Cheese Cilantro Tortillas

A tortilla is a thin flatbread that is made from corn (maize). It is bread made without yeast or other types of leavening agents. So, the bottom line, it is unleavened flatbread. They are round in shape and their diameter is between six and 30 cm. The two most common tortillas are wheat flour tortillas (Tortillas de Harina) and corn tortillas (Tortillas de Maiz). Some dishes use the corn tortillas and some wheat tortillas, but basically, it all comes down to what do you prefer more.

Usually, tortillas are made by hand, but there are machines that are used in larger restaurants to produce a bigger number of tortillas. The first machines appeared in the 1940s and 1950s and later in the 1960s, there were already faster machines that made a tortilla every two seconds. Of course, today, we have even faster machines that make tortillas uniform in size.

The word tortilla comes from the Spanish word "torta" meaning "round cake" while the tortilla can be roughly translated as "little cake". There are even different types of maize dough in some countries like Mexico and Guatemala. They differentiate three colors of maize dough:

1. White maize
2. Yellow maize
3. Black (blue) maize

When speaking of Mexico, it is no wonder that tortillas are eaten on a daily basis. Typical 4-member Mexican family eats about two pounds of tortillas every day. But, it is not just Mexico, there is an increase in demand for tortillas all over the world. They are easy to make and you can put in different kinds of fillings. But, also, tortillas can be parts of other, more complex dishes.

When it comes to nutrition facts, according to the USDA, one small corn tortilla (18g) has about 45 calories, 1 g of proteins, 0.5 g of fat, 8 g of carbs, 1.1 g of fiber, and 8.1 mg of sodium.

The history of tortillas

The Mayan legend says that tortillas were invented in ancient times. A peasant invented them for his king who was hungry. There is a story of Hernando Cortez that arrived with Spaniards to (today's) Mexico in 1519. While they were looking for gold, they found out that the natives, Aztecs Mexicas, make the flatbread from maize and they called "tlaxcalli". The natives used corn a lot in their diet because it provides starch and proteins.

In 1529, Bernardino de Sahagun, the Franciscan friar, wrote in the manuscript books called "Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva Espana" (General History of the Things of New Spain) about their diet. His work is a record of Aztec's diet, foods, and eating habits. They are a lot of corn, tortillas, various chilies, and tamales.

There are records of corn tortillas that date about 10 thousand years BC. Back then, they were made from maize with dried kernel. Usually, corn tortillas are made from kernels without skin. The skin is removed by soaking kernels in the mix of water and lime. Then it is grounded into the dough from maize which is called "masa". A small piece of masa (the size of a golf ball) is made by wetted hands into a flat circle. Then it is cooked on both sides on a griddle. This old-fashioned method of making tortillas still exists in southern Mexico.

A long time ago, tortillas were ethnic food, but it became mainstream fast. Now, it is sold and eaten all over the world. And when it comes to the United States, a whole lot of ingredients are added to it. They eat it with peanut butter and jelly, with hot dogs, sandwiches, pizzas, and a lot more. In the United States, the National Tortilla Chip Day is celebrated on February 24 every year.

Corn is an important part of today's Mexico, too. They are one of the top countries that grow maize and they have over 42 different types of maize.

Tortillas as part of other dishes

A tortilla is a versatile food and it can be made in the oven, microwave, or a toaster, or steamed, fried, or grilled. Tortillas are eaten either alone (with filling) or they are an important part of other dishes. Tortillas are one of the most important parts of Mexican cuisine. It is no wonder that so many dishes require the presence of tortillas. Here are the most common ones:

1. Enchiladas

Enchiladas are made by rolling a tasty filling into corn tortillas. Then, tortillas are placed in the baking dish, covered with tomato (or salsa) sauce and cheese, and then baked in the oven.

2. Tacos

Tortillas are also an essential part of tacos. Tacos use the wheat or corn tortillas as the base which is topped with the delicious filling and then eaten by hand. A taco is made with different ingredients like beef, pork, chicken, vegetables, cheese, seafood, salsa sauce, guacamole, etc.

3. Quesadillas

It is a type of taco, filled with cheese and cooked on a griddle. This dish is usually made with corn tortilla and cheese, but it can contain other ingredients like meat or beans. Some people even make it in the microwave with cheese as a quick meal for their little ones.

4. Chilaquiles

This dish is made by frying corn tortillas cut in quarters and then different ingredients like salsa, guacamole, scrambled eggs, or refried beans are poured over it. Sometimes, it can be made by cutting the tortillas into smaller strips.

5. Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros are fried eggs served on tortilla and covered with salsa. There are sometimes side dishes like refried beans or rice. What is interesting about this dish is that the eggs are fried sunny side up (no flipping) or fried over easy (with flipping). Both of these styles require firm egg white and running yolk.

