Skip to content

Making Stuff from Scratch

The tortilla press I ordered arrived this afternoon (from Laredo, TX!) and I decided we should get right to it and have tacos tonight! Kevin smoked some tomatoes and peppers on the Traeger for what started out to be one hour but ended up to be almost three hours (that's what happens when you're cooking while working). Nice and smoky!


First, I used the tomatoes, some of the jalapenos and poblanos, fresh garlic, shallots, cilantro, and a few more raw tomatoes and made some homemade salsa (just throw it all in the Vitamix and season to taste). This particular batch of salsa turned out SO good!


Next (also in the Vitamix) I used one of the smoked poblanos and half a jalapeno, added a bunch of Oregon Star tomatoes, a red bell pepper, a peeled English cucumber, shallots, garlic, olive oil, a dash of salt, and some Vinagre Jerez (Spanish sherry vinegar) and made another batch of gazpacho. 

(No photo, you've seen it before.)

Next up: guacamole! Three large ripe avocados, half of one of the smoked poblano peppers, half a smoked jalapeno, garlic, shallots, lime juice, cilantro, salt…mix it up by hand in a bowl and voila!


Now onto the more advanced items: tortillas! I found a simple, interesting recipe for plantain tortillas so I'm trying it. No wheat flour or corn, just dough made from cooked green plantains, sea salt, and water. 

Boiling the plantains in water with sea salt:


Cooked, peeled plaintains (a fork should go through the skin, and the skin should pop right off when they're done):


The recipe says to mash up the plaintains with a fork, so I started that way, but then remembered that the recipe also said "If you have fancy equipment, go ahead and us it." I DO have fancy equipment…the Vitamix. So I put the crumbled part I'd already done plus the rest and, well, it didn't turn out so good. It quickly became a sticky solid mess and my Vitamix "turned itself off" so I dug it all out of there, and did the rest by hand with a fork (and eventually a potato masher). 

Add hot water (I used the water I'd boiled them in…not sure if that was allowed, but it was already super hot) to the plantain mixture and knead until you get a soft dough. Form balls and put them between plastic or parchment in the tortilla press:


And what d'ya know? It looks JUST like a tortilla! (This first one is a bit small though.)


I increased the size of the dough balls and went to town. The tortilla press is killer…like magic! My stack of uncooked tortillas:


I put some plastic between each one so they didn't stick together. So far so good!

Cooking them in a bit of coconut oil until they browned:


Kevin smoked/grilled some salmon and some prawns so we had fish/prawns, homemade salsa and guacamole, cilantro, and sour cream and lime, and the "tortillas" along with some fresh local corn. SUCH a good dinner.!




Update: A few people have asked me about the tortilla press. I got this one, and I ordered it here from Amazon:

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 5.10.50 PM

It's heavy duty, cast iron, and works wonderfully.