Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trial and Error...

A few weeks ago we went to a taco hut down the road affectionately called Obama Taco--due to the large mural of President Obama outside. The food was amazing. Soft, pliable corn tortillas. Amazing carnitas. Avocado sauce. Spicy pico. Just amazing. Well, amazing always leads to cravings on my part. So, I had to try my hand at making corn tortillas. First batch, m'eh. Second batch, much better. The difference...FAT!

Before we begin:

Tacos 5 De Mayo
7201 Annapolis Rd
Landover, MD
(301) 306-2074

GO. Try! Enjoy...

Ok, back to tortillas.

The basic recipe is corn meal/masa flour, water and salt. That was ok. Needed something extra though. So I spiced it up with some chipotle chile powder, a little extra salt and some pepper. Better. But the tortillas were dry and nearly crumbled. For a standard size batch (16 tortillas), I added 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening. I also substituted in 1/2 a cup of regular white flour, to replace a 1/2 cup of corn meal. Next time, I might add a squige more shortening, regardless but the changes made a huge difference. The tortillas were pliable, had a little nice chew and weren't completely dry. To make them, mix everything together until combined and slightly tacky. Divide the dough into equal sized balls and press flat. I did buy a tortilla press, so that makes nice super easy. Toss in a dry pan or griddle on medium/medium-high for one minute per side. Keep warm and covered with a barely damp towel until ready to serve.

This is the first batch. Not too bad. The one on the bottom left...I was trying to make a pupusa with chicken and cheese...very messy.

I served my tortillas with grilled chicken thighs I marinated in orange juice, lime juice, salt, pepper, Ancho chili powder and cilantro for about an hour. A longer marinade time for next time, but still tasty.

The Chipotle chile powder adds a hint of redness to the tortillas. Two very hungry boys ate 8 tortillas before being stuffed to the gills.

And my favorite part of the night. Putting it together. On the tortilla, I spread on some mashed avocado and lime juice. Then some diced tomato, chunks of the grilled chicken, cilantro and the fun part...totally unexpected, but it worked...was diced green apple! I wanted some jicama for crunch, but my store hasn't been selling any, so I thought I would sub in a tart, crisp apple. The sweetness of the apple was awesome against the smoky chicken and Chipotle chile in the tortilla and the texture was a nice treat with the creamy avocado and chewy tortilla.

Very Happy!

I will do this again, many times over the coming summer I know...but I'm still going back to Obama Taco!


Lady Brandenburg said...

This post is making my mouth water.

DancerInDC said...

This was definitely a fun experiment. I appreciated how quickly ScottE was able to make some tortillas. You could easily keep a bag of masa on hand just for purposes like this.

The green apple was fun! I do love my jicama, though.

Katie Judd said...

Totally going to try this one...would have never thought to throw an apple on there! :)

Also, what is the best way to contact you? Wanted to give you the scoop on a foodie blogger event coming up that may be right up your alley. I can be reached at katherinej at zpr dot com.


ScottE. said...

@Katie--the apple was a nice change of pace...juicy, crunchy and a little sweet. I would want a lot of it, but, diced nice and small and just sprinkled in...nice.

I'll try to email you offline. If I forget, my email is scotteichinger AT msn DOT com.