Planning Ahead: Homemade Tortillas and Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos

I absolutely love flour tortillas.  We can easily go through an entire package of tortillas between the two of us in just one week.  However, the packaged tortillas are not as good as the real, homemade tortillas at some of the more authentic Mexican restaurants.

After years of trying several different tortilla techniques and recipes I have come up with the perfect recipe.  It is based on one that I made a few years ago at the living history museum when I cooked homemade tortillas on a wood burning stove with an older lady from Mexico, who was giving a demonstration to museum visitors.  She preferred to use vegetable shortening as the fat in her tortillas because it is not as fattening as lard, but it will leave the tortillas more pliable and less greasy than if they were made with butter or oil.  I find that the trick to getting the dough to mix well and stay very soft for rolling is to use very, very hot water from the tea kettle.

•2 cups flour
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/4 cup shortening
•3/4 cup very, very hot water.

Mix the flour and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl.  Mix in the shortening until it forms coarse crumbs.  Stir in the hot water and knead until the dough is soft and pliable.  Wrap with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.

Pat the dough out into a flat circle and divide into eight pieces.

Roll each piece of dough out into a large, thin circle.  Don’t worry if they aren’t completely round.

Heat a large skillet, or a comal if you have one, over high heat.  Cook each tortilla, one at a time, until large bubbles form.  This will take about 30 seconds.  Flip and cook for another 30 seconds or so.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Let the tortillas cool.  Store in an airtight container for a few days.  They don’t keep as long as the store bought kind because they don’t have preservatives, so make small batches or freeze them for later.

To make the breakfast burritos you will need:

•aluminum foil
•waxed paper
•tortillas, homemade or store bought
•1 pound of breakfast sausage, or chorizo (I buy a spicy chicken sausage with peppers, onion, cilantro, and jalepenos in it from Sprouts.  It’s called Chicken Caliente and it makes the best breakfast burritos ever.)
•1 dozen eggs
•1/2 cup milk
•Salt and pepper to taste
•About 2 cups shredded cheese

Brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium high heat until cooked through.  Beat all of the eggs, the milk, and the salt and pepper together.  Add to the skillet and scramble eggs and sausage together until cooked through.  Remove from heat.  Place a tortilla on a small piece of waxed paper.  Fill with egg and sausage mixture and top with a couple tablespoons of cheese.  Tuck ends in and wrap up.  Wrap with the waxed paper.  Wrap with foil.  Repeat until all the tortillas and eggs and sausage mixture is used up.

Store the breakfast burritos in a large container or ziploc bag in the freezer.  To use, remove the foil and loosen the waxed paper slightly.  Microwave for about two minutes, or until hot all the way through.  I like to make about a month’s worth of these at a time.  They are really handy to have on hand for mornings when there is not time to cook breakfast.  Wade will often microwave a burrito and eat it in the car on his way to work, which sure beats hitting up the drive through.


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