Sharing recipes that are good for the body, soul, and budget!
I’m going to tell you a story now, but that’s mostly just fluff. If you don’t care about my discursive and verbose meanderings, skip to the end. It’s going to blow your mind.
If you know me, you know I’m shy and don’t like talking about myself very much. Be that as it may, I will share this part of my greatness with you all. I am nothing if not a humanitarian. And an outstanding cook, of course.
I am not unversed in fine dining. I’ve eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world (opinions vary), I’ve had tons of mediocre stuff (as have we all), and I’ve eaten things that even I question whether they are actually food. Oo, pare.
I have been known to reach for and attain success at some pretty high-class dishes myself. I once made cutlets of a pork tenderloin, topped them with two different compound butter discs I made, shaped, and froze. I then cooked them in a really hot, terrifying oven for some interminable amount of time (they were lovely).
I also make crab cakes that people beg me to do again (and to tell them the recipe for). And I will, every time. I love food, and I think everyone should. And ask me about my monkfish tails stuffed with shrimp and wrapped in prosciutto then baked until it makes sex seem unimportant (at least for a few minutes). Or fresh figs split and stuffed with buffalo mozzarella then wrapped with prosciutto, drizzled with extra virgin oil, and baked for a few minutes. Look it up on your favorite search engine if need be, but that is the basic idea. It’s easy enough that I figured it out.
You know what isn’t easy? Gumbo. But I can make Cajuns wonder what they’ve been doing wrong. I’m from round here, y’all.
And if you want a properly cooked duck breast or an egg-yolk raviolo? OK, let’s talk terms. Anyway, let’s move on to the reason I’m writing this (other than just bragging about some excellent stuff I’ve cooked and ignoring all my mistakes)...
I don’t pretend to be a Mexican food expert. I’m not even all that much of a Mexican food lover (yeah, yeah - don’t @ me). But one thing I always keep on hand is 6-inch flour tortillas. Hear me out.
When I moved to this place I live now (the only house I’ve ever co-owned (with a bank)), I knew there was an electric hob / cooktop (I call it a hob, so that’s what it will be from here out) here, so I arranged for a new cooker to be installed here. I also had to get the gas company to come connect the line. That was expensive ‘butt’ amusing (*nods toward Dawn*). And totally worth it.
If you have a gas hob and a small flour tortilla (and you really should), you have options far beyond a grilled cheese or a cold cut sammich. You still have those options, of course. This is America; eat whatever you like. But my view of sammich snack-food nirvana is a flour tortilla roasted over a flame, preferably on my hob. Because my hob has cast iron grates and makes for lovely heat distribution on a flatbread. And that char cannot be beat.
I do savory ones sometimes with just cold cuts and / or slices of cheese (not that ‘American cheese food’ stuff, laws no). I use catfish I thawed and baked, leftover roast beef sliced thin… all sorts.
But one of my favorite uses of flour tortillas is to make a dessert. A particular gem is fig preserves and jalapeño cream cheese spread inside a really toasty tortilla. It doesn’t look much, but that’s down to my crap phone camera skills. It’s delicious:
Something about the fire and the softness of the flour tortillas means the bread just browns / blackens exactly how I want it to be. And once I flip it and let it singe for a bit on the B side, I just let it sit there on the hot cast iron grate while I put on whatever topping I’m using at the time.
If you gotten this far, you’ve realized this whole piece was about telling you to get a gas hob. Oh, and to always keep small flour tortillas on hand. I forgot to mention I am a pretty good cook. But that’s for another time.