Sunday, February 05, 2012

On bathing pork and pressing matters {flatbreads and flavours} Chile-bathed Pork and Flour Tortillas

*Tock tock* this thing on? Helloooo? José? Are you there? Got a question man. Can you help me out?
See, I’ve got the book.
The pork.
the garlic
the corn oil
the fresh oregano (freeze dried because it’s a freaking 18 below zero here)
The masa harina. I think.
Listen José:
The pork is in the bath.


No really, a bath.

No of course I couldn’t find dried red New Mexico chiles. No, no dried guajillos either.

Yeah yeah I asked. I’m afraid they think I’m a little wacko or have a speech disability. So I used hot sambal. That’s an Indonesian chili puree. I squeezed about 3 tbs in the blender. Then added 3 garlic cloves, 3 dried tomatoes, 1 tbs oregano, squeezed some lime juice in it, added a quartered onion and for good measure added 1 tsp of dried chipotle flakes and 1/2 cup of water. Blitzed to a smooth paste.
That was the bath the pork bathed in. Swimming merrily for 24 hours in the fridge. Cool!
Then… José?? Still there??
I had my masa harina which I guess was indeed harina but not very much masa… at least it didn’t develop into a dough (more like wet sand, no cohesion at all). No way José!
Started again and made a nice little dough out of plain flour and water. That worked! Divided in two… again and again until I had 16 round disks.
Hey José you’re back!?

I know they are not round.
They’re not very disk-ey either right? IMG_4008
Well I suppose your mama and your sister can make much prettier tortillas. In fact I am certain they can. I bow deep because well I tried and I couldn’t. They were quite tasty though. I don’t own a tortilla press so I did the dough-inbetween-two-ziplock-bag-and-roll thing.

You don’t need to laugh that hard. I really tried!

Well here they are:
Thank you José, I too do think they look very pretty. We really really liked the chile-bathed pork! It was so incredibly spicy but apparently so very good that even my cautious husband and twins had seconds.
I fried the meat in a little oil until nicely browned, then added a can of red chili beans and a bag of fresh spinach. Tossed until wilted. Really really yummy!

IMG_4013 This is not just me, there's a bunch of us cooking from Flatbreads and Flavors providing ourselves and our loved ones with a intercontinental journey on our dining tables.


  1. Really Karen: YOU MADE MY DAY!
    I spilled my coffee over my entire laptop screen while reading your conversation with Jose! LOVE IT!
    We had it today and I will post mine this week too. Just have to finish one or two other posts as well which I - again - am late with posting LOL

    Love it! Did I mention that already?

  2. Thank you Astrid! I thoroughly enjoyed writing this one up!

  3. Oh, wow, look at you, making like a Hispanic Mama! What a fabulous job! And I know it's often hard to source ingredients like the masa when you're ...rather out of the area. Well done!

  4. I love your spin on the recipe! Very creative. And your post is so much fun! Masa is crazy to work with, a very strange feel to it.

  5. I guess you know how that feels Tanita.. Thanks!

    Natashya I think that my white corn flour wasn't masa harina after all. Although it didn't resemble dough in any way it was kind of therapeutic to get your hands in...

  6. Sambal is a good substitution, but the pepper flakes are likely your friend. We've just visited the Whole Foods Market in Glasgow (yes - be afraid) and came home with something we'd not been able to find here: habaneros!

    The thing about masa is that it's very dry, over here, compared to North America's masa. We've found the same thing with most flours. You just look like your dough needed more water, is all. Also: tortilla presses are great, and we own one, but it's perfectly reasonable to do them with a rolling pin or even just with your hands - after all, that's the original method and is still going to give you some of the best tortillas.

    Well done!

  7. Hi David! Habanerors? Really!? Yes.. I'm so in love with my pepper flakes, I hoard and watch over them. They are from the Spice shop on Portobello Road Market in London! As a matter of fact I was in London when they'd just opened a Whole Foods. (still got the jute bag to prove I was there)...

  8. I think you've scored the same stuff as I've thrown in the garbage ........ looks the same ... that gritty stuff!
    Volgens mij heb je hetzelfde spul gescored als ik in de vuilnisbak gegooid heb ........ ziet er hetzelfde uit... dat zanderige spul! (schijnt alleen een soort van Afrikaanse pap mee gemaakt te worden :-))

  9. You and Jose! Does KJ know?!
    Totally too too too funny.
    And David is absolutely right, the correct and historical way is with your hands;-)

  10. Rita... echt? Het voelde echt heel vreemd. Het schijnt dat je er wel polenta mee kunt maken... heb ik nog nooit gedaan. Zal er toch een keer van moeten komen. Die afrikaanse pap; staat me iets van bij, ooit gelezen dat een molen dat speciaal maalde voor een bepaalde groep mensen. Geen idee hoe wat en waar.

    Tanna... I thought of you while adding spinach.. KJ didn't know but after tasting it I don't think he cares anymore haha

  11. Yes, I'm still a fiend for spinach but I'm adding kale with a fever now too.

  12. Ha ha ha had an adventure! In the end, it looks like you had some tasty food, it's all good ;)

  13. Fabulous!! I can't stop laughing. With you!! With you!!

    And I think your tortillas look beautiful. How did you flatten them? With a rolling pin? A book? (I'm guessing you don't have a tortilla press)

    I WILL make this but probably not in time to add to the other mellow bakers' links. The pork sounds truly fabulous.

    We don't have any masa harina in the cupboard although I know the supermarket about 10 minute bike ride away carries it; we do have really decent commercially made corn tortillas in the freezer though - but I suppose that would be cheating. And no guajillo peppers on hand either but there are some moritas - insanely hot - and I think there might be some arbols in the drawer as well. Or are they anchos??


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