Tacos with Homemade Flour Tortilla’s and Farmer’s Market Fresh Pico

I am a firm believer that you do not need to use 100 different ingredients from fabulous faraway lands to impress your friends. You just need to create tried and true flavor combinations with a few simple homemade twists.

My best example of a meal that makes my friends squeal with joy is when I make tacos with homemade tortillas. There are few entrees that are more universally accepted than the humble taco. Even your friends with, shall we say, more selective pallets will gobble up the assortments of freshly made fillings wrapped in tender disks of flour and shortening.

For years, I have always considered homemade tortillas to be a difficult task that could only be successfully executed by those that had tortilla making genes handed down through the branches of their family tree. I am here to say no magic wand or interruptive dancing is needed for this recipe. Just a little patience and a tad bit of finesse.

To make the process even easier, I use a food processor and a two burner flattop grill for the tortillas. The fresh Pico was inspired by the wide selection of hand picked produce at my local Farmer’s Market. The jalapenos were rich with intense flavor and the tomatoes plucked from the vines at there peak of freshness.

Tacos with Homemade Flour Tortilla's and Farmer’s Market Fresh Pico
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
Author:
Recipe Type: Entree
Serves: 12-16 tortillas
Ingredients
Homemade Flour Tortillas
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 6 Tbl. butter flavored vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • Approximately 1 ¼ cup very warm water
Farmer's Market Fresh Pico
  • 3 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and deveined
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
Homemade Flour Tortillas
  1. Pour the flour, baking powder and salt into the food processor bowl. Pulse lightly until well combined. Next, cut the buttered flavored shortening into small chunks and add it to the flour mixture. Pulse until the shortening forms the consistency of small peas in the flour.
  2. While the food processor is running, slowly pour the warm water into the feed tube of the food processor. Be careful not to overwater the mixture. The dough is ready to knead when it forms a ball in the food processor bowl.
  3. Place the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and knead the dough for about three to four turns. Add more flour if the dough is still sticky. The final consistency should be smooth and not sticky. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for approximately 30 minutes. If you are time crunched, you can reduce the time to a minimum of 15 minutes.
  4. Once the dough has rested, cut the large ball into 12 – 16 small dough balls. Preheat a flat non-stick skillet to a medium high temperature. The skillet should be dry with no oil or butter. Lightly flour your board and roll each tiny dough ball to your desired circumference. I recommend 6 to 8 inches in diameter.
  5. Lay the flattened tortilla in the preheated skillet and cook for a short 30 seconds on each side. The tortilla should have light brown spots, but not be tough to the touch. Now they are ready to fill and enjoy. I strongly encourage you to serve these tortillas warm. Makes between 12 – 16 tortillas.
Farmer's Market Fresh Pico
  1. Toss all the ingredients in a medium bowl and chill for about 1 hour to allow all the flavors to combine before serving. This goes great with homemade flour tortillas or as a dip with chips. Makes about 2 cups of Pico.
Author's Note
I made the simple meat filling by browning 1 lb. of ground sirloin with ¼ cup yellow onion, 1 chopped jalapeno and garlic salt to taste. In addition to topping each taco with the fresh Pico, I added sour cream and shredded cheese. Yum!

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  • Even easier that flour tortillas are corn. Most supermarkets carry Masa corn, it is nixtamalized corn flour. Just add warm water and salt. There is usually a recipe on the bag. Make small balls and roll out between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Cook on an un-greased griddle or cast iron pan. They don’t store well, but if you have leftovers you can cut them up and deep fry them for home made tortilla chips.

  • Is there a ingredient I could substitute for “6 Tbl. butter flavored vegetable shortening, room temperature.” As you know the words “shortening” and “partially hydrogenated oil” are red flags for Trans Fat. I’d really like to try your recipe, but the whole reason I was attracted to it was that all store bought tortillas have trans fat.

  • Thanks Cory! I have always made homemde tacos, taught to me by my mom. I didn’t know it was so easy to make your own tortillas. No more need to have Brian pick them up on the way home from work! I’m going to try this recipe real soon.

  • ah i could not help to peek… we make our tortillas the same way pretty much… mom would make them forever.. she’s passed on but i still make tortillas and always think of her….though we make by hand…

  • Attah boy Cory – you posted your photo on foodgawker!
    Living in Chicago you don’t need the fresh tortilla talent – living in Pittsburgh – then it’s something you can really use.

    I have bad dreams about opening the UofMN food court and making dozens of fresh tortillas in an automatic press for a concept that escapes me now.

  • So glad to know I can halt my interpretive dancing!! I was planning to invite some friends over for make-your-own fajitas soon and it would be fantastic if I could actually make the tortillas myself. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • Cory,

    I absolutely love homemade tortillas though I have never come across a recipe that seemed doable (or successful for that matter). Great job. I’m looking forward to making these!

  • I have similar concerns about my taco-making abilities. Yours look great. I like making meals that require a bit of involvement on behalf of my guests. I’ve made individual sized pizzas before and set up a conveyor line with a variety of ingredients. Depending on the crowd, it can be a lot of fun.

  • Hi Cory–
    Thanks so much for your comment on my blog! I’m glad it led me here to yours, too–looks like you’ve got some great recipes, and your photos are gorgeous.

    Welcome to the blogging world–you seem right at home already! 🙂