So we love Mexican food. After living in LA for 5 years, not only am I now an avid lover of Korean food, I also love myself some Mexican food. mmmmm.. I think when people think of Brasil, they think of South America and then they think everyone in South America eats what most American’s think of Mexican food. Listed on the items I brought back from my most recent trip to the US were various packets of enchilada and taco seasonings. Because, the sad news is Brasil is more European in food than the rest of South America.
I find I’m buying these really pathetic “wraps” at Pao de Acucar. It’s the only tortillas I’ve found here, and the flavor isn’t that great. I usually cut them into chips and fry them. (Making tortillas from scratch, just to fry it is pointless. In fact, sometimes I just by the pastel dough and fry that for chips).
Anyway, I really wanted to start making tortillas. I’ve got two recipes that I use, depending on preferences. For the flour tortillas that you think of when eating fajitas, light and fluffy. I use this recipe.
Texas Flour Tortillas (adapted from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison)
- Two cups of all-purpose flour (can make them whole wheat by substituting one cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
- 3/4 cups of warm milk
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil. Slowly add the warm milk. Stir until a loose, sticky ball is formed. Knead for two minutes on a floured surface. Dough should be firm and soft. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 20 minutes. After the dough has rested, break off eight sections, roll them into balls in your hands, place on a plate (make sure they aren’t touching) and then cover balls with damp cloth or plastic wrap for 10 minutes. (It’s very important to let the dough rest, otherwise it will be like elastic and won’t roll out to a proper thickness and shape.) After dough has rested, one at a time place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. (If you roll out pie crusts you’ll have no problem with this.) Don’t over work the dough, or it’ll be stiff. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook. In a dry iron skillet or comal heated on high, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side. It should start to puff a bit when it’s done. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a napkin until ready to eat.
Makes eight tortillas.
However, I’m also a huge lover of Cafe Rio. If you’ve ever driven through St. George, Utah you’ll know what Cafe Rio is. It’s gggreeeat. I have a knock off recipe that I’m quite fond of, on a recent visit to the site I found they had added the tortilla recipe to go with the ranch dressing and pulled pork. As this is my all time favorite Cafe Rio recipe, I knew the tortillas would be spot on. mmm buttery, chewy tortillas. This one includes shortening, so it gives it that chewy flavor. CLICK the link, there are too many recipes to post on this ridiculously long post as it is. I make the tortillas in my wok so I can make them big enough.
Couple of notes. I haven’t found enchilada sauce in Sao Paulo, other than at the Mercado Municipal. So, normally I make my own enchilada sauce (soo happy to have purchased some in the US!!). I kind of just mashed up a bunch of recipes:
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 1 -3 teaspoons cocoa powder (depends on your preference)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 3 cups water
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
Directions: Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Stirring constantly, slowly add enough of the water to make a thin paste. Pour into pan and add rest of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Stir in tomato sauce. If you don’t like the bitterness of normal sauce, you can also throw in a bouillon cube.
Also the ranch dressing calls for tomatillos. You can substitute green tomatoes, although it’s still not perfect. But I have yet to find tomatillos here, just their cousins the ripe, sweet physalis.