Monday, May 06, 2013

Spinach Tortillas

You can make tortillas with just about any flavouring you like (tomato, basil, etc.) but I had a pile of fresh spinach staring at me, and these were the result. There's a bit of a learning curve with tortillas, but a bit of practise will have you rolling (or pressing) them like a pro. I prefer to roll them with a heavy pin, and cook them on a hot, cast iron pan-but I'm a firm believer in doing what works best for you. If a tortilla press, and a non-stick griddle are what you have, you should use them. People get so hung-up on being, "authentic" that they suck all the fun out of making something interesting. So no, these tortillas are most certainly not, authentic. They are good though, and not too difficult to manage.

I made chili and lime fish tacos with mine, but I think a batch of these would make a great base for rolled cream cheese pinwheels. 

You Will Need:

3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening (you can use as little as 4, but the texture is less pliable)
1 pound fresh spinach, stemmed, steamed, and drained-then pureed.
1/2-1 cup warm water

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening until you have a finely textured flour mixture. At this point, add your spinach puree. As I can't know how well you drained it, I can't say how much water you will need. Work the spinach into the dough, then add the water slowly-about 1 tablespoon at a time until you have a dough that comes together, but is neither too dry (crumbly) or wet (sticky). Divide into either 8 pieces for burrito sized tortillas, or 16 for tacos. Keep the dough covered with a damp (not wet) towel as you work.

Heat your pan. It should be fairly hot. Drop a bit of water on it-if it sizzles and skips across the pan, you're good. You may need to adjust later on as cast iron holds heat better than other materials-at any rate, keep an eye on it.

Roll your tortilla as thin as possible without tearing it (you can patch it). I turn my work surface as I go (a plastic cutting board works great) and I do not add additional flour to the surface. If you find that you must, add flour very sparingly as it will really smoke as you make the tortillas.

Cook about 1 minute or until lightly browned, then do about 30 seconds on the other side. Remove to a plate covered with a towel to keep them from drying out as they cool, and become hard. When cool, store in a plastic bag in the fridge. 

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