Friday, September 19, 2014

Have You Tried These Yet??

After an epic Cafe Drake HRV kitchen fail, attempting homemade tortillas from scratch, we were thrilled to stumble across a solution in the supermarket dairy aisle.

The package instructions require a bit of coordination but soon enough you'll get the hang of the specifics. The raw tortilla goes into a pre-heated pan (please please use non-stick or as we did, a cast iron skillet) and is cooked for 10 seconds on one side, carefully flipped and cooked for 30 seconds and then flipped again and cooked for 20 seconds. After the second tortilla we timed it by eye; when both sides of the tortillas are slightly puffed and dotted with delicious spots of browned dough, flip it on to your plate!

Some will break, it's inevitable. Doesn't affect the taste so proceed without caring. Prying the uncooked tortillas apart is a little tricky however and should be done with care. Like, white gloves level of care. These things crack and tear if you look at them sideways.

The fresh tortillas evoke memories of the flavor and texture of handmade ones we've so enjoyed in Ridgewood and Sunset Park's myriad tiny taquerias. Cafe Drake HRV could hardly wait to wrap the warm corn tortillas around heirloom tomatoes from our garden, to scoop greedy amounts of raw jalapeno relish, to dip in spicy lentil stew, to encase wedges of sharp, crumbly cheddar cheese.

Bonus Recipe Alert! Well, not so much a recipe as a general guideline for creating the most addictive Mexican condiment: add to a mini food processor (Magic Bullet etc) 4 roughly chopped jalapenos (do not remove seeds or ribs), about 3 T. roughly chopped red onion, 1 minced clove of garlic, 3-4 T. chopped cilantro, the juice of 1 small lime, a pinch of sugar and salt to taste. You'll need at least 1/2 t. Process/blend for just a few seconds until you have a paste-like texture. Season with more salt, sugar or lime juice as needed. Simple, sublime, but also very hot; use sparingly or with abandon, according to your preference.

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