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Homemade tortillas:‘easy recipe with the simplest ingredients’

By Lisa Tindell

Even in a time of quarantine, you may still be able to take the family on a trip south of the border by making some authentic Mexican food. Well, as authentic as you can get in south Alabama.

With all of the shortages, slow replenishments and still scarce supply of some products in the past month, it seems that some people have had to resort to other options when it comes to precious commodities like bread. Right after all of the bread shelves emptied out, baking flour of any kind became scarce for a bit and then completely disappeared. Then on my next trip to the grocery store, I could only find corn tortillas but had a hankering for a burrito at home.

Bread has been in good supply lately and flour has slowly returned to the shelves in limited quantities. I believe one of the reasons we are still seeing limited quantities of flour on the shelf is because this pandemic has given birth to bakers everywhere. Bread, cakes, cookies, and an endless list of other baked goods can be found in most kitchens these days.

With that discovery made by many first-time bakers, I think we are going to see a rise in home baked goods at every family reunion, church homecomings and even Sunday dinner at home.

But, one thing that may not have become an addition to these new bakers’ recipe box is homemade flour tortillas. These easy pieces of thin bread can be made with the simplest of ingredients and require no special skills, except a little patience.

Not only are homemade tortillas easy and quick, they are very inexpensive and can be used any way you like. From sweet to savory, the tortilla can be used as anything from hor ‘devours to desert.

This recipe is really only a few ingredients resulting in a big part of your meal in just a few minutes. Authentic recipes call for lard, but since you can’t buy it by the cup, buying a large tub of lard for just the small amount called for seems wasteful. Now, if you like to make the tortillas, maybe next time you could invest in the lard.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

¾ cup water

3 tablespoons olive oil

Prepare:

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the water and oil. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes until the dough is smooth. You may need to add a little flour or water to reach the smoothest consistency. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into eight portions, trying to make them as equal as possible. Roll each of the pieces into a circle of about seven inches in diameter. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and grease slightly. Cook each tortilla in the skillet for about one minute on each side until they are light brown. Keep the tortillas warm as you work through the batch.

There are several things you can do to these tortillas to make them play a part at the family meal. Of course you can roll up a burrito or toast up a quesadilla, but this super simple and inexpensive dish can be more.

For a sweet treat, spread a tablespoon of softened butter onto the warm tortilla. Sprinkle on a generous portion of cinnamon sugar and roll it up. Pour on some caramel or chocolate sauce and add a dollop of whipped cream for a great dessert.

For a savory appetizer, mix together 8 ounces of softened cream cheese with one package of low-sodium taco seasoning. You can even throw in a few chopped green onions if you like them. Spread about one and a half tablespoons of the mixture on the tortillas, leaving about a half-inch border at one edge. Roll the torillia up, jelly roll style. Refrigerate the rolls for about an hour and slice into one-inch wheels. Serve with your favorite salsa or taco sauce.

There are so many options. My family even likes to spread on a little mayonnaise and pile it high with ham and cheese rolled up for a quick meal.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Whether it’s a local favorite or an exotic version, isn’t bread the most wonderful thing?