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tortilla madness

June 21, 2011

Who knew that Italians would go nuts for flour tortillas?

Before our trip to Italy, I attempted to make chicken mole for the first time. I say attempted, because I don’t think what I made could truly be construed as mole. Sure it had two kinds of chiles, mexican chocolate and orange, but as I didn’t simmer it for a full day, the flavors never melded and it turned out flat. What did turn out great though was the flour tortillas I made to go with the mole. They were quick, easy and much better than any store bought tortillas (even the “locally made” ones) I had ever purchased.

When we were staying on the farm in Italy, the Cordone family wanted me to make them a traditional American meal. As they were vegetarians, it was a wee bit difficult to come up with a concept. American vegetarian cuisine is truly multi-cultural. My brother suggested grilled cheese with Wonder Bread and Campbell’s Tomato Soup. I couldn’t get these ingredients, but I could make quesadillas with their homemade sheep’s milk cheese along with tomato bisque made from their canned tomatoes. Another day I will go into the details of this meal, but for now, let me just share the shock and awe that flour tortillas brought to the Cordone family table.

The older son Nico had spent six months in Mexico and loved quesadillas. The rest of the family had never had them. I made about 30 thinking that they would have extra to freeze. Forget it. After devouring all of the quesadillas, the family scarffed down the remaining tortillas like a midwesterner eats breadsticks at Olive Garden. All 30 tortillas were gone in two meals.

Who knew that Italians would go nuts for flour tortillas?

Easy Flour Tortillas

adapted from

  • 4 c flour (all purpose or bread), plus extra for rolling
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c canola oil or lard
  • 1-2 c warm water
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Add oil and enough water to make a solid dough ball. If ball is to dry add more water. If too sticky add more flour. Knead dough for 5 minutes. Cut dough into 10-15 pieces (depending on how large you like your tortillas). Roll dough into  very thin pancakes. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Place each tortilla on the pan and cook for 30 second- 1 minute on each side, allowing them to become slightly golden and puffy. Enjoy right away, refrigerate for 2 weeks or freeze.








One Comment leave one →
  1. June 22, 2011 7:38 pm

    Nom nom nom. I could eat my weight in tortillas. Yummy. . . they look beautiful!

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