I have found recipes in unusual places, but this has to be one of the oddest ways I discovered such a slam dunk of a meal. It all started when the Boy told me Robert Rodriguez, the director of such hits as Sin City, Desperado and Spy Kids, had segments on some of his DVD’s called “Ten Minute Cooking School”. To say I was skeptical is an understatement considering I’m not that big of a Robert Rodriguez fan (the Boy is now weeping in the corner because he is quite the Rodriguez fan boy). But I will admit I was curious about what the director of such (mostly) violent movies would know about cooking. That and I am almost positive the Boy wants me to make the Puerco Pibil that was the subject of one of the Ten Minute Cooking Schools.
First off, I had never actually seen what Robert Rodriguez looked like…until his oh so delicious mug came across the television screen. Then I saw his kitchen…his oh so delicious kitchen. He has a Viking stove tricked out more than P. Diddy’s cars and enough counter space to conceivably play football on. With the kitchen and the yumminess that is Robert Rodriguez distracting me, it took a few minutes for me to pay attention to what he was saying. But once I did, I found his presentation style to be both humorous and approachable. I watched the Puerco Pibil video first and knew instantly I wanted to make it. He described each step concisely but without sounding condescending (and without making a novice cook feel out of depth). And did I mention I found him to be unbelievably hot?
I watched the second Ten Minute Cooking School (on the Sin City DVD) on Breakfast Tacos only because I wanted to see more of Robert Rodriguez’s ass…I mean presentation style. I wasn’t planning on making the dish because it had eggs in it and I have a thing about eggs (I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before). But here’s the rub: he showed the audience how to make homemade flour tortillas…and it was easy. I didn’t even watch the full video before I was out the door to the grocery store to get lard, chorizo and a blend of cheeses that lends itself to Mexican cuisine. I had soft tacos on the brain (well that and Robert Rodriguez’s ass…which was fabulous in case you were wondering) and I wasn’t to be denied! And let me tell you this: I will NEVER buy tortillas from a store again. EVER! These tortillas reminded me of the ones my mother made when I was a child and I loved them. The chorizo filling I threw together was the icing on a fucking awesome cake…did I mention Robert Rodriguez is hot? No? Well he is…in case you were wondering.
Chorizo Soft Tacos
For the tortillas
2 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, lard or combination of both, at room temperature (I used all lard)
3/4 cup warm water (use hot water if you used all lard)
For the Chorizo filling
1 lb Mexican Chorizo, removed from its casing
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked Paprika
1 to 3 teaspoon ground dried poblano pepper (called ancho) – amount depends on how spicy you like your dishes
1 pound baby pearl onions, diced
2 medium sized garlic cloves, finely diced
Cheese and sour cream to top (I used a blend of cheddar, monterey jack and colby cheeses)
Start out by making the tortillas:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Cut the lard into the dry ingredients using your hands or a pastry cutter. Once the ingredients resemble a coarse meal texture, add in the water, forming a dough. Knead the dough (adding flour if it’s too wet or water if the dough is too dry) until it’s smooth and elastic. Make 8 to 10 golf ball sized balls out of the dough and place them on a baking sheet. Place a dampened kitchen towel over the dough balls and let them rest for 20 minutes.
While the dough is resting, make the Chorizo filling. In a saute pan, add a slight coating of oil and saute the onions and garlic until both are softened. Remove the mixture from the pan and add the Chorizo. Ground and thoroughly cook the Chorizo and drain (do not drain all of the oil from the Chorizo, but do remove most of it). In a smaller skillet over medium heat, toast the cumin, coriander, paprika and ancho until the aromas start to release from the spices. Combine the Chorizo, onion mixture and spices together in the larger saute pan and cook for another two to four minutes, incorporating all of the flavors together. Set the filling aside.
Take one of the balls of dough and form it into a flat disc. Using a rolling pin, roll the discs out on a floured surface. You want to form discs that are about 6 inches in diameter. If you have used all lard for the dough, the discs will be easier to roll out. Be careful not to roll the discs out too thin! Repeat these steps with the remaining balls of dough.
Have a basket lined with a kitchen towel ready to place the warm tortillas as you make them. Heat up a nonstick griddle over medium to medium high heat (I started at medium heat and gradually adding more heat as I made more tortillas). Drop the first tortilla onto the griddle and flip it to the other side after 10 seconds. Once flipped, the tortilla will start to bubble up. To encourage this, press on the sides of the tortilla with a metal flipper (I’m sure there is a technical term for this utensil but right now it escapes me). Leave the tortilla on that side for about a minute and then flip it over one more time. Leave it there for about 30-45 more seconds and then place the tortilla in the prepared basket. Cover the tortilla up with the towel and then move on to the next disc of dough. Repeat these steps until all the tortillas are cooked. Take care to cover up the tortillas each time a new one is added to the stack.
Take one tortilla and top it with a spoonful of the Chorizo filling. Add as much cheese as you want and then top with a dollup of sour cream (this part is optional…I am not a huge sour cream fan, so I didn’t use it). Fold up the tortilla forming a taco and chow down!
By the way, did I mention Robert Rodriguez was hot?Print This Recipe