haven’t actually bought them. It looks just like lard but smells beefier.

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