06 11 / 2012

I recently appeared on The Shine, Yahoo’s Internet video talk show, to talk about Tortillas to the Rescue and to showcase some of the most interesting ways to use tortillas. Check out the Yahoo Shine video here, then try your hand at making these recipes at home. All recipes are from Tortillas to the Rescue (Ulysses Press, 2012).

Tortilla-Crusted French Toast

Leftover tortilla chips, whether homemade or store-bought, add fun to basic French toast. If you love salty-sweet combinations, you’ll love the juxtaposition of salted chips against a generous drizzle of maple syrup. But if that sounds a little too crazy for breakfast, seek out unsalted chips. My favorite bread for French toast is a crusty artisan loaf, such as a boule or a wide French loaf. Cut it into thick slices, about 1½ inches wide, and set the slices out on the counter the night before to dry out so that they can better absorb the egg custard.

Serves 4

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch kosher salt

8 cups tortilla chips (4 to 5 ounces)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

unsalted butter, for griddle

8 slices slightly stale bread

maple syrup, to serve

1. Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Whisk in the milk, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Set aside.

2. Finely crush the tortilla chips in a food processor or in a large zip-top bag. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon, and shake the bag or pulse the food processor to combine. Transfer the tortilla chip mixture to a shallow bowl or a pie pan.

3. Melt about 1 tablespoon butter on a griddle or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Dip 1 slice of bread in the egg mixture, letting it soak for a moment and turning to coat completely. Then place the bread in the tortilla crumbs, sprinkle a handful of crumbs over the top, and lightly press the crumbs into the bread to help them adhere. Place the crusted bread on the griddle or pan, working in batches to avoid overcrowding. Cook on one side until the tortilla crust begins to brown and the egg mixture is no longer liquid, about 4 minutes. Flip the French toast over and cook another 4 minutes on the second side. Keep the cooked French toast warm in a warm oven (170˚F) or under aluminum foil while you make the rest, using more butter as needed for the cooking surface. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Broccoli-Cheddar Quiche

Made with a crust of ground corn tortillas, this quiche is a delicious option for a brunch or as a simple supper, paired with a green salad. If you want to use fresh broccoli, chop it into bite-size pieces and steam it in a little water until tender.

Serves 4 to 6

10 small (6-inch) corn tortillas, torn into pieces

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

¼ cup warm water

5 large eggs

⅓ cup heavy cream

½ cup milk

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

1 cup chopped frozen broccoli, thawed

1½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 ounces)

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Place the tortillas in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the tortillas are pulverized into fine crumbs. Add the flour and ¼ teaspoon of the salt and pulse to combine. With the motor running, drizzle in the vegetable oil and then the water and process until the mixture forms a clumpy dough.

2. Turn the dough out into a 9-inch nonstick pie pan and press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake until the crust begins to brown on the sides and it feels dry to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Arrange the broccoli in an even layer in the crust. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the broccoli. Pour the filling over the broccoli and cheese, and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the filling. Bake the quiche until it is no longer jiggly in the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.


Tortilla Pizzas with Meatless Crumbles

Flour tortillas make a crisp, no-fuss crust for mock pizzas. Use your favorite toppings to make a tasty lunch or dinner, paired with a Caesar salad. 

Serves 4

4 medium (8-inch) flour tortillas

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 ounces sausage-style meatless crumbles

1 cup marinara sauce

1 (4-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)

1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Brush the tortillas on both sides with olive oil. Arrange the tortillas on two rimmed baking sheets and prick all over with a fork. Bake until crisp, about 10 minutes, turning the tortillas over once and switching the pans if they’re on two oven racks.

2. While the tortillas are baking, heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the meatless crumbles and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Spread each pizza with about ¼ cup marinara sauce. Top with some of the crumbles and the black olives. Sprinkle with the cheese. Return the pans to the oven and bake until the cheese melts, 4 to 5 minutes. Cut into quarters and serve hot.


Yogurt Parfaits in Tortilla Cups

These parfaits make a fun breakfast for kids or a pretty presentation for a brunch. You can get creative with the fruits you use—try other berries like raspberries or blackberries, or diced peaches, kiwi, or plums.

Serves 6

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sugar

6 medium (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

24 ounces vanilla or plain yogurt

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup diced fresh strawberries

honey, for garnish

 1. Preheat the oven to 375˚F. In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon and the sugar. Brush the tortillas on both sides with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Stack the tortillas and microwave on high power until soft, about 15 seconds. Carefully crimp the tortillas to fit into the cups of a standard muffin pan, using your fingers to push the tortillas so that they form to the base of the pan. Bake the tortillas until they’re crisp and hold their shape, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

 2. To make the parfaits, spoon a little yogurt into the base of each tortilla cup. Sprinkle with a layer of fruit. Top with additional layers of yogurt and fruit. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately.


Tortilla-Lime Bark

You know the preponderance of crazy candy bars with ingredients like bacon, wasabi, curry, and various fancy salts? I saw one once that contained tortilla chips, lime, and chile powder—it was so unusual I just had to buy it. To my surprise, the weird combination totally worked! The tangy lime offset the rich chocolate flavor, and the tortilla chips added a nice crunch and saltiness. I was inspired to dream up this chocolate bark recipe, which makes a good hostess gift or thank-you token for a teacher, your dog walker, or any chocolate lover in your life. Tempering the chocolate helps it achieve a shiny appearance and gives it a nice snap when it’s bitten or broken.

Makes about 32 small pieces

1 (16-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup salted tortilla chips, crushed into small pieces (about 1 ounce)

2 teaspoons grated lime zest

¼ teaspoon red chile powder or ground cayenne pepper

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet or a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper and place it in the freezer.

2. Temper the chocolate: Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl). Gradually melt the chocolate, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula, until smooth and completely melted. Keep heating the chocolate until it reaches a temperature of 110 to 115˚F when checked with a candy thermometer or an instant-read thermometer. Remove the chocolate from the heat and cool, stirring and scraping the chocolate from the sides and bottom of the bowl to incorporate air, until the temperature drops below 84˚F. Return the chocolate to the double boiler and heat briefly, stirring, until the chocolate reaches 89˚F.

3. Remove the prepared baking pan from the freezer and spread the chocolate over the parchment paper in an even layer about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle the tortilla chips and lime zest evenly over the melted chocolate. Lightly dust with the chile powder or cayenne pepper. Return the pan to the freezer and freeze until set, about 1 hour. Use a knife or a pizza wheel to cut the bark into small pieces. Keep cool.

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