3.2.09

Dinner, February 3: I´m so proud



Money spent on groceries today: 4.01 euros, at Lidl (a huge box of ridiculously cheap granola - we´ll have to wait and see if it´s any good!), a bag of Belgian endive, mineral water, milk and a tin of tomatoes.
Dinner tonight was the pork and barley chili I made on Sunday, with guacamole, grated cumin cheese (great way to use up that little end of cheese that´s been lying around in the fridge) and, tada, homemade corn tortillas!

I had a lot of masa left over from my tamale experiments, so I decided to try my hand at making corn tortillas. The recipe, if you could call it that, is extremely simple: just mix warm water into the masa until you have a smooth but not too sticky dough. Roll the dough into balls. Now you have to press them into flat rounds before frying them - there are special tortilla presses for this, but I just put the ball of dough between two layers of heavy plastic (from a ziploc bag), placed a skillet on top, and leaned on it will all my weight.

Now, for the frying. It took me a couple of pale, sickly looking tortillas before I realized that the pan in which you are frying these, should be totally, absolutely, incredibly HOT. Don´t try this with a regular flimsy non-stick skillet - you really need a heavy cast iron pan for this, or another type of frying pan that you can heat till it´s almost about to melt.
Technically I don´t even think we can call this frying, since there is no fat involved. What you do is slide the dough disk into the hot (did I mention the pan needs to be really, really hot?), dry pan, cook for half a minute, flip it over, and cook some more until you have a lightly brown-speckled, soft and pliable tortilla. Keep them warm under a cloth (and keep them wrapped in the cloth even when you sit down to dinner: when they cool, they become dry and brittle very fast).

The chili was delicious (and how I love barley!) but today´s real joy came from making my own tortillas. Hurrah.

3 comments:

Amapola said...

I am in awe- that seriously makes my mouth water! I've been trying to find masa in Amsterdam, to no avail. Any tips...?

Klary Koopmans said...

Tjin's, Eerste van der Helststraat 64 has it (near Albert Cuyp), and when they don't have it they can order it for you. Btw they also sell frozen corn tortillas in case you want to do it the easy way ;)

Stormy Sands said...

Verrry nice. Aunt Shnellita would be so proud.