A Tortilla Fiesta

aTortillaFiesta3Cinco De Mayo is nearly here, but we were just too excited to wait.  Our brand new Tortilla Warmer was burning a hole in our cabinet, so we threw an impromptu tortilla fiesta featuring our tried-and-true Flour Tortilla recipe.  If you’ve never tried your hand at homemade tortillas, this is the occasion for it.  Our recipe is simple but not quick, perfect for a laid-back afternoon with friends.

aTortillaFiesta8These pillow-soft flour tortillas are so warm and cozy you’ll want to roll one up and eat it as-is, which is perfectly acceptable as far as we’re concerned!  They have a nice chew to them and tremendous flavor, reminding us that tortillas are part of the meal, not just a delivery vehicle for spicy meats and melty cheese.

aTortillaFiesta7Speaking of meat, we couldn’t think of a better match for our hand-rolled tortillas than the rich and savory flavors of Beef Barbacoa.  Shredded beef seasoned with chipotle peppers and adobo sauce is a standby on Mexican and Tex-Mex menus, and our recipe couldn’t be easier.  We threw a roast in the slow cooker along with a flavorful sauce we blended together and let the flavors marinate on low for 8 hours.  It is only fair to warn you that this can be the longest 8 hours of your life if you have the misfortune of being stuck next to the slow cooker, with those mouth-watering smells wafting through the air.

aTortillaFiesta12To complete the meal, load up on fresh, flavorful sides like pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and bunches of cilantro. Shredded cheese, rice, and pinto beans round out the offering, along with the mandatory, perfectly salted tortilla chips.

 TortillaFiesta14Our gorgeous Fiesta® Tortilla Warmer held the hand-rolled Flour Tortillas at an ideal temperature for several hours, keeping the rounds soft and flexible.  If you decide to go with store-bought tortillas, the Tortilla Warmer is the perfect vessel for warming and serving those as well.  Simply line the bottom of the Tortilla Warmer with a damp paper towel or a damp tea towel and then load the tortillas on top.  Wrap the damp cloth up and around the tortillas (or cover with another damp paper towel) and then place the warmer, sans lid, in the microwave and heat on high for about 30 seconds.  Remove from the microwave, cover, and serve.

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Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
Mexican shredded beef barbecue.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  2. 3-4 pound chuck roast, fat trimmed
  3. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. Sauce
  6. ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  7. 6 cloves garlic
  8. 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  9. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  10. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  11. 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  12. 4 chipotle peppers (from a can, packed in adobo sauce)
  13. 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from the chipotle pepper can)
  14. 1 cup chicken broth
  15. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Instructions
  1. In a blender or food processor, blend together the sauce ingredients until smooth.
  2. Cut roast into about 8 large chunks. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt, making sure each side is covered.
  3. Warm a heavy-bottom skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and then sear beef on each side until it has browned. Place seared beef into a slow cooker and cover with the sauce. Add bay leaves and cover with lid.
  4. Set the cooker on low and allow to cook for 8 hours (5-6 hours on high).
  5. After about 7 hours on low (5 hours on high), shred the beef using 2 forks to pull apart. Stir it to completely coat in sauce, then cover and cook for 1 hour more.
Adapted from The Slow Roasted Italian
Adapted from The Slow Roasted Italian
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/
Flour Tortillas
Yields 8
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups flour
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  4. ¼ cup cold lard*
  5. 2/3 cup warm water
Instructions
  1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl or in a food processor. Cut in lard, blending until a course meal forms. Stir in water and turn the shaggy dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until soft and smooth.
  2. Divide dough into eight pieces and then form into balls.
  3. Cover dough balls with plastic wrap and let rest for about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
  5. Meanwhile, start rolling dough balls out into an 8-inch round circle.
  6. Cook tortilla rounds, one at a time, in the skillet for about one minute per side, watching closely to avoid over cooking.
  7. Use a toothpick to burst any bubbles that form while the tortilla is cooking.
  8. Transfer the finished tortillas to your Tortilla Warmer.
Notes
  1. *You may substitute some or all of the lard for vegetable shortening.
Fiesta Dinnerware, Always Festive http://alwaysfestive.com/

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