6. Fajitas

Fajitas are the Mexican dish that consists of grilled meat served on tortillas. Then, other ingredients are added like shredded cheese, peppers, onions, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, refried beans, tomatoes, guacamole, etc.

7. Corn burritos

When you roll a tortilla with the refried beans inside, you will get a corn burrito. Then the corn burrito is usually deep-fried and then covered with cheese. It is not unusual to top the corn burritos with sour cream, tomato sauce, or guacamole.

8. Taquitos (rolled tacos or flautas)

Unlike the corn burritos, the taquitos are tortillas rolled usually with meat inside. It can be chicken or beef with cheese. It is then deep-fried and covered with guacamole or sour cream. The dish is usually made with corn tortillas and served with sour cream or guacamole on top.

The listed dishes are the most common ones, but it doesn't end there. There are also dishes like Chimichanga, Entomatada, Gringas, Alambre, Empalme, Quesadilla Sincronizada, Huevos Motuleños, Tlayuda, Garnacha, and many more.

tortillas cherry tomato
Yields1 Serving
Ingredients for cheese-cilantro tortillas
 1 ½ cups Cornflour (gluten-free)
 2 tbsp Oil
  cup Gouda Cheese
 3 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  cup Mozzarella Cheese
 1 cup Hot Water
 Salt
 Pepper
1

Tortillas are great for breakfast or even just as a snack. You can make the filling with different ingredients like meat, vegetables, sauces, or cheese. It is a nutritious meal that is rather fast and easy to make. Here is a simple recipe for a vegetarian tortilla with two kinds of cheese - Gouda and Mozzarella cheese, alongside the tasty flavor of cilantro.

tortillas

Mix the dry ingredients
2

1. Take a bowl and then mix flour with salt and pepper
2. Slowly add the water to the mix while you are kneading

dough

Mix in the cheese
3

1. Add the Gouda cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and chopped cilantro to the dough and mix well

If the mixture looks more floury than crumbly, then just add one or two more tablespoons of shortening, until it becomes crumbly.

tortilla dough

Collect the dough from the bowl sides
4

1. In order to gather any clinging dough, knead the dough with your hand (or a large fork) while rubbing the dough against the sides of the bowl
2. Then, if the dough is still stuck to the bowl's sides, add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Make sure that the dough forms a soft, round shape
3. After that, cover the bowl with a dish towel
4. And, then let it sit for about an hour

dough

Make the dough balls
5

1. Firstly, take the dough out of the ball and pull it apart into six even balls
2. Secondly, lightly flour your rolling space and then roll each ball with a rolling pin. Aim for the 1/8 inch thickness of the each tortilla

tortilla balls

Cook the tortillas
6

1. Heat the cast-iron skillet to medium
2. Place each tortilla on the skillet
3. Cook for about one to two minutes on each side (or until the tortilla does not look doughy anymore)

Drinking pairing: Black Coffee
Music pairing: Chichí Peralta

tortillas in the oven

 

Ingredients

Ingredients for cheese-cilantro tortillas
 1 ½ cups Cornflour (gluten-free)
 2 tbsp Oil
  cup Gouda Cheese
 3 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
  cup Mozzarella Cheese
 1 cup Hot Water
 Salt
 Pepper

Directions

1

Tortillas are great for breakfast or even just as a snack. You can make the filling with different ingredients like meat, vegetables, sauces, or cheese. It is a nutritious meal that is rather fast and easy to make. Here is a simple recipe for a vegetarian tortilla with two kinds of cheese - Gouda and Mozzarella cheese, alongside the tasty flavor of cilantro.

tortillas

Mix the dry ingredients
2

1. Take a bowl and then mix flour with salt and pepper
2. Slowly add the water to the mix while you are kneading

dough

Mix in the cheese
3

1. Add the Gouda cheese, Mozzarella cheese, and chopped cilantro to the dough and mix well

If the mixture looks more floury than crumbly, then just add one or two more tablespoons of shortening, until it becomes crumbly.

tortilla dough

Collect the dough from the bowl sides
4

1. In order to gather any clinging dough, knead the dough with your hand (or a large fork) while rubbing the dough against the sides of the bowl
2. Then, if the dough is still stuck to the bowl's sides, add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Make sure that the dough forms a soft, round shape
3. After that, cover the bowl with a dish towel
4. And, then let it sit for about an hour

dough

Make the dough balls
5

1. Firstly, take the dough out of the ball and pull it apart into six even balls
2. Secondly, lightly flour your rolling space and then roll each ball with a rolling pin. Aim for the 1/8 inch thickness of the each tortilla

tortilla balls

Cook the tortillas
6

1. Heat the cast-iron skillet to medium
2. Place each tortilla on the skillet
3. Cook for about one to two minutes on each side (or until the tortilla does not look doughy anymore)

Drinking pairing: Black Coffee
Music pairing: Chichí Peralta

tortillas in the oven

Cheese Cilantro Tortillas
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