Sandwiches are great, who doesn’t like sandwiches? Nobody. I spent the best part of an afternoon reading through this Wikipedia List of Sandwiches the other week, and it was time impeccably and enjoyably spent, let me tell you.
As well as being reminded of some of the well known greats such as the BLT, the Francesinha, the Reuben and the imitable chip butty; did you know that pizza is also classified as a sandwich? So are hot dogs, Welsh Rarebit, montaditos and hamburgers. But what about burritos and tacos? I mean, look at that list – even toast gets a look in for chrissakes. Who is drawing the line in the sand with this stuff?
In any case, this all put me a the frame of mind to make my own tacos from scratch. Many people think of tacos being those pre-formed crunchy corn envelope things, but tacos are at their best when they’re soft shell in my opinion, ie. mini tortillas crammed full of tasty and punchy fillings. There is a good guide to taco varieties and filling suggestions here.
In the end, the recipe I ended up with created 8 big tortillas rather than little ones, so if you want to create tacos then simply halve the measurements below, otherwise you’ll end up with 16 little tortillas, which let’s be honest can only be a good thing. I decided to go with a flour recipe due to what ingredients I had to hand, but you can find a good gluten free corn tortilla recipe here.
To make the tortillas:
400g self raising flour
300ml warm water
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, then slowly add in the warm water and olive oil together, making sure it all gets well mixed together. Keep mixing until there are no lumps or powdery bits of flour left, or when you spoon breaks off in your hand – that means the dough is firm enough.
Slam the dough on a surface you’ve doused with a bit of flour to stop it sticking, then knead it for a few minutes. This should give you time to think about what you want to put in your wraps, or about the economy or your mortgage repayments if you’re a responsible, grown up sort.
Once the dough is nicely squidgy and elastic, try to flatten it down in to a sort of even rectangle shape, then split it in to 8 equal portions, then roll these in to little balls. One by one, roll out the balls in to thin discs. Now, make sure that when you’re rolling out the tortillas you get them as thin as you can – I’m talking seriously flimsy here. If they’re not thin enough they won’t cook properly and will be all doughy and unsuitable for creating your tasty and fully loaded wrap of dreams*.
Once the tortillas are rolled out, heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat, then once the oil is hot place one of the tortillas in to cook – 1min on either side should do the trick; you want the tortillas to be slightly browned but still fairly soft and pliable.
Once you’ve cooked your tortillas, you can start assembling your wraps; I chose to keep mine simple with some smushed avocado, garlicky mushrooms, salad and feta but my original plan was to do spicy prawns, until I felt too lazy. Next time. Maybe I’ll even go all out and make my own carnitas, if I find myself with half a day to spare.
So there you go – a simple recipe that you can use for dinner, a packed lunch or even better, as an assemble-your-own idea when you have friends over. Fill them with whatever takes your fancy – just remember my rule; The More Filling, The Better.
*My first few tortilla attempts were a bit brazen and impatient, so they ended up a bit thick and uneven. Frustrating, but all was not lost – I turned these 3 quasi flatbreads in to mini pizzas, look!