Friday, February 7, 2014

Spinach, Bacon, and English Cheddar Breakfast Tacos With Homemade Flour Tortillas


Time to switch things up. Lately, it's been all chocolate and sugar and butter here on The Starving Artist. But I promise you that is not all that I eat. I swear I eat my fruits and vegetables! I cook multiple times a day, but I'm definitely a creature of habit. I'm much more experimental with my baking than with my day to day cooking, that's why you see more of it. I make homemade pizzas, Mexican food, or soup most nights. Boring but delicious.

I make pretty much everything we eat around here from scratch. I make bread. I make stock. I don't buy lunch meat or frozen foods. Basically, I have a fear of anything processed. I like to keep things as basic as possible. I'll do the cooking and the seasoning, thank you very much. However, lately I've been buying flour tortillas almost every week. My husband and I have become addicted to tortilla pizzas and I eat a breakfast burrito probably everyday for lunch (I told you, I'm a creature of habit).

So I've been thinking, maybe it's time to try my hand at homemade flour tortillas. 1). They will most definitely be cheaper made from scratch and 2). they will most definitely be healthier. So I gave it a go.

Most of the recipes I found called for lard. I couldn't bring myself to buy lard (I have no problem with Karo syrup, but I draw the line at lard). I searched and searched and finally found this recipe that called for shortening or vegetable oil.

The verdict? Very good but not as soft as the ones that you buy in the store. Possibly I overcooked them, or I need to add a little more liquid. I have found that with corn tortillas practice makes perfect, so I have no doubt that flour tortillas are the same. I'm sure that my next batch will be much better. And maybe I'll try the lard. Maybe.

Oh and I made you a breakfast taco. You're welcome.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
1/2 cup warm water or 1/2 cup milk (I used milk. Generally, if a recipe calls for water or milk, go with milk)

Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl. Drizzle in vegetable oil and mix with your fingertips. It should get clumpy and crumbly. This is good.

Add liquid and mix together until you get a sticky ball of dough. Just go ahead and use your hands for this, they're already covered in flour. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Separate dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Cover with a damp towel. Place a piece of plastic wrap down on a flat surface. Place one ball of dough onto plastic wrap and top with another piece of plastic wrap. This will allow you to roll your dough out very thin without it sticking to your rolling pin. Keep the little balls of dough covered with the damp towel while you roll the tortillas so they don't dry out.

Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Cook tortillas for about thirty seconds on each side. They will begin to puff up when they are ready to be flipped (see the little pockets of air in the tortilla below? It's ready to flip.)

Cover your cooked tortillas with a dry towel as you cook the others. This will keep them warm and soften them up a bit. These tortillas are best eaten right away, but apparently you can refrigerate these for up to a week. Just wrap them in plastic to keep all the air out.

Now that we have made homemade flour tortillas (like a boss), let's reward ourselves with some bacon.

Spinach, Bacon, and English Cheddar Breakfast Tacos

Scramble 2 eggs. I have to say, I make the best scrambled eggs of all time (I'm so humble). Here's how I do it:

Whisk 2 eggs with a little water, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Add a pat of butter to whisked eggs. Add eggs to a small pot (this is very important) and place over low heat. The trick is to scramble your eggs slowly. I place them in a small pot so that the eggs don't scorch. If you cook them in a big saucepan with a lot of surface area, as most people do, they cook too fast and the flavor is not as delicate. So, cook your eggs in a small pot, over low heat, and mix occasionally with a spatula until desired doneness. I like my eggs just a little wet.

Grab two tortillas. Place a handful of spinach, a spoonful of salsa, a few bacon crumbles (I used one slice of bacon and crumbled it over both tacos, but feel free to add more!) and some shredded English cheddar cheese on each tortilla. Add the hot eggs on top. This will melt the cheese, which is a must. Garnish with a few sprigs of cilantro. There you have it! A perfect breakfast taco!

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