[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on the PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

Some Tortilla-Based Excursions
22 November 2013
[Tortilla Dish Not Quite a Pizza]

Consider the humble flour tortilla. It is a requirement for the burrito, the soft taco, and, of late, the 'wrap.' It is an excellent holder of stuff for the purpose of delivering it to the mouth, and if that stuff is sometimes a 'chicken Caesar salad,' then who are we to judge? Let he who is without tortilla-sin cast the first tortilla-stone! And I am far from sinless on this subject.

As far as the now-ubuiqitous 'wrap' is concerned, the ubiquity has had one remarkably useful effect. Although I sometimes have trouble finding the spices and peppers I want to make my salsa or seasonings for chorizo or other Mexican and Southwestern dishes, flour tortillas are available in every supermarket where I've looked for them, often with a house brand.

But let me return to my transgressions against the sacred purity of the flour tortilla ...

Huevos Rancheros, many claim, is served on corn tortillas. I agree, which is why my first offering today is not called Huevos Rancheros.

My second offering is even more heretical and may very well offend both tortilla purists and pizza purists. To deflect some of their righteous ire, I shall not call it a pizza, but something else. (Although not, 'Something Else,' even though I considered it.)

[Lots of pictures]

Huevos Strensalleros

When the Strensalleros arise in the morning, readying themselves for a day's work in a nearby medieval city, they sometimes fortify themselves with this untraditional dish.

Put a pan over fairly low heat. Add a bit of oil, and crack your egg into it. Spoon some black beans on and around the egg, cover and let cook gently for a few minutes. Some claim that the true Huevos Strensalleros must be made with duck eggs, but any egg will do.

When the egg whites are beginning to set, replace the cover with a tortilla to heat it. When the egg is at your desired level of doneness - I like the yolk a bit runny, myself - either ease it gently on to the tortilla, or, if the geometry works, just flip it over onto the tortilla. Top with salsa and eat. Homemade salsa is encouraged, naturally, but not required, and additional hot-sauce might be desired.

Not Quite a Pizza

A tortilla is round and pizza is round, amiright? So why not make the one out of the other? Sort of.

Heat the oven to medium hot, 190C/275F. Take your tortilla and put on sauce and toppings. I used onion, home-made Italian sausage, mozzarella and Romano cheese. There are a few things to remember: tortillas are not structurally terribly strong, so do not overload them with toppings, this applies to sauce as well; thin layers cook faster; and put the cheese on top, regardless of your usual layering strategy - trust me on this. Then stick it into the oven for around fifteen minutes. Keep an eye on it, though, it will go from 'done' to 'a bit black' fairly quickly.

Take it out of the oven and let it rest for a minute. This is important. You see, the tortilla doesn't really absorb the sauce or anything, so there is a tendency for the toppings to slide off. By putting the cheese on top and then letting it rest for a minute so the cheese sets just a touch, this problem is ameliorated. Or, of course, you can just roll the whole thing up like a pizza burrito and eat it that way. Not that I have ever done that, you understand. Cut the tortilla into slices, quarters is usually sufficient, and eat them.

I don't really think of this as a pizza. What it is is a pizza-like object that delivers much the same flavor profile and which is significantly faster and easier to make. Sometimes, especially if you're living alone and feeling lazy, that is enough. Or if you really want a pizza and don't have time to make dough. As a bonus, you can eat one, and if you are still hungry, have another ready in fifteen minutes. Repeat as needed.


© 2013 Jeff Berry
The Aspiring Luddite