Saturday, July 21, 2012

Bimbunuelos & Bits (sort-of) ...made from TortillaLand Tortillas

So when I think about the food that goes with summer, all sorts of images pop into my head.  Ripe, juicy tomatoes plucked straight from the plant.  Ears of corn on the cob that have been grilled or charred over an open fire and then slathered in crema, rolled in cotija, sprinkled with chile, and doused with lime.  Brats on a bun that have been smothered in onions cooked alongside them in a foil pouch on the grill.  Good ol' burgers and dogs.  Barbecued ribs that leave a sticky smile on your face and finger-lickin' madness.  Tender grilled cactus paddles alongside knob onions and thin strips of grilled skirt steak that tastes super garlicky.

And then there's a plethora of sandwiches, beans, potato and macaroni salads, zucchini-anything, and piles upon piles of tropical fruit piled in piles of glistening rainbows just daring you to pass them by.  Let's not forget those beautiful cold treats on a stick like popsicles and paletas, ice cream bars, and push-pops.  Or ice cream dripping so fast down the cone that you're racing to eat it before the ants get a sticky treat to play in for the rest of the day.  Milkshakes and slushies and ice cold cocktails with umbrellas peeking out.  Sweaty pitchers of lemonade.  Coolers packed with ice and beer.

Oh yeah.  That's summer.
But there's something else.  Some other variety of food that sends tickles of anticipation up and down my spine when I know Summer is getting near.  A class of food and eating all unto itself.  FAIR FOOD!  Oh yeah.  Fried pickles and cheese curds.  Ginormous corndogs.  A foot-long stick of frozen strawberries dipped in chocolate and rolled in sprinkles.  Smoked turkey legs bigger than your head.  Artery-clogging goodies like deep-fried candy bars and twinkies.  Chunks of tender steak cooked right in front of you with potatoes, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms and then tumbled together into a cardboard boat - begging to be doused in house-made steak sauce.

My mouth is watering so badly right now that I wouldn't be able to speak if I tried.

But maybe the MOST indicative fair food of the summer - for me - is that hot, just fried "ear" of dough that has been rolled in cinnamon and sugar and handed to me in a paper sleeve.  Crisp on the outside and soft and tender on the inside.  Each bite fires pleasure-inducing neurons to my brains and sweet, gritty sugar down the front of my shirt.  If I close my eyes, I can feel the live music from the grandstand...see the colorful bags and handmade bracelets and necklaces tucked under the tents...hear the laughter of the people around me...and bask in the sun kissing my nose and my cheeks and my shoulders.

THAT is summer.
So when I was handed the opportunity to try some more TortillaLand Tortillas (again) and I tried to figure out something indicative of summer to make with them, I hemmed and hawed and couldn't quite decide.  Until, that is I conjured up memories of summers past.  Elephant Ears.  Fried Dough of any sort, really.  My mind was made up.  Just one bite - heck, just one smell - takes me back to the fairs and festivals of summers past.  The hubs says they remind him of the Bimbunuelos of his childhood.  The kids (of course) loved them.  Summer lovin' at its finest.

Try TortillaLand Tortillas for anything, though - it doesn't have to be these.  Next to homemade, these are the BEST flour tortillas you'll find.  I think so, anyway.

Bimbunuelos & Bits

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: fry snack dessert vegetarian American Mexican summer

Ingredients (serves 5)
  • 5 TortillaLand Tortillas (uncooked)
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • coconut oil or vegetable oil, for frying
Instructions
Use a small paring knife or some sort of "cutter" to cut some designs from the uncooked tortillas. Traditionally, these have wedges cut from them, so that they look like wagon wheels. I used an apple corer to cut random circles in them this time. Save the "bits" you cut out, as well.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a pie plate. Set another pie plate next to it for later.

Pour oil in a large pan w/ sides to a depth of ~½". Heat until it begins to smell hot and shimmers.

Using tongs, carefully slide one cut tortilla round into the hot oil. Fry until bubbly and golden, flipping when the bottom is done. This will take a total of about 30 seconds. Lift out of the oil and let as much of the oil drip back into the pan as possible. Set hot bimbunuelo into the pie pan with the sugar mixture.

Turn other pie pan upside down on top of that pan and gently flip over a few times, in order to coat both sides of the bimbunuelo. Carefully lift out of sugar mixture and shake off excess.

Repeat with remaining tortilla rounds. Fry the bits of dough that you cut from the tortilla rounds last; they will only take a few seconds (have a slotted spoon ready to lift them out). Toss those in the sugar, as well. Discard remaining sugar mixture.

Eat immediately. Enjoy immensely.

notes:
Cut any pattern you like into the tortillas.

Feel free to use rolled-out flour tortilla dough if you can't find TortillaLand uncooked Tortillas.

This recipe can be easily increased or decreased - but they are best eaten while still warm or soon thereafter.
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*disclaimer: I received 3 free packs of TortillaLand Tortillas to do with as I pleased.  All thoughts and opinions stated in this post are 100% my own.