Friday, February 12, 2010

Homemade Tortillas with Baha Baked Fish = Taco Night!

There is something rather magical about fresh, hot homemade tortillas turning taco night into TACO NIGHT! And I just don’t know why I never tried to make them myself before because as it turns out, they are ridiculously easy to pull together. We’re talking easy as pie folks, well, easier than pie! I won’t extol on the innumerable health benefits of making your own tortillas not to mention the money saver it is as I presume you can assume those on your own. Putting all that aside, the sheer taste of these toothsome tender tortillas are worth it enough for me.

Now it was actually the baked fish morsels that I found a recipe for which brought this whole meal together in the first place. And the fish is really really good, but the tortillas are what I have been lusting over ever since the last one met its final moments in my stomach. So I present to you my homemade tortillas and baha baked fish taco night fiesta of recipes. This is a very easy meal to pull together but one with serious wow factor.
Homemade Flour Tortillas
(Adapted from Chowhound)

2 cups flour
1/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt

Cut in shortening w/flour until crumbly (I did this by hand with a fork, I have no pastry cutter, I NEVER make pastry - it worked just fine).
Add salt to water, mix well. Add water mixture to flour mixture, tossing until mixed and dough begins to pull together.
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead for approx. 3 minutes (give or take). Make into a ball. Divide into as many tortillas as you want out of it, recipe made from 4 to 12 depending on size. I made 8, it was easiest to divide the dough into this amount.
Let rest on the counter covered w/ plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes and up to 1.5 hours.

Roll out each ball onto lightly a floured surface. Mine came out to about a 6-8" diameter. You can make whatever size you desire.
Heat dry cast iron pan (or your favorite non-stick) over medium/medium-high heat. Preheat oven on low (~200 degrees). Grill each tortilla in dry pan, maybe about 30 seconds on each side. I flipped mine back and forth a couple of times, until they looked done. Keep an eye on this as they can burn. As they started to puff up, I'd flip them over and cook on the other side, then flip them again to finish off the first side if they looked like they needed a bit more browning (not too much!) and flip again to finish off the other side.
I loaded the finished tortillas into a tortilla holder (and since I don’t actually own a proper tortilla holder this was a round cake pan with a plate on top which sat in my comfortably warm 200º oven) which coincidently was exactly the right size.

Baha Baked Fish Tacos
(Adapted from Food o' Del Mundo)

4 Tilapia Fillets sliced into long strips
1/2 cup lime juice
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 tsp chipotle dried group pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
Fixings and Homemade Tortillas

In a Ziploc bag mix lime juice, paprika and chili powder. Add the fish and marinate in the frige for at least 20 minutes though 30 would be better.
Pre-heat oven to 500º. Place cookie sheet with silpat in oven to pre-heat as well. (Note: if you don’t own a silpat, spray with cooking spray.)

Blend together flour, cornmeal, salt, chipotle chili powder and paprika.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and then coat with flour mixture.
Place on hot baking sheet.
Bake until cooked through approx 3-4 minutes on each side.
Serve with homemade flour tortillas and your favorite fixings (e.g. shredded cabbage, sliced red onion, sour cream, avocado and mango salsa, scallions, jalapeños, cheese and cilantro.)

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