I know, I'm surprised too.
It's something I've thought about ever since Tina got a recipe years ago from our uncle's relative. And she's never made them. I don't blame her because, think about it, the thought of making tortillas at your house sounds kind of daunting, doesn't it?
But, like I said, I'd been thinking about it. And I had purchased a cast iron tortilla press from Target. And I had bought a pastry cutter, so, well, I figured I better try it. Plus, the tortillas that the local IGA carries really are awful, and I wanted fajitas.
I used a recipe that I found on Pinterest - a recipe from the Pioneer Woman - and went to town. And by "went to town," I mean that I got busy making them.
Okay, first of all, I'm not a big fan of how the Pioneer Woman writes. I don't follow her blog. But I have tried a couple of her recipes and had success. So I pulled out the big green Tupperware bowl - you know the kind you would take a taco salad to a big pot-luck in - because I wanted to be able to knead the dough in the bowl. I don't know why the recipe calls for using a big wooden bowl. I do not own one of those.
While I worked the Crisco (I used Crisco*) into the dry ingredients, I warmed the water in the microwave (because we have non-potable water, or else I would have just used hot water from the tap). And so then the water was able to cool a little while I finished with the pastry cutter, because you're not supposed to use boiling water.
Okay, here's the deal. She said to cover the mixture with a tea towel to rest. Is it supposed to actually touch the dough? Because as my dough rested for an hour, it dried out except for where it was touching the bowl. I would love to know the answer.
Based on other recipes I read while my dough was resting, I did not shape all the dough and then let it rest again. Lots of recipes don't ask you to rest the dough at all, so I figured it would be okay. It was.
I assembled and cleaned my handy-dandy tortilla press, cut the two pieces of parchment paper so that the dough didn't actually touch the cast iron (as per instructions), and set my griddle to heat.
Within the body of her blog, the Pioneer Woman said that the first few tortillas won't turn out, and you'll get frustrated, but to just keep at it. This is true. I found it hard to find the perfect temperature (I'm still getting used to using a gas stove (a very old one, at that) after so so many years of an electric stove). But I kept at it, noticed that I had to make the dough balls a bit larger, and kept making tortillas. The first 2-3 were just not right - not really cooked in the center, but it got better. And I was able to offer fresh hot tortillas to my husband when he got home, just like when you get seated at Pedro's. And Jeff said that they taste just like Pedro's, which is definitely a compliment.
Once we sat down to dinner, and he had eaten part of a fajita, Jeff turned to me and said, "Don't ever buy tortillas again. These just melt in your mouth like butter."
They truly were the best fajitas I had ever made, and I did nothing different to the veggies or chicken.
A couple of side notes: Based on some other recipes I've read since making these on Friday, it looks like this recipe is heavy on the fat. And the tortillas were very, um, buttery. You definitely had to wipe your hands after eating a tortilla. I would not make a drastic change, but probably decrease amount of Crisco used by one tablespoon each time until I felt it was the right amount for us.
*I think next time I buy it, I will get butter flavored Crisco, to help give the tortillas a little more taste.