Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Official torture the dogs night...and an experiment gone wrong

We have our stove plugged in finally! Adam plugged it in last week when we were cooking for 10 people. It's very nice to have back. I've made really good use of it so far. Tonight I canned some pasta sauce, then when I was making the enchiladas, I had a couple skillets going for different things. Plus, I've baked my breakfast granola, the enchiladas, and my sour dough breads.

Tonight was torture the dogs night here at our house. I tortured Bear and Jasmine by giving them their summer shaves. I tortured Jack by pulling off a really big tick that somehow I had missed the last few days (I did actually feel bad about his sentence for the evening) and Tucker's special brand of torture was that he was locked outside (within eye shot of me) while each of the other dogs got to be inside with me while I tortured them. Poor dogs....rough life!

Now, about the experiment... I don't know how I came across the recipe but when I saw it, it struck me as something I would have to try. I love making things from scratch. I usually find the flavor to be better of their store bought counterparts. So the recipe I found was for nixtamal. It's the stuff they use to make masa harina which is used to make corn tortillas. It comes in dried form. But this is fresh stuff so it's still wet. Sounded easy enough. First, you boil dried field or dent corn (not sweet corn) in pickling lime water. Then you let it sit there for two weeks in a sealed container. I resisted the urge to see if it was growing all sorts of disgusting things because I didn't want to let any germs in. Finally, two weeks passed and I was eager to give it a try.

It wasn't as scary looking as this picture makes it look. It was white corn (no pink tints). The coloring came from the reflection off the container. No mold, no bugs, no scary looking things.

Next step is to grind them in the food processor, a cup at a time. It warned about adding too much water or else it would be sticky and wouldn't form into a ball. I added only 2 Tbsp of water to the whole thing and it wouldn't form into a ball so I ended up adding some corn meal in to make it drier and more ballable...if that's a word. But to no avail. As a last resort, I plopped it all on the griddle and spread it out as thin as I could. I was hoping for some sort of a sheet of corn tortilla. I was going to make enchilada pie instead of enchiladas.

My lovely sheet of weirdness. It wasn't cooking through so I put it on a cookie sheet and slid it into the oven. The outside got hard and crunchy while the inside was a toffee like texture that stuck to our teeth. Very strange. I will try making tortilla soup with it to see if it makes it edible. Though it didn't work out, it was actually pretty tasty stuff. I ended up having to go buy corn tortillas to finish up the enchiladas. They didn't taste as good as mine though. I will figure it out though...and they will be good. I love a good challenge.

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