Yeah, you can call me Rosario. Look what I made. From scratch. Those are chewy, crispy, hot tortillas fresh out of the cast iron pan, and they were the second best tortillas I’ve ever had. The first best tortillas come from a place in San Antonio called “El Jarro de Arturo.” It’s a Mexican restaurant that serves traditional Mexican food, but with a freshness and creativity that takes it from Mexican “food” to Mexican “cuisine.” Lime cremas, chipotle reductions, etc. The food is awesome, but the real deal-maker is the little hut in the middle of the restaurant where they appear to have locked a tiny, elderly Mexican woman. She just stands in there and hand makes tortilla after tortilla in full view of everyone. When they come to your table, they’re crisp on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside. The texture isn’t anything like that tasteless, raw-floury business you get at the grocery store or most restaurants. It’s more like a very flat naan, I guess is how I’d put it. And it’s unlimited. If I had my way, and if I weren’t certain that they’re made with lard, I would just order unlimited tortillas with, maybe, some green chili and I’d GO TO TOWN. I wonder if I’m allowed to talk to the poor, enslaved woman in the hut to ask her if they’re lard tortillas. I wonder if she even speaks English…unlikely.
The thing is, those horrendous pieces of shite that you buy at the grocery store are a total rip-off EVEN IF they tasted good, and they don’t. It cost me, at most, about $1.50 to make these. The tortilla press I bought is made of heavy duty cast iron, and cost $19.99 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. I’ve noticed that strictly Mexican cooking tools are cheaper than American ones by a lot. The food is even more pronounced. A can of Goya black beans costs about half of what you’d pay for the Kuner’s one, and the quality is arguably better. Same goes for coconut milk. A Taste of Thai coconut milk (or “choy-choy meeeeilk” as we call it) is, at last glance, $3.29. In the international foods section you can find the same thing for $.99 and it’s better quality. I’ve gotta say, I think manufacturers have caught on to the fact that Americans are profoundly stupid and will pay way, way more for low-quality goods than, basically, any other country in the world. Makes me sad to live amongst fools.
Anyway, the tortilla making took no time, and will only get easier each time. Also, if you want to try to make them without a tortilla press, you can do it with a rolling pin. Cast iron, I think, is a requirement, though. It’s a poor substitute for a blackened Mexican oven, but it’ll do.
Chicken fajitas are a natural pairing, so they were the filling. In all honesty, they were very, very good (learned it from my Momma, with a Kristie spin), but were unable to maintain center stage against the tortillas.
Oh, and the moral of this story is that you should really try the less expensive foreign brands of canned things. I promise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. And if an illegal alien jumps out of the can, well, I’m sorry for that. But you never know, you just might make a new friend. And they just might be willing to spend a lot of time in a hut making tortillas! Win-Win.