In El Salvador, where my husband is from, the tortilla is a staple food. My husband and his family introduced me to the El Salvadorian tortilla, and now I love making them myself! My preferred way to eat them is refried in butter so they become nice and crunchy, and although not the authentic way of eating them, they are wonderful with a dip, which is what I’ll be sharing with you today.
Now there’s a special technique used to make the tortilla but instead of describing it to you, I think it’s best if I link to a video below that shows you an expert demonstrating the technique!
SALSA CASHEW DIP
1/2 cup cashews
2 tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp water
1 tbsp chopped jalapeño (or to taste)
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast – optional*
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp salt
- Add water and tomatoes into a blender and blend until combined.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend until mostly smooth. This may take quite a few minutes, depending on your blender.
- Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Add a little more cumin if you like or more salt, it’s all up to your personal preference. You can heat this up for a few minutes until warm or serve cold.
*Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast product and is not the same as brewers yeast. I know the name is not very appealing but it adds a great flavour and health benefits. Give it a try!
1 1/4 cup masa (I purchase mine at a local food wholesaler)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup water
1 ½ tbsp butter (I use the brand Nuttelex, a non-dairy butter)
- Combine masa and salt into a bowl, pour in water and stir until absorbed and a dough is formed. It will be quite soft. Using your hands, knead the dough for a minute.
- Divide the dough into six balls. Now you can simply flatten the ball into a tortilla shape, just over 1/2cm thickness or use a tortilla press if you have one. You can also check out the link for my favourite way to make them, the traditional El Salvadorian way!
- Once the tortillas are shaped, heat a frying pan to medium high heat, no oil needed. When the pan is ready, cook for three to five minutes. Check the tortillas and if nicely browned turn them over and cook for a further three minutes. Leave for another minute if it’s not at the desired colour.
- Once you’ve cooked all the tortillas, cut them into quarters. Place pan on low heat and melt 2 tbsp of butter. Cook the tortilla triangles along with a good pinch of salt for a further minute or two on each side until crunchy.
- Serve with dip and enjoy!
El Salvador isn’t the only country to enjoy tortillas. I had the opportunity to live in Mexico for about a year, and let’s just say that I had my fair share of tortillas! So to continue with our Latin inspired theme, Amy and I paired her tasty recipes with a Mexican film, El Mariachi.
El Mariachi is Robert Rodriguez’s first feature length film. Perhaps the only thing that he doesn’t do for this film, is act in it, and that’s because he had no one to hold the camera for him! The micro budget nature for this film meant that the most expensive cost was the film negative, and as such only 1 take was permitted for most scenes, just so that Rodriguez could stay within budget. The film was very successful and basically launched Rodriguez’s career forward. In addition, had it not been for the film negative, apparently Rodriguez only spent about $600.
The drive in this rebel film maker is amazing, and a source of inspiration for all of us. In order to collect a large portion of his budget, he participated as a ‘lab rat’ for a new cholesterol lowering drug, as a result he was locked up in a laboratory for 30 days. It was during this time that he penned most of the script for El Mariachi! One of his fellow ‘rats’ was Peter Marquardt, who went on to play onscreen villain, Moco. Peter Marquardt didn’t speak any Spanish, so most of his scenes are filmed up close, because he read from cards, where he had written down his lines, which he held in his hands.
It is worth mentioning that this film is best enjoyed with subtitles, as opposed to the dubbed version. I believe the truer essence of the film is captured in it’s originally intended language. And if you speak Spanish, then you will find this film truly hilarious! This is interesting because it’s not technically a comedy, but there is a comedic tone to it, from the quirky sound effects, to the clever use of time lapse, slow motion and even some of the characters names. For example, Moco literally means booger!
What makes this story watchable is the editing. Rodriguez is able to create a beautiful sense of intimacy between El Mariachi (Carlos Gallardo) and his love interest, Domino (Consuelo Gomez). In addition to the editing, the music and score help solidify these characters and make their story meaningful to us. I personally really enjoyed the foreboding sound of the drums as scenes are built up. Plus El Mariachi entertains us with a beautiful love song.
El Mariachi is also the first instalment of Robert Rodriguez’s Mexico Trilogy.
Combine tasty Tortillas with the amazing Cashew Salsa Dip, El Mariachi and you’re set for a truly enjoyable Latin experience!
We hope you have enjoyed our second offering of The Munch in FilmMunch. Please give us your feedback and share this post with your friends and family. Amy and I will return to bring you another FilmMunch combo!
For more of Amy’s yummy and healthy recipes please check out her Instagram.
TRIVIA COOKIE: The main protagonist, El Mariachi, played by Carlos Gallardo, was actually born in the very same city that this film is shot, Acuña, Coahuila, Mexico. El Mariachi was his first lead role.