Kelly the Culinarian: Tasty Tucson Tour: Presidio and tortilla making

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tasty Tucson Tour: Presidio and tortilla making


It's only fitting that at the end of my time here it Tucson, I go back to the beginning of Tucson's history. The Presidio San Agustin del Tucson was the original site of Tucson, built around 1775. The original Presidio was an 11-acre fortress that provided protection for the farmers who lived along the Santa Cruz River. Spanish colonist, Native Americans and later, "Yanquis" or Yankee soldiers occupied the land. Little did the original settlers know that they built their fortress over the remains on Native American pithouses dating back to 800 B.C.

The original fortress was lost long ago, but a small section of it has been rebuilt in what is now the downtown area of Tucson. I went over there to take a lesson in tortilla making from Beatriz Jimenez, who learned the art from her mother and has been perfecting her craft since she was 19. When we completed our try and the tortilla, we topped them with homemade prickly pear jam. It was delicious!

Her recipe for flour tortillas is below and the slideshow gives step by step instructions. You can try and make the tortillas by hand or using a rolling pin, although Beatriz scoffed at this method. Remember that the smaller you make the initial dough balls, the smaller your tortillas and therefore, the easier they are to form.

Flour tortillas, recipe courtesy of Beatriz Jimenez
3 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup shortening or lard (she uses Crisco)
1 teaspoon salt
About 1 cup lukewarm water

Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Rub shortening with fingertips until well blended. Add water gradually, stirring constantly until mixture pulls away from side of bowl and forms a ball. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, knead until smooth (about two minutes). Divide into 16 equal pieces, shape into small balls and cover with a damp towel.

Prepare as instructed in the slideshow. You can cook these in an ungreased cast-iron skillet.




*** This is my first slideshow, please let me know if it isn't working.

13 comments:

SteamyKitchen said...

Great slide show Kelly! I've tried making corn tortillas before but never flour. If I made it, then that would mean I have a justifiable reason to buy lard....and that would be baaaad.

tigerfish said...

That must be tortilla made with love, hardwork and lots of dedication. :D

Nora B. said...

A great way to end your time in Tucson - the tortilla making class sounds like fun. I can't see the slide show, but I think it's the computer I am using at work. I'll try again on my laptop at home.

Cynthia said...

This must have been fun, Kelly. I am going to try making these tortilla.

Tracy Tan said...

really good slide show :)

i wonder if tortilla taste good with curry!

WokkingMum said...

Tortilla looks like out Roti Prata! Even the way it's made is similar. But Roti Prata is very very oily! Tortilla looks so much healthier! ;)

Thanks for the slide show. :)

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Very cool slideshow. I just can't ever get my tortillas thin enough. :(

Lia said...

Hi am new here, very interesting slide show, i used to prepare chapati (indian bread) maybe next time i have to try make tortila also :)

People St.Clair said...

Wow! Great slide show. What a fun experience. I wonder if I'll be able to recreate what I saw and make these in my own kitchen. Humm...

Retno Prihadana said...

It looks interesting kelly, I can see step by step to make tortilla on your slide.

Dr ve Thru said...

I am sure it is not as easy as it looks. I might give it a try though....one day. Another to add on to my list! :)

East Meets West Kitchen said...

I must confess that I dunk flour tortillas in curry! ;)

Matt said...

Way to incorporate your 2020 skillz into your blog!