Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Frugal Friday

Last Friday I was completely at a loss about what to make for dinner.  Of all the days of the week, Fridays are the hardest for cooking, because I don't have to cook enough to pack for Nick to bring to work the next day (Mondays are also rough, but only because there is nothing ready for Nick to bring).  It throws my routine off somewhat.  That, and last Friday we didn't really have a lot in the fridge.  There was a pound of hamburger, some chicken and sausage in the freezer, and a box of noodles that Nick said he had plans for.  
"Helping" me with the flour.

It turned out okay because I was in the mood for an adventure, and I also needed something simple and fast.  I don't remember how I thought of it, but I suddenly knew that I had enough ingredients for tortillas; and that I hadn't made them in over a year.  So in the midst of one of Thing One's tantrums I yoinked him into the kitchen and started mixing the dough (I don't think I've ever seen a tantrum end so completely, so fast!).



I remember that the last time that I made tortillas I tweaked the recipe that my mom gave me, and what I came up with worked really well.  When I opened my book and looked at my notes I began to doubt myself--the recipe looked too different to work.  But I went ahead and made them the way that I had tweaked.  
Very thin.  

I remember that my mom's recipe made thick and heavy tortillas, but the ones that I made on Friday came out thin, fluffy and light (after being made to understand that I do not know everything, I had my faith in my cooking abilities restored).  As soon as the tortillas were done cooking I immediately turned around and made quesadillas for dinner.  I had tuna in mine, and Thing One had lunch meat.  We also had pickles; Thing One had insisted that we buy a cucumber earlier, but forgot that he didn't like them, so I sliced it and threw it in the pickle jar with an onion once all the pickles were gone.  I would have added a spoonful of sugar, except that Nick doesn't like sweet pickles.  

I also took two tortillas and put them in the freezer after I rolled them out.  My notes had said that the way I tweaked the recipe the dough came out between a pita and a pizza dough.  I had the thought that I'd save  those two for Stromboli's for Nick, once we get some ingredients for it.  And then I could have some freezer meals for him when I don't feel like cooking (or on Mondays). 
My cast iron skillet, I get it out about once a year.
I need to use it more often, it's wonderful.

Anyway, here is my tortilla recipe:

3 1/2 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt   (you really do need this much to give it some taste!)
2 Tbsp oil
1 1/2 C milk/water (I didn't have enough milk, so I used both)

Mix it all together and then shape them into small balls and let them rest for 15 minutes (long enough for your griddle to heat up).  Roll out the tortillas as thin as you can, don't worry if they look too big, the dough will stretch back, and fry them in a little bit of oil for 30 seconds on each side.  Once I got working, I would put one in the pan, roll out the next one, flip the one cooking, hug Thing One, then take the cooking one off and put the new one on and roll out the next one.  That can be a little intense because they really do cook so fast, but it was good.  
It turned out much better than I expected for something so simple!

I remember the first time I had real tortillas (not the kind you find in the store), I was out visiting my godmother in CO.  We had gone out to the Budweiser stables because she was doing some work for them, and on the way back home there was a stack of warm tortillas wrapped in a towel (I think she had picked them up earlier that day), and then we made green chili and burritos.  I was surprised at how big, and light and fluffy those tortillas were.  And that they were still warm.  I should dig up the green chili recipe, but that is not an inexpensive meal, so I haven't made it in years.  Maybe I'll give it to you anyway, it's really good!  It takes chopped pork!  

Bon Appetite!
Zizi

Thing One wants to tell you something:

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dhhhhchchchhchchchhhhfhhfhhhhfhhgfytyrmhytugggu
<3

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