Thank you to everyone who sent their congratulations on our last post. In my effort to write posts more often, here is another adventure in food challenges in Dublin.
Tortillas, salsa, and Mexican food (or Tex-Mex) are not widely available in Dublin. (Shocking, I know!) Technically you can get salsa and tortillas in some grocery stores. The only brand available is Old El Paso. However, it isn’t the same packaging as Old El Paso in the US, which makes me think that the brand has just licensed its name overseas. The salsa looks suspiciously like jarred ketchup, and everything is labeled “Family Friendly” or “Extra Mild”. The tortillas usually come in a package of 6 – they already look stale. Moreover, a package of 6 tortillas costs between 4 and 5 €. Right now, that’s about $5-6 dollars per package! One dollar per stale tortilla – yikes! So…I decided to make my own tortillas. (I have also decided to make my own salsa, but haven’t yet done this.)
I used this recipe from Homesick Texan. (This blogger is particular about other bloggers reposting her recipes, so I just linked to the page.) The recipe worked out very well. It was also beneficial that all of the ingredients were widely available here in Ireland. Some tortilla recipes call for lard, which is not commonly available here. Also – I have no other need for lard.
The process was fairly simple:
1. Make the dough, allow it to rest for 30 minutes (or, you know, 2 hours while you forget about it, which is what happened to me)
2. Split dough into small balls – approximately golf ball size. These individual pieces of dough become the tortillas. Allow to rest for 10 minutes or so.
3. Roll out dough into 8-inch disc. This is by far the most time consuming step. Also – a tortilla press would be exceptionally handy here, but I don’t have one.
4. Place in dry, hot skillet. Cook for appx 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. (Note the lovely blue tile in our kitchen. We just can’t seem to escape brightly colored tile! In our kitchen in Austin, the tile was green. Someday, I will have a nice, neutral modern kitchen.)
5. Finished product! These tortillas were almost as good as the ones from Central Market in Austin. They were incredibly tasty. Soft, pliable, the kind of tortillas you want to just put a little honey on.
I also tried to make whole-wheat tortillas, but the whole-wheat version was tougher. I think that was mainly due to the fact that the whole wheat flour here is very rough. It is not ground as fine as whole-wheat flour available in the US.
As long as we are on the topic of Mexican food, we did try a “Mexican” food restaurant here in Dublin. Cafe Aztec came highly recommended on Yelp, and several of our Irish friends had heard of it. I was having a major Tex-Mex craving (side effect of the pregnancy I guess), so we went one Saturday. It was a total disappointment. The chips were good, but the salsa and guacamole were bland and the enchiladas had no flavor at all. I suppose we get what we deserve, but it was worth a shot!