Y’all, something fun happened this weekend- the HungryTexans took their talents off the interwebs and into the District Flea (brought to you by the kind folks at Brooklyn Flea and gracing DC for the next few weekends).
As hungry Texans, we are huge proponents of the breakfast taco- eggs, cheese, savory meats and veggies, all rolled up into a perfectly fluffy flour tortilla. The breakfast tacos at Chacho’s in Houston have capped many nights out (as well as nursed our headaches the morning after). But when I find myself reaching hungrily for a breakfast taco in DC, I come up empty-handed. So what better to bring to the denizens of our great district than these breakfast treats?
Of course the eggs are important. Cheese? Essential to a proper breakfast taco. But what really makes our breakfast tacos special is the homemade flour tortilla, the perfect vehicle for savory goodness. And because I promised plenty of market-goers the recipe and top-secret-super-secrets for a tortilla that stays soft and pliable and tasty, I want to share it with all of our readers! It really is extremely simple and quick to make a tortilla, if not labor intensive. This recipe uses all vegetable shortening to make our veggimatarian friends happy, and makes exactly 16 tortillas (counting helps visualize the size they should be).
2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 generous cups vegetable shortening (you could use lard, but we’re accommodating the masses here)
1 cup hot water
Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl or a stand mixer.
Add the shortening in small handfuls and use the mixer (or your hands, which I did for 180 tortillas on Friday- not sure if I can recommend doing this to our readers- it’s quite cruel) to combine until the mixture looks like sand.
Slowly add a cup of hot water (I do 3/4 cup first, then add as necessary). You want the dough to seem a bit moist and definitely not crumbly. Knead the dough ~30 times (or let the Kitchen-aid do this work for you) until the dough becomes a ball.
Let this dough rest, covered with a tea towel, for 30 minutes (up to an hour). Once the dough has rested, pinch off golf-ball-sized pieces of dough and roll into balls, and set on wax paper.
Using a tortilla press or a rolling pin, flatten the dough balls into thin, round discs. I try to get these as thin as possible with a tortilla press by using my hands to flatten the dough against the press. Also, breaking news: my grandfather just mailed a beauty of a tortilla roller and I cannot wait to try it out.
You can store these tortillas between wax paper for a few hours in the fridge before cooking them. When you’re ready, just pop a disc of dough onto a hot cast iron skillet or an electric griddle and cook for 20 seconds on each side. Keep warm in a…tortilla warmer!
Happy pressing and, if you can’t make your own, we’ll be at the District Flea every Saturday until October 18th, slinging tortillas!