Loving Love and Lemons

I recently stumbled upon a new food blog that is both visually fun and filled with healthy and delicious-looking recipes. Check out Love & Lemons. Husband and wife food bloggers? Aww… This was tasty and fun to make. Especially with our homemade tortillas! Any day that involves a tortilla press is a good day.

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Miso-Maple Sweet Potato Tacos with Coconut-Cilantro Sauce (Love & Lemons)

Serves 3 to 4

Glazed Sweet Potato Filling
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled and chopped into small cubes
1 small red onion, chopped
Olive oil

Taco Fixings
Corn tortillas, 2 to 3 per person
Avocado, sliced
Sprouts
Cilantro
Chopped scallions
Toasted pepitas

Heat oven to 400°F. Whisk the miso paste, maple syrup, and vinegar together in a small bowl. Spread sweet potatoes and onions in a single layer on a baking sheet (you might need 2 baking sheets). Drizzle with a little olive oil, and then liberally brush the glaze over the vegetables.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes. The time will vary depending on the heat of your oven and the size of your sweet potato cubes. The onions will likely be done first so be sure to watch and take them out when they’re nicely browned but not burnt. When the sweet potatoes are finished, remove from the oven, taste and add another brushing of glaze if you wish.

Serve on warm corn tortillas with cilantro-coconut sauce (see below) and fixings such as avocado, sprouts, cilantro, and pepitas.

Cilantro-Coconut Sauce
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup basil leaves
1 scallion, green and white parts, chopped
1/4 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 small garlic clove
Splash of Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
Pinch of sugar (optional)
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together until just combined. Serve alongside the tacos.

Homemade Corn Tortillas (Love & Lemons)

So I learned 2 things in this experience:

First, and most importantly, I missed the step in the directions where once you mix your masa harina with water you need to let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The dehydrated corn flour needs time to rehydrate. This is an important step to getting a more pliable texture that won’t crumble when you go to press your tortillas. Don’t skip this step.

Second, some things just take a little bit of practice and patience. You might not necessarily get the “feel” of it the first time (or maybe you will if you’re just that good – but that’s what I had thought too).

makes about 16 tortillas that are 5-6 inches in diameter – even if you don’t need 16, I recommend starting with more (at least the first time) in case you mess some up.

This is the method that I found to work, based on the instruction (as best as I could follow) in Rick Bayless’ Mexican Kitchen. He goes into more authentic detail. It’s a book worth having if you’re interested in learning more.

INGREDIENTS:
1 3/4 cups masa harina (the Maseca brand seems to be the most popular)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water
a few tablespoons of cold water, as needed

gadgets & materials:
a tortilla press, I have this one. (Or go without like she did – brave girl)
medium weight plastic – cut up plastic trash bags or storage bags (ie, NOT thin cling wrap)

METHOD:
Mix masa harina with the hot water. Cover and set aside on your countertop for at least 30 minutes.

While you’re waiting on that, cut your plastic into squares just larger than the surface of your tortilla press. (you’ll use 2 plastic pieces at a time – one for the top, one for the bottom). Cut up a bunch of plastic – I can sometimes get a few tortillas out of one round of plastic, but when they start to stick, it’s easier to start fresh again.

Have a margarita and continue to wait for your dough.

When your 30 minutes is up, form the dough into a ball, it’ll be a bit crumbly so add some cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough is soft without being sticky. It should be similar in texture to play-doh. If you’ve added too much water, it’s ok, just add a little more of the corn flour.

Gently knead the dough to help it form into a semi-pliable ball (this is not pizza dough). Cut the ball into in half, and half again, etc, etc, until you have about 16 pieces. Roll them in your hands to form into little balls. Place on a plate and cover with plastic or a towel so they don’t dry out as you go.

Heat your pan or cast iron skillet to medium.

Place your plastic on both sides of your tortilla press (I spray mine lightly with a little canola spray – I’m not sure if this is completely necessary, but it works). Place your dough ball in the center and press down. You’re trying for a tortilla that is less than 1/8-inch thick. Lift the press up, and carefully peel the top layer of plastic off. Gently pick it up, flip the dough side down in your other hand and gently peel off the other side.

Place tortilla in your pan and cook for about 20 seconds until it releases. Flip, cook for 30 seconds more until it starts to brown. Flip again and cook for 30 seconds to a minute until your tortilla starts to puff up. If your tortilla puffs up, you’ve done well. Be careful not too overcook your tortilla or it’ll become dry and crack more.

Place finished tortillas in a towel or foil and cover to keep warm while you finish the rest. I generously salt mine before serving.

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