Thursday, May 5, 2011

Quesadillas and Homemade Tortillas

'Twas the night before Cinqo de Mayo, and all through the house...

So last night was Cinqo de Mayo Eve, and I was really craving some Mexican food. Personally, I think this holiday should be celebrated for a full week. Or maybe once a month. Thoughts? Anyhow, I had all of the ingredients to make some quesadillas (grilled chicken, bell peppers, onions, cheese, salsa, sour cream)...EXCEPT for the tortillas. It was pouring out, and I'll already made the trek to get some amazing bread and go to the gym, so I really didn't feel like going out again. And then I remembered something! Jim's lovely girlfriend Kristi gave me her family's recipe for homemade tortillas a couple months ago. I'd been carrying it around in my wallet, but hadn't made them yet. No time like the present, right?

I was relieved to see that I had all of the ingredients the recipe called for.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat (don't add any oil).

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda. Then add the shortening and warm water.

Mix well (I used my hands) until a dough forms. Add a little extra warm water if necessary.

Separate the dough into small balls and roll out into circles with a rolling pin. I sprayed the rolling pin with cooking spray before rolling out the first ball and then didn't use any more after that (I probably didn't even need to do this at all).

Once your pan is heated, place a tortilla in it and cook until done (about 1 1/2 minutes) then flip and cook until done on the other side (less than a minute). Repeat with all of your tortillas!

I only made a quarter recipe because I didn't know how they'd come out. I immediately wished that I'd made more - fresh tortillas taste so much better than store bought!

Kristi's Tortillas
Serves 8-12


  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp shortening
  • 1-1 1/2 cups warm water

  1. Heat a cast iron skillet (or flat pan) oven medium heat.
  2. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk together. Add shortening and warm water and mix well with hands until dough forms.
  3. Separate dough into small balls and roll into circles with rolling pin.
  4. Put tortilla on pan until cooked on one side (about 1 1/2 minutes) then flip and cook on other side (less than one minute). Repeat until all of your tortillas are cooked!
And then I got to making my guys know the drill.

Saute your fillings (I chose multi-colored bell peppers, onions and chicken).

Put tortilla on skillet (still heated over medium) and load up with cheese first and then fillings (I didn't have shredded cheese but I did have Cabot extra sharp cheddar which is my favorite).

Cook until cheese is melted, fold in half and cook briefly on other side.

And there you have it - a quesadilla on homemade tortilla!

Pile with any other toppings you like - salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, etc, and enjoy!

I made one for myself and one for Pat. When Pat took his first bite a big smile spread across his face (this is when I know I've done well). He said it was so good that it didn't even need salsa, and he's a self-proclaimed toppings fiend!

Happy Cinqo de Mayo!!


  1. That looks SO GOOD. Oh man, now I'm starving. I've never considered making homemade tortillas, but it looks pretty easy! Totally going to try this one...

  2. I thought cooking Mexican at home for Cinco de Mayo was impressive...but homemade tortillas is one step further! There really is nothing like fresh tortillas, I'de love to make them myself sometime soon!


  3. I've never made homemade tortillas before but it sure looks easy. Can't wait to try!

  4. That looks delish! We just had fajitas earlier in the week (someone forgot it was cinco de mayo today), so no mexican food for us tonight, but I really wanted some! I love love love mexi food, well made at home so that I can make it a little healthier.

    Have you ever tried King Arthur's White Whole Wheat flour? If not you should, I use it for all my baking now, I don't even buy white flour anymore! :)

  5. Sooo impressed with the homemade tortillas! And no need to apologize for no shredded on hand. I love, love our 50% Reduced Fat Pepper Jack and think the shredding is worth it! Thanks for the shout out.

    ~Regan Jones RD
    Cabot Creamery

  6. Glad that recipe worked out! Kristi and I cut out half the crisco and added olive oil (AND it worked out swell). Have you ever tried basil in your mexican? Didn't think it would work, but it adds a certain robust flavor which left my tummy wishing it were larger. Keep up the good cooking!