Before we begin, I would like you all to know that, as I write this post, I am sitting here in my gym clothes willing myself to haul my butt off the couch and over to the land of treadmills…
(Essentially, I’m sitting here dawdling and dreaming of Mexican food. I would much prefer an enchilada to an elliptical right now.)
Back in the fall, I discovered a tiny but absolutely FANTASTIC Mexican restaurant (I touched upon it in this edition of Side Notes. Pictured is my favorite menu item – the pollo enchiladas with rice. SO good. To be fair, however, I haven’t tried nearly enough dishes there. Every time I go, I walk in craving the lime-y, cheesy, smokey enchiladas and just like that my decision is made.)
And that, right there, exemplifies what I love about living in a city. It’s about finding those little gems – be it a 14-seat Mexican restaurant, a specialty card store, or a super modern (and super pricey) jewelry shop – that suit you and bring you back time and time again.
It’s about making the city your own.
I’ve found a coffee shop that makes a mean iced coffee and the closest thing to a NY bagel and lox I could possibly find in Boston. (Yes, I’m a NY bagel snob, and I’m not afraid to admit it!) I have a favorite Italian restaurant, where my friends and I like to celebrate birthdays. (It’s so good, we’re willing to wait in wintry cold for upwards of a half hour, just to get a table. I like the smallest of restaurants, it seems.) I love a particular ice cream shop that’s right on the waterfront. Their ice cream and the beautiful setting (on a warm day, of course) is perfection. I know of the absolute best pastry shop in the North End. (Although, this one’s no secret – everyone knows about Mike’s. The real secret is how to get to the counter quickly. Two words: shove up!) And then there’s this little Mexican place. Also known as HEAVEN.
But really, the most rewarding part of making a city your own is being able to share it with out-of-towners or those who aren’t inclined to see it in quite the same way as you. I go to this Mexican restaurant about every other week… and I rave about it at least every other week. I’ve taken both friends and family there and the consensus is that it is, indeed, fantastic. (Translation: I am a reliable source for restaurant recommendations… I can’t even tell you how obscenely satisfying this is to me.) I also tend to take pictures of my meals (read: these enchiladas that I refuse to shut up about) and send them to the friends or family I’ve taken there. The response is usually one of jealousy and outrage.
I understand, completely.
I can’t say that the restaurant inspired these tortillas – I’ve actually never had dessert there, and I’m pretty sure most of their dishes are made with corn tortillas. That said, I don’t think you can go wrong when it comes to a homemade flour tortilla doused with butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I’m sure you can imagine the tender, chewy goodness of the tortilla, the richness of the butter, and the spicy sweetness of the cinnamon sugar. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of making your own tortillas – they’re simple, delicious, and totally worth the extra effort.
- 1 ½ C. flour, plus more for rolling
– ¼ tsp. salt
– ¼ tsp. baking powder
– 3 Tbsp. coconut oil (solid state, at room temperature)
– ½ C. water, at room temperature
– 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
– 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– 1 Tbsp. butter, melted
– Dulce de leche or vanilla ice cream for serving, if desired
In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add coconut oil; cut in using a fork and then switch to working with your hands. When sufficiently combined, the mixture will look like fine crumbs. Add in water and mix until combined; the dough should start to form a ball. Knead the dough 8-12 times until it comes together completely and forms a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the cinnamon sugar. Whisk together granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 6 even pieces. When ready to roll, sprinkle the dough with a little bit of flour and roll each piece out as close to an 8 inch circle as possible. Keep dough covered with a towel until ready to use (either roll or cook).
Heat an ungreased non-stick griddle over medium-high heat. Once hot, cook 1 tortilla at a time. The first side will take about a minute; flip when the tortilla starts to blister and brown. Cook for about another 30 seconds on the other side, again until it starts to blister and brown. Remove from griddle and immediately brush one side with melted butter and sprinkle with prepared cinnamon sugar. Repeat with remaining 5 pieces of dough.
Serve immediately. Tortillas are best the day they are made.
Yields 6 8-inch tortillas