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A pan-fried, egg-free, omelet stuffed tortilla pie frittata. With onions

April 9th, 2008 · by Cyndi · 2 Comments

A couple of months ago, I found myself at the Berkeley Farmer’s Market, by the Primavera Tortilla stand. Primavera is a Sonoma County-based company that makes their own masa (tortilla/tamale dough) from organic stoneground corn. The handmade tortillas looked good but were pricey (and the fancy flavored ones had dairy) so I bought a bag of masa instead.

17070 Sonoma Hwy. (Hwy. 12)
Agua Caliente, CA
(707) 939-9350

Some good articles:
Tortillas a mano
Rancho tamales are a family affair
Primavera in the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
Tortilla Spat: How Mexico’s iconic flatbread went industrial and lost its flavor

The seller told me it would keep in the fridge for a few days but I could freeze it too. I didn’t get to it right away, so I stuck it in the freezer. Between then and now, I had my tortilla-making adventures using masa harina (flour you mix with water). I defrosted the Primavera masa about a week ago.

Various articles I’ve seen talk about how it freezes well (both the dough in general and Primavera’s in particular), but mine didn’t fare as well. When I tried to form it, it was both soggy and dry. Tortillas made with it came out tasting good, with decent texture, but they are very thick (not a bad thing!) and fall apart.

I had better luck adding a bit of water and kneading the dough for a minute or two, as if it were being made from flour. Then letting it sit for a couple minutes. It still sticks to the tortilla press (despite using plastic covers) and falls apart, but not as badly.

So, tonight, I came up with a different plan. I added water to the rest of the masa, kneaded it, and set it aside. Then I divided it in two for top and bottom. The idea? a giant pupusa.

First, I sauteed some sliced onions (on a mandolin) in olive oil. My original idea for the filling was to saute onions and also fry up some tofu bits with curry. But I forgot and was too tired, so it was just onions.

Sauteed onions

Next, I put oil, then some cornmeal, in a hot cast iron pan, and plopped in half the dough, flattening it the best I could with the spatula.

Masa in a pan

Topped it all with a healthy dollop of onions.

The bottom half of masa covered with onions

Then added the rest of the dough on top, spreading it out first with the spatula, then with my fingers.

The top of masa over the pie

As I took pictures, I kept thinking that I should post it all anyway, as an example of failed meals. I get ideas in my head and, trust me, sometimes they come out pretty awful. I was sure this was another of those times.

Then I realized I needed to turn the pie over. I cut it in quarters (chop hard to get through the onions) and flipped them one at a time, adding more olive oil underneath. I stood back and looked and knew I had made something good.

Stuffed tortillas finished in the pan

Yep, these taste as good as they look. You can use any filling you want. The plain onions were a bit bland, though savory. Cheese would be amazing, if you eat it. You could make this a main dish by adding meat or tofu or another protein.

Serve it for breakfast…for the first time in 2 years, I felt like I could have omelets again. This is the closest I have come without actually eating eggs. It would be fabulous brunch food too. But I enjoyed it for dinner, with a big salad.


Categories: Breads & Savory Cakes · Food · Food Product Reviews · Main Dishes · Recipes
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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Samantha // Apr 10, 2008 at 12:45 am

    Wow! I am drooling!

  • 2 Amaizing Masa, Primavera Style | Norwitz Notions // Aug 3, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    […] says no no don’t freeze it. I chronicled my adventures using the defrosted masa when I made tortilla pie. The short version is: they still tasted great and worked in larger applications, but I […]

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