The grand thing about cooking is you can eat your mistakes. -Julia Child

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Scallion and Tofu Tortillita

I love wandering through the produce aisle at my food coop, as I always see something new.  The new discovery this week was something labeled "purple scallion."  Always a sucker for things in color, I buy a bunch.  I may be imagining things, but I think it has a bit more of a mild taste than the scallion I'm used to.

The dish I chose to use the scallion in - called a tortillita - was inspired by this NY Times article.  I love regular tortillas - not the flour/corn flat bready things you get with Mexican food, but the Spanish eggy version.  The tortillita is almost like a cross between a flour tortilla and an egg tortilla.  Almost.  Its unique taste comes from a unique ingredient - chick pea/garbanzo bean flour.  This is actually easier to find in stores than you might think.  I was even able to find it at my neighborhood mini-grocery.  Bob's Red Mill is the brand I found, so look around your store's section of their products. 

Modifications from the original:  This recipe just screams out for changes.  Look at the tortillita as a way to make use of leftovers in you refrigerator.  Although my recipe calls for baked tofu, you omnivores can use cooked meat/fish/seafood instead; the veg-heads can seitan or tempeh instead.  And you need not limit the vegetable to just scallion, try it with anything you have on hand from regular onions to leafy greens.  I think thin asparagus would also be great.  Change up the herbs you use, too - use whatever you have on hand, get creative!  Also - if you have any gluten-sensitive friends, this is a great dish to make for them, just replace the regular flour called for in the recipe with more chick pea flour.  (I actually think I might like the flavor of the tortillita made only with garbanzo flour better, though it is a bit less chewy.)  It is great for vegans, too~

I also thought this could use a tiny bit of an herbed mayonnaise sauce, because when I was in Spain I lived in an area where folks enjoyed their tortillas with mayo and now the two are inextricably linked in my mind.

Scallion and Tofu Tortillita
Inspired by Mark Bittman
Serves 4
Printable Version

1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup scallion, chopped
1/2 cup baked tofu, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular or vegan)
olive oil, as needed

In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt, and pepper.  Stir in about 3/4 a cup of water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a somewhat thin batter.  Use more water as needed; if you are using all garbanzo bean flour, you will need a bit over a cup of water.  Set aside and allow batter to rest as long as you can, up to an hour or two if available.
Meanwhile, chop the garlic, tofu, and herbs.  Stir 1 tablespoon of the parsley into the mayonnaise and set aside.
When ready to prepare tortillitas, lightly coat the bottom of a large non-stick skillet with olive oil.  Heat skillet over medium-high heat until oil shimmers.  Add green garlic, tofu, and remaining parsley into batter and stir to combine.
Pour half the batter into the prepared skillet and use a spoon to spread the tofu around to make sure it is evenly distributed.
Cook until edges are set, about 2-3 minutes.  Use a large spatula to flip the tortillita.  Cook other side for another 2-3 minutes more, until bottom is set.  Serve immediately, topped with a dollop of the sauce.

Verdict?  The best thing to happen to leftovers since the microwave.  Seriously.  It takes very little time to make this.  Although I recommend letting the batter sit for a while, you certainly won't lose much if you just go ahead and cook it right away.  This is a great way to take a few scraps in the refrigerator and make a great light meal, especially when served with a vinaigrette-topped green salad incorporating the herbs you chose for the tortillita...yum.


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