I’ve been dreaming about gluten-free tortillas or wraps since I stopped eating gluten, they are somewhat the holy grail of gluten-free finds and until recently I didn’t think anyone manufactured any good ones. However, it seems there is a saviour, Saara at The Gluten Free Student Cookbook has found some at the Mex Grocer and she also had a go at making some here. These looked great and I shall be certainly ordering some of the Mex Grocer ones for my freezer but after reading Thomasina Miers’ Mexican Food Made Simple over the last week I had ambitions to go authentic and cook some from scratch. Now you’ll need to source some ‘Masa Harina’ flour first, not too difficult it would seem, it’s of course readily available online but also stocked at major supermarkets (I found mine in Sainsburys). It’s a pretty simple recipe, I followed the one on the back of the packet which just involves adding hot water, Thomasina adds some oil to hers and in hindsight I would recommend a glug into the mix to improve the flexibility of the finished tortilla. The ones I made were not something you could easily use for a fajita or wrap but made a great flat bread type accompaniment to a chilli and certainly would work well in wedges, refried and served with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and cheese.
The chilli was mostly my own invention, whilst I nicked the idea for the admission of chorizo from Thomasina the rest was a bit of this and bit of that from my imagination (oh yeah and a quick consultary call to my Dad).
For the chilli:
- 250g of lean beef mince
- 250g of pork mince
- a third of a ring of chorizo, chopped into small chunks
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 200g carton of passata
- 1 tin of kidney beans
- 1 heaped teaspoon of mild chilli powder (crank up the heat on this if you can take it, I regretted the lack of spice but I was catering for a 3 year old too so added extra fresh chilli to mine at the end)
- 1 rounded teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of ketchup
- 1/2 a tablespoon of agave syrup
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2/3 squares of dark chocolate
- salt and pepper
For the tortillas (makes about 4, double, or triple for more):
- 125g Masa Harina flour
- 160ml of hot water
- salt and pepper
- a tablespoon of oil
Brown the mince and chorizo in a large pot. Add the onion, celery and garlic and fry gently for a few minutes until tender. Add the chilli powder and paprika and fry for a minute or so then add the tomatoes and passata and top with half a can of water. Bring up to the simmer and add the vinegar, ketchup, syrup and salt and pepper. Simmer with the lid on for about 30 min then add the kidney beans and cook on a low heat for a further 15 min. Chuck in the chocolate, stir, then set aside until your tortillas are ready.
Mix the corn flour, salt, pepper, oil and hand hot water in a large bowl and bring together into a soft, clay like ball. Cover and leave to rest for 15-30 min. Take a golf ball sized chunk and roll in to a ball in your hands then place between the layers of a plastic sandwich bag. Now this is where in an ideal world you would be a good Mexican cook and have a tortilla press to make fine looking circles with no cracks, however I’m not Mexican and I’m not very good either so instead I used a good old fashioned British rolling pin and made round (ish),
cracked rustic circles, and when I say circles you can use your imagination there as well. You want to aim for about 2mm thick but I say experimentation is the best way forward and find your way through trial and error, the odd snack or test case whilst cooking never did anyone any harm. Heat a dry pan and cook your tortillas on a high heat for a couple of minutes each side until slightly puffed and charred. Keep your tortillas warm in a tea towel in a low oven whilst you assemble the rest of the meal.
I served my chilli in a bowl topped with a rough guacamole (chopped avocado, chilli and lime), sour cream, and grated cheese with the tortillas on the side to dip, wrap, mop up and devour.