True Tortillas, Delicious Breakfasts

poached-egg-tortillaTrue tortillas are hard to find.  When I say “true,” I mean those thick, coarsely corny flatbreads that are made with just water, salt, and corn that’s been soaked in limewater.  Limewater is an alkaline solution that transforms the niacin (vitamin B3) in the corn from one that’s normally bound to one we can absorb.  Treating the corn with limewater is a nifty and necessary nutritional trick that native Mesoamericans knew well.  When Old World peoples arrived in the New World, they decided to skip the time-consuming process of soaking the corn in the limewater and just ground up the kernels instead…leading to massive nutritional deficiencies and diseases like pellagra, which is deadly if the sufferer doesn’t start getting enough B3.  (Pellagra was rampant in the U.S. before flour manufacturers began to add the B vitamins that they were stripping from flour back into flour.  That’s why you see the words “niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin” after the word “enriched flour.”  Those are all B vitamins that are processed out of the flour and then put back in.  The problem is that not all of the B vitamins are put back in, so stripped-out flour is still stripped-out flour.  Stick to whole-grain flours!  Just remember: “enriched” means “robbed.”)

But I digress…

A few weeks ago, I found Food for Life’s sprouted tortillas, which are hearty and chewy and flavorful and everything a tortilla should be.  When you first steam them – or place them between moist and hot ingredients – they become pliable enough to wrap around a filling.  If you rip them up into chunks and fry them, you’ll get amazing homemade chips.  If you brush them with extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter, sprinkle them with cinnamon and sucanat/date sugar/palm sugar and then bake them at 350F for 10 minutes, you’ll get a sweetly crispy dessert.

I decided to top the tortillas with poached eggs. To poach the eggs, fill a medium-sized pot halfway with water and bring it to a boil.  Crack an egg (or two) into the water and reduce heat to medium-low.  Let simmer for 3 minutes, occasionally skimming off foam with a spoon.  If the egg sticks to the side of the pan, gently disengage it.  Use a slotted spoon or spatula to lift the egg out of the simmering water.  Immediately place egg on tortilla.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. The heat coming from the egg will make the tortilla soft enough to fold if you’d like.


Courtesy of The Cultured Cook.

© 2011 Copyright   Allison Stuart Kaplan LLC

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