Ready or Not #17: Tortilla Fast Food

Have you ever noticed the how versatile the humble tortilla is?  I know that I have given you the recipe for the tortilla before, but I am going to do it again because we are going to be using the tortilla in this article.

Tortilla (wheat or white)

3 cups flour (your preference; I like the wheat best)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup oil (olive oil is the healthiest to use, but any vegetable oil is acceptable)
1 cup warm water

Mix dry ingredients, add wet ingredients and knead until you have a smooth ball.  Cover for about 10 minutes with a moist cloth and let it rest.  Divide up into 12 equal balls and roll out, thin (they will thicken up a bit when they cook.)  Do not use flour to roll them out because when you cook them the flour will burn and that is just yucky.  If they happen to be a little too moist, just lightly dust the ball before rolling out.  Fry the tortillas on medium high heat, with NO oil (that will make it crispy), on a cast iron skillet.  When the tortilla starts to puff up, turn it over until it starts to puff up again and then remove from heat.  These are very soft, very tasty tortillas.

Now that we have our tortillas, let’s use them.  The first thing that comes to mind is the obvious stuff like tacos, enchiladas, burritos and such, which I love, but we are going to do so much more.  The first thing I’m thinking about is breakfast – sometimes on the run.

Scramble some eggs and add whatever you want – peppers, mushrooms, etc…(you will have these already cut up and waiting in your fridge). Add some salsa, cheese, maybe some sour cream and then wrap it up and go.  You will be smiling as you pass by all those drive-up windows on the way to work.  The whole cook and assemble time is less than 5 minutes.  If you are really good, maybe you can con somebody into making it for you so you can just grab it as you run out the door (tomorrow set your alarm clock to get up 10 minutes earlier).

Ok, not only did you not set your alarm earlier, but you overslept.  You don’t have five minutes to spare, but you do have 1 ½ minutes, so grab a tortilla, smear a goodly amount of peanut butter on it with just a dab of jam and roll it up and go.  You only used one minute.  To make it even better, stop for just a few seconds more and peel a banana and roll it up in the peanut butter/jelly.  This is a really good, easy and nutritious breakfast or snack.  You can also use this as an alternative to the usual school lunch sandwich.  Kids love it.

Another favorite of mine is to take left over Chinese vegetable mix (I really like the little corn and snow peas) and toss with a little soy sauce, add a little cheese and microwave for about 30 seconds.  Wrap it up in the tortilla and you have another nutritious on-the-go meal or a hearty snack/meal for around the house.

If you are thinking that it would be difficult to make the tortillas when you need them, that’s ok because you can make them ahead of time and freeze them.  Just let them thaw out in the fridge the night before.  Also, I started having my kids make them when they were eight years old. (I did help them with the cooking part until they got older.)

You don’t have to do it all – let others help you and learn something useful at the same time.  There were some pretty interesting shapes in the early days, but the tortillas got eaten just the same.  Now, they are experts and if I want to, I can call home and have them whip some up before I get home.  Now that is what I call “fast food”.

Leave a Reply