Friday, May 12, 2006

Tortillas and Huevos Rancheros

Alicat & Sara have asked us to delve into those cookbooks and find something in celebration of Cinco de Mayo for this month's Weekend Cookbook Challenge. This has proved to be quite a testing theme and certainly highlighted the lack of Mexican cookbooks in my collection. In the end I decided on making a Mexican staple - an item that seems to be the base of many dishes - the humble tortilla.

The cookbook I'm using is called "Mexican Cooking" part of the Family Circle Little Cookbook Series. The recipe calls for Maizemeal - this isn't a commonly used ingredient here, but I did find it at the organic grocer. The maize does give it that lovely golden colour.

tortillas© by haalo


1½ cups plain flour, sifted
1 cup maizemeal, sifted
1 cup warm water

Sift the flour and maizemeal into a bowl - make a well in the centre and slowly add the warm water, stir with a flat bladed knife to combine. You want to see a stiffish dough.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth.

To make the tortillas:

Divide the dough into equal portions - how many portions depends on the size you require. This should make about twenty 15-cm/6-inch diameter tortillas

Take a portion and roll it into a ball then flatten it with the palm of your hand. Keep the board floured to stop it sticking. Begin rolling, making quarter turns to keep a roughly circular shape. Continue rolling until the dough is very thin - about paper thickness. Now, you could leave it a rougher shape or you can, using a guide, cut it to form a perfect circle.

tortillas© by haalo

Layer each finished tortilla between sheets of baking paper - to stop them from sticking.

To cook:

Heat a dry flat bottomed fry pan over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan and when the edges begin to curl, turn it over and cook the other side. The tortillas will puff while cooking and you should notice a change in colour, from a deep yellow to a lighter yellow.

Place them on a wire rack as you continue to cook the rest.

Having made the tortillas I thought I should make something with them - so on turning the page in the cookbook, I came across Huevos Rancheros - a traditional breakfast or lunch dish.

huevos rancheros© by haalo

The components of the dish are:
Fried Egg
Tomato Salsa
Grated Cheese

To make the Salsa:
1 red onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
1 red chilli, or more to taste, finely sliced
1 green capsicum, finely diced
Fresh Basil leaves, torn
4 Roma Tomatoes, diced
2 Roasted Red Capsicums

Heat a little olive oil in a small saucepan and add onion, garlic, chilli and capsicum - cook over a medium-low heat until softened and beginning to colour. Add the ripped basil leaves, tomatoes and a grinding of salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until tomatoes begin to break down and the sauce reduces, then add the roasted red capsicums and continue to simmer.

To assemble Huevos Rancheros:

Place a tortilla on a plate and add spread with some tomato salsa. Place the fried egg on top, add a little extra salsa and sprinkle with grated cheese (I used Jarlsberg).


  1. AnonymousMay 12, 2006

    Hi Haalo,

    Beautiful tortillas! They look so authentic and I bet you couldn't even get better ones in an actual Mexican restaurant.

    As always your photography is gorgeous!

  2. Hi Ivonne - thank you so much for those lovely comments. They were certainly something a bit different to do, you really notice the corn flavour - it'll be something to do again.

  3. AnonymousMay 13, 2006

    it looks so beautiful and tasty. My mouth is watering now!


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