Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Hannah cooked a beautiful Mexican meal for our celebration of the feast of Our lady of Guadalupe.Below is a recipe for part of the meal:

Flour Tortillas

  • 3 c unbleached flour (or whole wheat, or regular all-purpose, if that’s what you’ve got)
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • ¼ c (plus a little (1-2 T) extra – no need to measure exactly) vegetable shortening
  • 1 to 1 ¼ c warm water
Sift the dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Add the shortening, and mix them together until the shortening is evenly incorporated.

Next, add the warm water a little at a time, tossing together until the mixture forms a soft dough that is not sticky. Go ahead and knead it a few times, adding a sprinkling of flour if needed, to make it smooth.

Now divide the dough into 12 evenly-sized balls, and let rest for 10-15 minutes, while you straighten up and set up your work area for rolling out!

Here’s how we do it: Each “roller” gets a piece of parchment or “press-and-seal” (sticky side down) sprinkled with a little flour. One dough ball is lightly flattened in the center of the paper, then sprinkled with a little more flour. On top of this, a piece of plastic wrap is carefully laid across. Then roll out a circle – starting each roll in the center. It helps if the first few rolls are done somewhat lightly, until a reasonably circular shape is achieved – though, of course, perfection is unnecessary. Roll them fairly thin, or to about 8-10” in diameter.

Then flip the two layers of paper with the tortilla in between upside down, and carefully peel off the parchment for re-use; the unbaked tortilla is then placed, plastic-wrap side down, in a pile with each of the other tortillas as they are rolled. If desired, a moist paper towel can be placed lightly on top of the pile to keep the top tortilla from drying out. (If you find that the tortillas are sticking to either paper, just use a little more flour when rolling out.)

Once the rolling is well-underway, heat a 12-15” dry frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. It should be well-heated and ready by the time the last tortilla is rolled.

Each tortilla is then peeled off the plastic wrap, and placed in the hot, ungreased pan to be cooked on each side. The tortilla may bubble slightly and appear slightly dry as it bakes, and will have brown speckles on the underside when it is ready to flip/remove. It will take less than a minute on each side, so watch them carefully!

Place the tortillas atop each other inside a warm, clean kitchen towel until all are baked. They are best served immediately, but can be stored in the refrigerator in a ziplock bag (and can be reheated in the microwave before filling).

NB: the boys say the rolling out to thinness took some doing...but the results were worth it!

Our Mother encourages us with us the same words she spoke to Juan Diego:
"Hear and let it penetrate your hearts, my dear little ones. Let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you; let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Do not fear vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here, your Mother? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?"

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