Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Flour Tortillas





I came across a bottle of Nando's peri peri sauce when shopping the other day (Lidl, I'm impressed with how far you've come). To be honest, my only past experience with Nando's wasn't that great, I didn't really like what I ended up getting and it wasn't what I expected at all. But the place is famous for its peri peri sauce. So I thought 'what the heck', and threw a bottle into the trolley.


I'm always trying to keep our meals here at home varied, partly because I love mixing and matching ingredients, and experimenting with new dishes. So today, when I opened the fridge I saw this little bottle of peri peri and thought 'peri peri fajitas!' Of course, I've made fajitas before, but never with the 'holy grail' of spicy sauces - the peri peri. The fajitas turned out great. The peri peri was good, but what really made them was the homemade tortillas. Some people (my mum) might recoil at the thought of making homemade wraps, but I assure you, these flour tortillas are one of the easiest things I've ever made. And I've made a lot of things.


I've never really had that much luck with doughs and breads in the past - I can never get them to rise properly, whether this is through my own fault or the permanently mild British weather I don't know - but these wraps come out great every time, without fail. These wraps are adapted from a Pinterest recipe I found a while back. They're ridiculously simple, and really difficult to mess up, and because the dough doesn't contain yeast they're speedy, too.


The only thing I will say is, that, if you make a lot of them, rolling them out to paper thin plate sized disks can be quite time consuming. But you pick up speed with practice. They cook in less than a minute, though, so you'll make up for lost time here. These tortillas are great for fajitas, burritos, or lunch wraps. They also make great DIY tortilla chips if you cut them up and put them under the grill the day after making, when they tend to go a little crispy anyway. These 'chips' are heaven dipped in some hummus.


It's also very satisfying to know, that, with only three ingredients, these are about a hundred times healthier for you than commercially made wraps. I was shocked to find out that salt content in pre-packed wraps can be as much as 1g per tortilla - 1/6 of an adult's daily recommended salt intake. These DIY versions contain no salt whatsoever, and you won't miss it at all, but, if you really do, you can put in a pinch for luck.


I ended up making 6 with 150g of flour, which shows they can be part of a relatively low carb meal if you should choose. I've doubled this recipe before, but you could multiply it as many times as you want. The number of tortillas you end up with will depend entirely on the size of the dough balls you divide your mixture up into. This takes a bit of practice, but you're looking for tortillas about the size of dinner plates or slightly smaller when they're rolled out, any bigger and they won't cook evenly in your frying pan.


I served ours with a filling of mixed vegetables, the peri peri sauce, garlic and creme fraiche, with cheese and salads as extras - they were delicious!


Tortillas
Makes 6 (recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc.)

150g self raising flour
40-60ml warm water
1tbsp olive oil (I hear you can use lard, but the difference isn't that great)

1. Mix your flour, oil and enough water in a bowl until you get a dough that holds itself together. I used exactly 50ml of water, but the amount you need may vary.
2. Tip the dough out onto a floured work surface and bring it all together. Knead with the heels of your palms for 5-10 minutes, until the dough it stretchy and elastic - have faith, it will become smooth eventually!
3. Divide your mixture into 5 or 6 equal sized balls if using the quantities above, and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rest for at least 15 minutes. Here would be a good time to start preparing your fillings, the dough balls will keep quite nicely under the tea towel for about an hour.
4. Preheat a nonstick frying pan on medium. You want it screaming hot. Hot enough that if you flick a bit of water onto it the water will bubble and evaporate pretty much straight away. Getting your pan hot enough is key to getting these cooked right through quickly.
5. Flour your work surface well. Take a dough ball and flatten it to a thick disk with your palm, then start to roll it out with a rolling pin. You're looking for something about the size of a dinner plate, it will be really thin, only about 2 or 3mm thick. This is good, it means the dough will cook really quickly.
6. Place your first tortilla into the hot frying pan. No, I haven't missed a step, you don't need any oil in the pan, these tortillas are dry fried. This may sound scary and potentially messy, but if they're well dusted with flour I assure you they won't stick at all.
7. Cook on one side until you see bubbles appear on the surface, then flip and cook for a further 30 seconds or so, or until the other side has a few brown spots on it. Don't worry if there are a few black bits, authentic tortillas are meant to be like this. This step is where you can decide how you want you wraps to turn out. I like mine really soft, so I cook them until just done, with only golden spots, if you want something a little sturdier, continue cooking until black spots start to appear.
8. Remove tortilla from the pan and place under a low grill, wrapped in foil. where you can keep all of your cooked tortillas until you're ready to serve. Keeping them warm will mean they stay soft, and that they won't go brittle.

2 comments:

  1. Catrin. Every single thing you've put up have made me hungry.
    But this one is making me hungry the most...
    What with it looking so tasty AND wholesome.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly. IT'S GOOD FOR YOU. Or that's what I keep telling myself. Give them ago, seriously, they're super easy.

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