I am fascinated by the food that I cook when I’m really hungry and exhausted. At those times I don’t have any energy to think, and am forced to use only the things I have on hand. Here is how that dish worked out the other day:
This is an imperfect recipe for corn tortillas that I pretty much made up. It produces small (~4″ diameter) crispy tacos which are at their prime when eaten fresh off the pan.
- Masa Harana — Put this in your pantry! Mexican corn flour.
- a small dollup of vegetable oil or melted butter
- salt to taste
In a medium or large-size bowl, combine all the ingredients. The ratio is about 4 parts flour to 1 part liquid.
So… this recipe is all about hitting the right consistency for the dough. You want it to be just wet enough that all the flour is absorbed into a big ball. If it feels slimy, add more flour. A little bit of excess flour hanging out at the edges of the bowl is OK, but all the dough should all be stuck together.
If you have a tortilla press, go ahead and use it. I do not have one myself, yet. The way I make tortillas is by using two pieces of wax paper, the back of a cutting board, and a rolling pin. Place one layer of wax paper onto a clean flat surface (counter top works fine). Then take a golf ball-sized ball of dough, put it in the middle of the paper, lay the second piece of wax paper over top, and squish the sandwich down flat with the cutting board. Then remove the cutting board and roll the tortilla out with a rolling pin while it’s still between the wax papers. Peel the tortilla off the paper, and cook in a dry (no oil) skillet over medium-high heat. Give a few minutes to the first side until it starts to get toasty brown and smell yummy, then flip it over and cook on the other side for less time than the first side.
Here are a few suggestions that can be combined however you choose:
- fresh diced tomatoes
- fresh diced bell pepper
- fresh or canned diced pineapple
- fresh sliced scallions
- fresh diced cilantro
- fresh baby lettuce greens, or regular lettuce torn into little pieces
- sour cream
- grated cheese
- guacamole (that’s a ripe avocado ***If you can get Bacon variety Avocadoes, these are THE BEST for guacamole** mashed together with some finely minced fresh garlic, some lemon, and maybe some chili powder or whatever else seems nice…)
- black beans
PAJE & HANNAH’S STOVE-TOP BLACK BEANS
My friends Hannah and Paje showed me a SIMPLE & NEAR INSTANT black bean recipe back when they were teenage lesbians with dreadlocks and baby pet rats. It fills my heart with joy whenever I make it 🙂
- 1 can black beans
- 1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
- A little oil or butter for the pan
- Optional: Diced bell pepper, sliced scallions, chili powder, black pepper
I’m serious, this is dead easy. Step 1: Put the oil and the garlic, and any of the optional ingredients in a pot over medium head, and saute for about 3 minutes. Step 2: Open the can of beans, and rinse, then add to the pot and stir until the whole mixture is warm (about 5 minutes). That’s it. Served with fresh avocado and salsa this an excellent easy dish, or you can put it in a taco!