Need tortilla recipes! : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

I really need a recipe for flour tortillas that I can make in my big ol’cast iron frying pan. Help!!!!

You see it all started several years ago as I was workin' my way out of the Mogollons east into Tejas. It was hot and dry and my canteen was empty, my poor cayuse was just a draggin'. Dan is a mighty-fine pony, but he was jest about played out. There was s'pose to be a seep hidden in the boulders up ahead where I could water me Ol’ Dan. The seep was dry, nothin’ but sand. Some bleached bones of various critters laid thar around that dry waterin' hole. I moved on, weavin' in and out of the cacti and brush, the buzzards were circlin' overhead. The heat waves was dancin' above that desert floor and my tongue was gettin' thick. Luckily, I came upon a small Tex-Mex border town thar in the desert. It was a good thing, too, I was not only dying for some water, but I was feelin' mighty hungry, as well.

I hitched Dan on a post outside of a small adobe cantina, I could hear the sounds of guitars, trumpets and an accordion playin' inside. It seemed right invitin' -- the good smells comin' out of that place seemed like heaven. I splashed some water from the trough on my face, dried it with my bandanna, brushed the dust from my chaps, and sauntered in. The rowels on my silver spurs jingled as I walked in on that dusty wood plank floor.

I screwed myself down in a chair at a table near the back wall and had to wait a minute or so as my eyes became adjusted to the darkness. Comin' towards me was one dern pretty senorita, long shiny black hair which was adorned by a tortoise comb, mischievous black eyes. She was wearin' a white cottony blouse with a low bodice which left her shoulders bare, it was tied across the top with a thin ribbon. A wide, silver bracelet was on her wrist and a silver belt of medallions around her slim waist. She wore a dark, flowin' skirt and I could see her dusty, bare feet peekin' out from under the hem. She asked me if the gringo was hungry, I replied “Yes, ma’am!”. Turning on one dusty foot, she did a 180 into the back room. I pulled some tobacco out of my pouch, rolled and licked the paper, lit it and waited for my meal.

Fore long, that pretty senorita gal came back with a steamin' bowl of thick Tejas Red, a plate stacked high with soft warm, flour tortillas and a pitcher of icy, cold margaritas. I had died and gone to heaven! This gringo rolled those tortillas 'round that chili and ate until I had to loosen my gun belt. T'was the best chuck this saddle tramp has had since eatin' tortilla soup aways north of this small town.

'Bout this time I was feelin' a bit frisky and asked my waitress if she'd like to sashay to the tune of the Mexican polka bein' played. She said, "Si' senor, but my lover is coming soon." At that moment, the double doors of the cantina swung open and there stood a mean, tough lookin' hombre. He wore all black with silver bangles up the sides of both pant legs and a big, black sombrero. He had bullet-filled bandaleros criss-crossed over this chest, wore two pistolaros down low and tied to his legs, had a patch over one eye, a scar on one cheek, and was missin' a tooth. He shouted, "Felina, come here!" My lovely waitress left my side.

I figgered it was time to light a shuck outa there, I tossed a silver dollar on the table and could hear it spin as I walked out of Rosa's Cantina. (And for some reason, I could also hear in the back of my mind an old Marty Robbin's tune--what was that about?) I rode out of that town and wondered if I'd ever return. I sure wish I could make tortillas as fine as Rosa' anyone?

-- Cabin Fever (, April 05, 2002


There are some in the archives I will see if I can find them and run them up for you! Nice story and all...

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, April 05, 2002.

These recipes come from the Wycliffe Cookbook, put out by the Wycliffe Bible Translators. I do not know if it is available to the public; I got mine from my translator brother. Corn Tortillas:

Stir together in a saucepan over low heat: 1 1/2 cups boiling water, 1 cup cornmeal, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat, cover for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup (or more) flour until not sticky or stiff.

Pinch off balls about walnut size; roll each very thin on floured surface. The more rolling pins the better, or you will be at this a long time. I usually have one person make balls, two or three rolling, while I fry them. To make plain tortillas, fry on hot ungreased skillet (I have an iron pan just the right size), turning once. You want to watch and experiment with the frying time and temperature. You want it cooked through, but not much brown at all; they need to be pliable. If they brown around the edges, they've been cooked too long.

Flour Tortillas:

Combine 4 cups flour with 2 teaspoons salt. Cut in 6 tablespoons shortening or oil. Add 1 cup water. Form a ball. Add more water if necessary until bowl is clear of all dough (kind of like making pie dough). Knead well on floured surface and make balls the size of an egg. Let stand for 15 minutes (important; this gives the dough time to relax, making the rolling easier). Roll thin to about the size of a salad plate. Cook as for corn tortillas.

Sometimes we fry them in oil; an inch for flats, more for tacos. The flats (I forget the Mexican name) are good for refried beans, but if you're doing ground meat, better use tacos. I have seen specially shaped pans for baking tacos, but I never wanted to pay the price. If you hold the tortilla in oil with a can (empty, with bottom cut out), the edges will curl around to make a bowl shape.

Another snack idea is to make the plain, fried kind (no grease), then cut them in eighths, pie-wise, and fry in oil for chips.

There is a better flour tortilla recipe, I think, which uses baking powder. If any of you know that recipe, please share it!

-- Cathy N. (, October 16, 2001

-- Melissa in SE Ohio (, April 05, 2002.

We have friends in the Mogollons. Catwalk Road. Are you familiar with it?

-- Rose (, April 05, 2002.

I have a good one here I tried last night from a friend. It is good, you just gotta make the balls real small and pat them out with a nice pastry rolling pin. 1 c. warm water 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 1/4 tsp salt about 2 cups flour of choice (whole wheat, unbleached, kamut, etc)

optional ingredients: 1 tbsp honey pinch chili powder pinch ground cumin pinch garlic powder

*if you leave out the honey and all optional ingredients, press it thinner, this is a traditional whole wheat tortilla.

Place wet ingredients in mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients and 1 cup flour and mix well.

Add flour in 1/2 cup increments until you have a supple, moist dough. Knead in mixing bowl or turn on a flat surface and knead about 5 minutes until dough is soft, smooth and springy, adding as little flour as possible to keep the flatbread from becoming dry and tough.

Place in bowl and cover. Let sit 30 minutes. After resting 30 minutes, divide dough in 8-10 balls and place back in bowl to stay moist. Remove one ball, dust lightly with flour and roll into 6-7 inch circle. Do not roll too thin or wrap will be tough. Place on UNGREASED griddle that has been warming up over medium heat. Watch the surface of the wrap for about 30-45 seconds until the edges start to cook and possibly some small bubbles appear. Flip over and cook on other side, 30-45 seconds more. Immediately remove and cover in clean dishcloth to keep warm and soft. Repeat with remaining portions. (I kept them warm in a warm oven below the top of the stove using the flour sacking towels)These are yummy with anything you want...tacos, bbq'd meats, etc.

-- Vaughnde Edwards from MT (, April 12, 2002.

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