We received chicken breasts and peppers as part of our USA, urban supported ag, pick up this week. Instantly I started thinking of the fajita dish my husband makes. I intended for us to enjoy it on Sunday, but we ended up at a minor league baseball game to support our local library. So Monday it was and without my husband as he is never home for dinner on days he works. Bummer. That fajita dish is really awesome.
I started rummaging through the pantry and fridge for my own ideas for our Mexican flavored fiesta tonight. Then I remembered the new cookbook I had received had a homemade tortilla recipe. Perfect, since I have needed to start cooking some out of it in order to review it. Tortillas are so simple to make and the homemade ones are sooooooooooo much tastier than store bought. Really try it once! The kids will love making them too! The recipe in ”Homemade Pantry“ was different than my usual recipe- which I got from Uncle Julio’s when my son fell in love with them.
My kitchen timing went as follows:
Get chicken, cucumbers, blueberries, onions- leftover and already sliced, peppers, butter, and lard out of the fridge, flour and rice out of the pantry, some tomatoes off the counter and arrange them on counter into their different dish sections.
First, I put the rice on to cook then turned my focus to the tortillas. I mixed up the dough and then let it rest. In the meantime I blackened a pepper on the stovetop and while that was snapping and crackling I made the marinade for the chicken- diced onion, diced chilis, lemon zest from a lemon rind I had in the freezer, olive oil, splash of apple cider vinegar and chicken breasts cut into smaller strips. Mixed all that up in a covered container and set aside. Rotated the pepper a few times as necessary and placed that in a paper bag. Wash hands.
Then sprinkled some flour on the counter and separated the tortilla dough into four balls. Let it rest for a few minutes while I put a skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and chopped the cucumbers and tomatoes. Most of the cucumbers went into what would be our side salad of cucumbers and blueberries topped with honey and the rest went in with the tomatoes add in the remaining diced chilis and onions that didn’t go into the marinade, salt, and since I was out of lime for juice I used a splash of fresh squeezed lemonade.
Skillet now hot and tortillas ready to be rolled out, I rolled out the first to approximately 8 inch diameter and threw it in the skillet for 1 minute per side. While one cooked I rolled out the next and repeated until all 4 were cooked. Then my pan still being hot I wiped out the excess flour that was in the pan, added some olive oil to warm. Then it was on to cooking the chicken. Keeping the tortillas warm in the oven. Taking the rice off the heat and letting rest until the chicken was complete.
The kid set the table while I finished with the chicken and in 40 minutes we had a completely cooked from scratch, delicious meal. In which my son asked if I would make this every day. I said no, if we ate it all the time it wouldn’t be fun. He replied well, then we’ll just eat it for every dinner.
Tortilla Recipe from “Homemade Pantry” easily modified to reduce portion, as I did. The following recipe makes 16 8-inch tortillas.
4 c all-purpose flour, plus additonal for counter
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 T nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening or lard, cut into small pieces
Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the butter and shortening, and rub them into the flour mixture with your hands until you have pea-size lumps. Slowly add 1 1/2 cups of warm water to the mixture, tossing with your hands as you go. Add an additional 1 tablespoon of water at a time, but no more than 4 additional tablespoons, until you have a slightly sticky dough. Lay a clean, damp dish towel over the bowl. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Flour the counter and divide the dough into 16 balls, each about 3 inches in diameter. Cover the balls with damp towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Start heating a dry skillet on the stove over medium high heat.
Use the rolling pin to roll out your first tortilla to 8 inches in diameter and 1/16 inch thick. Put it in the skillet and cook for 1 minute on each side, or until it bubbly and starting to brown. Use the spatula to remove the tortilla from the pan. Repeat with the other balls of dough. Serve immediately, or store, covered, in a warm oven or under a warm, damp cloth until ready to serve.
About the Author, Kate
I had to teach myself to cook and began to learn how to create the dishes I had eaten in my own kitchen. Before long, as my own kitchen confidence grew, friends were calling, texting, emailing daily to ask what they should have for dinner or how to prepare this or what to do what that. And that is how this site came to be.