From the Kitchen – all praise the tortilla press, and a tortilla that needs no press

(a break from the entertaining, and somewhat tedious religious stuff)

meat piesIn an attempt to find an easier way to make our meat pies, we got a tortilla press.   I have to say that this was one of the best $25 we’ve spent in a while. It makes pressing out pie crust for hand pies so much easier. I used the cheddar cheese crust that we use, made balls of it about 1 to 1.5 inches in size.   After I dusted these lightly in flour I pressed them between two sheets of wax paper. I tried the cutting the zip loc bag trick but the dough just stuck.   They pressed out to about 4 inches or so in diameter. Then I filled them with the beef, brushed egg wash on the edge to seal and crimped with a fork.

Finally, they are more or less the same size and shape! There are a lot of people who seem to be unable to actually use this device, a basic lever, according to far too many comments on amazon and other places. I guess it helps to be smarter than the press . Sigh…

The other tortilla I’ve made is a Spanish one, the egg and potato cake often served as a snack. My way is a bit different from others, and doesn’t use nearly as much oil.

tortillaI took two medium russet potatoes (about 6 inches long), and sliced them thin, around 1/8 of an inch. I also finely diced half a medium onion (around 3” or so in diameter). Bring about a tablespoon and a half of oil to medium heat in a 10″ (or so) non-stick skillet. Put the potato and onion in the skillet and cook for about 15 minutes until tender. You don’t want the potatoes to get brown and crispy, just tender. What I do is put about 2 tablespoons of water in the skillet (watch for splattering) and put a lid on to steam/fry the potatoes.

Once the potatoes are tender, remove them from the skillet and cool. There shouldn’t be much oil left and the water should be all gone. Beat 5 jumbo eggs with a ½ tsp of salt, ¼ tsp of garlic powder and a couple of good grinds of black pepper. Mix egg mixture with potatoes and onions.

Bring skillet back up to medium high to high, put in about a tablespoon of oil, swirl and pour in everything. It will promptly start cooking, which will allow it to come loose when done. Turn the heat down and let cook for about 20 minutes, checking every 5 to see how cooked it is getting. When it just has a little liquid egg on top, you’ll want to flip it. I did this by turning off the flame, placing a plate on top of the skillet, and with a oven glove on the hand holding the plate in place and one hand on the skillet handle, flipped it.

After flipping, slide the tortilla back in to the skillet ( no more oil needed), turn on the heat and cook until it slides around free in the skillet.   Slide back on to the plate and let cool.   If you slice it hot, it may just disintegrate. I like it a lot but my grandma used to make scrambled eggs with potatoes a lot since we were poor and we could trade mechanical work for a sack of potatoes and eggs with the local farmers. This is very much just that, in a prettier form. I can see that it would be a good snack when drinking because it has lots of fat, protein and starch.

That’s it. Eat well!

2 thoughts on “From the Kitchen – all praise the tortilla press, and a tortilla that needs no press

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