11/08/2012

Manioc Tortilla

Despite saying what I did about lettuce being the ultimate paleo bread, I actually fancied something different to cos with my Friday night Chilli.

Manioc?

Manioc is pounded cassava root. Dehydrated, it is sold as a flour and used widely in South America, notably Brazil who eat it as Pão de Queijo (or, Cheese Puffs).

What if they could be made flat?

Inspired by Primal Saoirse on Mark Sissons' forums, I followed her guidelines for Manioc Tortilla.

I like how she said she didn't weigh or measure, just went for it! My kind of cooking. Her guidelines were good but I deviated, as I always do ...

I began with half a cup (a real cup) of sour starch (or, polvilho azedo), then some pecorino cheese - some, unmeasured, but grated and tamped down it might have made a quarter of the cup I used for the flour, and two eggs.

Whisked together with a fork ... coz Grok didn't have a food mixer, right? Or because I don't have a food mixer!

No milk in the house, but I do have butter! So, about a centimetre slice off the end of a stick, softened and poured in, the mix was now pourable, but certainly not a batter. Loosened with a little water, it became a good batter.

Flavours? Chilli flakes and marjoram. Why? I like marjoram and I fancied pepping up the tortilla.

Pour a ladle into a skillet and flip as the sides start to come away from the pan, colouring both sides and then flip out onto a board.

Presenting ... Primal Saoirse's Manioc Tortilla

5 comments :

  1. Paul, those look great!

    And they look like they can hold together while being wrapped - something that many non-wheat crepes/pancakes/tortillas have trouble with.

    I had read somewhere about doing the same with sweet potato(yam) flour

    Hard to get away from these flour based finger foods. While they are a legacy of wheat based eating, I do like the feeling of holding food with fingers rather than knife and fork - it adds to the experience (and, of course, is how Grok would have done it).

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    1. Hehe! Thanks, Paul - they came together really well. Manioc has a slight stretch which, if you make the Brazilian Cheese Puffs, you'll see; Fufu, African yam balls also have a stretchy feel. TBH, either would do: yam or cassava flour.

      Ah! You call a sweet potato a yam? I call a yam a yam :) If you can get it as flour, try it out. I'd love to know how a sweet potato flour holds up. I'm on the hunt now for such a flour.

      I actually wonder whether it is the other way around? Roots feature strongly in ancient societies, collected and pounded down. Essentially, the flour before it is dehydrated. Look at all manner of African cuisine that employs this, and the translation once it had crossed the Atlantic in South American, Caribbean and even southern States cooking - that African influence of a stodgy starch carries on.

      Back to these 'ere tortillas ...

      I've said it before: bread is a means of communing food to the mouth, be it a fufu ball, be it flat bread, be it a wrap, whatever. We can use lettuce leaves and this works out best - nice crunch, good flavour and does nothing to interfere with the actual food. When we use something like this tortilla, we need to appreciate that it is also food; it is also part of the meal. In this case, simply, starch.

      So impressed, I'm making some wraps for lunch this week - Chicken and Avocado, and egg, naturally, in a manioc flour wrap. Gruyere cheese, I think. Look out for it later in the week.

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  2. I have a bag of manioc flour in the cupboard for making cheese puffs! I'll be making these tonight.

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    1. Likewise, I bought some (as sour starch) for cheese puffs - they're fantastic, aren't they? These tortilla can be made much thicker if you like - I like really thick ones as the layers in a primal-friendly lasagne.

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  3. Hi all, I get a hyperglycemic "rush" every time I eat even 1 half of a yam so I was wondering if any one knew how much sugar(aka starch) the manioc has or if it has blood sugar effects. I really really want to try these and so far love all that I see here :D Maybe the starch on the manioc is absorbed/assimilated a little slower than the yam?

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