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Sunday
Mar042012

Veggie Fajitas with Homemade Flour Tortillas

I really have no use for most of the kitchen gadgets that many people swear by. Fancy stand mixer? Meh. Gimme my cheap hand mixer. Bread maker? No, thanks. I have hands. They know how to make bread and they don't take up space on my kitchen counter. Food processor? Umm...want mine? Because we received a fancy KitchenAid food processor for a wedding gift and I've used it precisely twice.

Today was the second time in way-too-freakin-many-years that I had dusted the cobwebs off of it and put it to use.

It was Mindy's fault. She inspired me with this post.

But then I ditched the food processor because it just wasn't working for me. The first hint was the thin coat of flour that covered every inch of my kitchen. The second hint was that I was twitching because I really do prefer to work with my hands.

So I did.

My hands made flour tortillas from scratch and then they busted out some veggies and tofu and made fajitas. TRY THAT, YOU STUPID FOOD PROCESSOR.

Ahem.

The flour tortillas were crazy easy to make. I started with four cups of flour, four tablespoons of cold butter (cubed), two teaspoons of salt, and two teaspoons of baking powder. I threw them all in a bowl and mixed them up WITH MY HANDS.

The flour mixture didn't quite look like cornmeal like Mindy said it would, so I added one more tablespoon of butter. Sometimes you have to ignore the measurements in recipes and go with your gut. My gut was screaming at me to add more butter. My gut was right this time, which probably means I did a crappy job of measuring the flour. Oh well! It worked out perfectly in the end.

Once the flour mixture looked right, I made a hole in the middle and poured in one and a half cups of skim milk.

Then I mashed it all up WITH MY HANDS. (I'm yelling so my food processor hears me.) (I know I'm out of my mind. You don't really need to tell me.) The dough started out a little sticky, but after a few minutes, it turned into a perfect ball of dough.

Then I divided that big ball of dough into 24 little balls of dough.

And each one of those balls got rolled out into a cute little tortilla.

There should be a photograph here. There isn't because I was too busy rolling out tortillas to pick up the camera. I hope you'll forgive me.

Once the 24 little flour tortillas were rolled out, they each took turns in a hot skillet. I cooked them each for about a minute on one side and about 30 seconds on the other. There wasn't any oil in the pan or anything. Just cute little flour tortillas.

They turned out perfectly.

I'm going to have a really hard time buying tortillas in a store now. They're so easy to make at home and the ingredient list is way less twitch-inducing.

Flour Tortillas
(recipe shamelessly stolen from Mindy)

4 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1.5-2 cups of milk

Throw the flour, butter, salt, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl and squish and toss and mix it with your hands, being careful to not grope the butter too much because it needs to stay cold. If you grope it, it might melt. No melty butter, please!

Once the flour mixture looks like cornmeal, hollow out a space in the middle of your bowl of flour and pour in 1.5 cups of milk. Squish it with your hands until it turns into a nice dough that sticks to itself, but not to your hands. If it seems too dry, add more milk. If it seems too moist, add more flour. Follow your gut. Your gut is smart.

Divide the large dough ball into 24 small dough balls. Allow the dough to rest for about ten minutes and then roll out each tortilla. The tortillas should be about 8" across and about 1/16" thick. The thinner you can get them, the better.

Heat a large skillet (or griddle if you're fancy like Mindy). You aren't putting any oil or anything in the pan, so to test to see if it's hot enough, splash a few drops of water into the pan. If it sizzles, you're good to go.

Place your first rolled out tortilla into the skillet. Allow it to cook for about one minute. Flip it and cook it on the other side for about 30 seconds. The tortillas should look like this:

Perfection, no?

What's that? They aren't perfectly round? ... And? Personally I like them better when they aren't perfect. "Perfect" doesn't give you happy accidents like this one.

Alexis was SO impressed with the heart-shaped tortilla. She declared it hers and promptly assembled what she called the "most yummiest fajita EVER."

Which brings me to the stuff that goes inside the fajita. I hesitate to call this a recipe because it's really whatever I have on hand, but I do have a preference. I personally hate when I order fajitas at a restaurant and they are nothing but onions and peppers. At home, I make sure there is way more to them. My favorite ingredient list:

Veggie Fajitas

1 package extra firm tofu (cubed)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cilantro, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 carrot, thinly sliced
Juice from one lime
1 red pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped spinach (I used frozen this time, but use fresh when I have it)
1/3 cup corn (again with the frozen this time, but canned or fresh would work)
Shredded cheese
Sour cream

Like I said, this isn't so much a recipe as it is a list of things that get thrown into a large skillet together and cooked over medium heat until they are however soft you want them. The only real trick is knowing what order to work in. Start with whatever will take the longest to cook and work your way towards the quicker cooking stuff.

Which is to say, start with the protein. You might want chicken or beef or whatever, but we like tofu. Go ahead, mock us. We can handle it. (If you do use dead animal for your protein, drain off the fat before you start adding vegetables. Us tofu people don't have any fat to drain, so we have to add the olive oil with the tofu to prevent sticking.) Throw the cilantro in with your protein.

Next up, the carrots. I don't like mine crunchy when I'm eating fajitas, so they need a while to cook. The carrots get joined by the garlic after a minute or two.

After that I add the red pepper. Then I squeeze the lime juice in before adding the onion, zucchini, spinach, and corn.

I can't really tell you how long it will take for your vegetables to be perfect. That depends on your definition of "perfect" and your stove. For me it takes about 20 minutes from the time I throw the tofu in the skillet until I turn off the heat.

Once the vegetables are done, you stuff some in a flour tortilla and top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

My fajitas have always been crazy good. Adding homemade flour tortillas made them CRAZY GOOD OMG ::DROOL::

No joke.

 

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Reader Comments (7)

I'm inspired. Home made tortillas sound so much better, but we only use a couple at a time and need them to store well to be used for lunches and stuff . . . Think these would last a week in the fridge?

You've made me hungry at 1am, darn it!

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJayna @ Yankee Drawl

I made these when Mindy first posted the recipe. It was a major fail on my part (I think because i needed more butter or more milk) but i will certainly be trying again!
I found that since I don't even have a food processor, that replacing it with my Kitchen Aid blender (on pulse) works just as good. I've ground up oreos for truffles, graham crackers for pie crusts, and the flour/butter mixture for these tortillas.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKaryn

I have been wanting to make tortillas forever - I just hate that I have no work space in my kitchen. Also - I don't have much use for gadgets, either, but one I wish I had was a food processor - I like to make hummus & stuff like that, and it's a big fat pain without one.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Dude.

Dude.

Oh. my. word. YUM.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

Seriously better than the store bought ones & I love the heart shaped one!

They will last in a baggie in the fridge for at least 2 weeks as long as they are totally cooled before they go in. If they are warm condensation gets all over them & it shortens their life span. That's the longest they have ever made it here.

Odd. I want a breakfast burrito now :)

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermindymin

ohmylove, i could make these! love that you gave permission to not use the fancy expensive gadget. and love that mindy gave the recipe. wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

These look delicious! Love me some homemade tortillas.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGuyManningham.com
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