Flour Tortillas

Flour Tortillas

This is an oldie but a goodie.  I can’t believe I haven’t made a post about this before.  Quite a many years ago I decided to try my hand at making flour tortillas.  I had heard they were more difficult than corn.  It took me a couple of tries before I became more comfortable with it.  I then took a few years off where I didn’t make them so had to re-teach myself.  I figured I should actually document it so I have something to reference.  I made some easy fajita/tacos tonight using these tortillas.  I generally will re-heat the tortilla on an open flame of my oven for ~15 seconds on each side.

00000IMG_00000_BURST20200405182034056_COVER

Ingredients

  • 3 cups AP flour (you can also incorporate a % of wheat flour to make it “healthier”)
  • 1 cup hot water (almost boiling)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4-1/3 c oil (instead of lard)

Most original recipes call for the use of lard.  I have never had lard in the house and read about using oil as a substitute so that’s what I’ve been using (either canola or vegetable oil).  For the pictures below I actually made a smaller batch (2 cups flour, 2/3 c water, etc).

  1.  Mix up the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Add in the oil and incorporate it with the dry mixture.  Heat water til near boiling.  Add water and mix/knead for about 3 minutes.  Exact water may depend on environmental conditions – dough should come together into smooth ball without being too dry.
  2. Cover in a damp towel/cloth for about 20 minutes.
  3. Separate dough ball into individual smaller balls and roll into slightly than larger golf ball size balls
  4. Cover again with damp towel/cloth and let sit for 30-50 minutes.
  5. Take each ball and flatten into disk/hockey puck shape.  Place small amount of flour on each side of puck.  On a well floured counter using a rolling pin to roll out doughball into tortilla shape.  Can roll out into 1/8″-1/16″ thickness depending on preference.  Rolling can be tricky.  I’ve found that I’ll roll it out North to South, then pick it up and turn it 45 degrees and continue to attempt to make it round.  It’s okay if it isn’t fully round.  Still tastes great!
  6. In a hot cast iron pan (or comal if you have one), place tortilla down and let sit for 40-50 seconds (depending on temperature of pan).  Using flat spatula, flip and cook another 30-45 seconds.  Can look for small brown spots to give an indication of doneness.

Continue reading “Flour Tortillas”

Tri Tip

Decided to make a tri-tip.  I had previously done this once or twice but forgot to actually document it and therefore each time I’ve had to make it, I have to google various recipes and try to figure out what I had done previously.  I think one time I wrapped it in aluminum foil and another time I put it on a raised platform in a pan.  This time I remembered to write down how I made it so I had it for future reference.  I guess tri tip is more of a west coast cut of beef that isn’t typically  made it other parts of the US (though with the passage of time I’m sure it is more common now all over the US).  It was Labor Day and so we were trying to come up with something to make – I didn’t want to use the grill because it has been insanely hot here all the time.  I purchased an untrimmed Tri Tip from the store that was about 2.7 lbs or so.

IMG_20190901_211024.jpg

Continue reading “Tri Tip”

Hot dog (hamburger) buns

Hot dog (hamburger) buns

For the 4th of July, we decided to do the ultra-traditional hamburgers and hot dogs.  I decided I’d like to try  my hand at making hot dog buns.  I had previously made some burger buns from a random recipe I found online.  I didn’t realize that you can use the same formula for both hot dog and hamburger buns.  This time I found another recipe on a random blog.  For the most part I followed the recipe that was laid out (since this was my first time making it).  I amended it due to the fact that I don’t have a stand mixer and therefore have to do all my mixing/kneading by hand.  The recipe called for letting the dough rest in the fridge for up to 24 hours so I made up the dough the night before July 4th.

Ingredients:

  • 500g All purpose flour
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp butter (can use butter as well)
  • extra oil to oil the bowl
  • 1 egg for the egg-wash

First I mixed up the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Continue reading “Hot dog (hamburger) buns”

Roasted Chicken

I want to make sure I have this recipe saved somewhere for future use.

After getting a Costco rotisserie chickens for awhile  (I read somewhere that the Costco bird is actually the only one that is most cost effective in terms of purchasing a cooked bird vs roasting your own), I decided to attempt my own roasted chicken.  I had come across a simple roasted chicken in a cast iron pan.  I like the versatility of roasted chicken because they can be used for various applications and in multiple recipes and last for more than one meal.

  • ~5 lb chicken from TJ’s
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Seasoning (thyme, rosemary)

I basically rubbed the chicken with the seasonings (salt, butter, thyme, etc).  The center of the bird was stuffed with some garlic cloves and whole sticks of rosemary.  I rubbed the outside of the bird with olive oil (another time I used butter).  I also did one where I would separate the skin from the meat and put seasoned butter in there.

IMG_20170219_140734.jpg

Initially the oven at 450 F and dropped to 400 F when the chicken was placed in the oven.

Cooked for 90 minutes at 400 F.

IMG_20170219_154433.jpg

And done.  Surprisingly you don’t have to cover it at all or turn it or anything.  The meat also comes out very juicy.

Very simple and easy recipe and you control what is in the bird.  I had read that one reason the Costco rotisserie chickens are so tasty is because the seasoning that goes into the skin contains MSG.  While I know MSG inherently isn’t necessarily super bad for you, the fewer ingredients in a dish I think is probably overall better for you.  I’m glad that I have this recipe in my arsenal now.

-StewsCat

Pita Bread

Pita Bread

So I’ve definitely struggled with what I can make to help us get through the week for lunches while at work.  In the past I’ve done tortillas, loaf bread, and sandwich bread rolls.  D suggested I could make pitas.  So I looked up some recipes and in true me fashion tweaked it to create my own version of things.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cup all-purpose flour

I started by adding the yeast and sugar into the water and letting it sit for about 5 minutes.  Then I proceeded to make a poolish with the water/yeast/sugar and whole wheat flour.  I mixed this up thoroughly and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.

img_20170122_164021

You can see that it is a pretty wet mixture. To the poolish I added the olive oil and the AP flour.  This dough is less water % than many of my breads so came together fairly easily and I hand kneaded for about 5-8 minutes.  I formed the dough into a ball and coated it with olive oil and let it rest for about 1.5 hours.

img_20170122_165459
Before rising

After the dough doubled in size, I punched down the dough and deflated it.  The dough was then divided into 8 balls.

img_20170122_184104

Each ball was then placed on a floured surface and a rolling-pin was used to roll out the dough into about a 6-8″ disc shape.  I had read that there are two different ways to cook pitas.  The oven method creates a great “puff” but the downside is that you don’t get the nice brown spots from the stove top method.  I elected to try both to see which one I felt was better.  I didn’t get the nice separation of the pita as I expected with the stove top method.  I used a cast iron pan for stovetop.  The oven I had at 450 F and a baking sheet (pre-heated).

img_20170122_185038
Rolled out dough

For the pita in the oven, I palmed the dough disc and flipped it onto the baking sheet.  These I cooked for about 3 minutes (sometimes a little more).

The stove top pita stayed flat but I cooked them for about 45 seconds on the first side and 1-2 minutes on the second side.

img_20170122_190046

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of stove top vs oven-baked.

img_20170122_190938
Stove top on the left, oven on the right

Overall they came out decent, though a little dry.  Not too bad and something that may go into the rotation for lunches.

-StewsCat