Back in the days that I lived in Johannesburg, running out of essentials like sugar or eggs meant an emergency dash to the supermarket, as asking a neighbor for help was just not done.
It's entirely different here, where my neighbors regularly pop across for random, missing ingredients, knowing full well that I'm virtually guaranteed to have it in.
Having an extra well-stocked pantry also means that, when inspiration strikes, I can head into the kitchen and whip up almost anything.
When I stumbled across an online video tutorial for filled tortilla triangles recently, I was able to go straight from my computer to my frying pan, and I'm so glad I did.
These crisp 'n crunchy tortilla treats are made in mere minutes, but are hugely impressive, and quite amazingly delicious.
In recent days I've filled mine with curried ground beef to produce the ultimate, Indian-style samosas. I've mixed up spinach, feta and grated yellow cheese to make Greek spanakopita. I've used leftover shawarma-style chicken to make a savory Middle Eastern pastry. And grated mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and pesto produces perfect pizza-inspired triangles.
Pick up a pack of tortillas today - even if you have no intention of ever making Mexican meals - and enjoy a new world of inspiration.
1/4 cup flour
- Fry onion till softened, add ground beef and curry paste/curry powder and seasoning, cook till browned and flavorful, and then use cooled filling to make Indian samosa-style pastries.
- Marinate diced chicken in a mix of lemon juice, olive oil and shawarma spice and stir-fry and then use cooled mixture to make Middle Eastern-inspired pastries.
- Combine drained, frozen spinach, crumbled feta, an egg, seasoning and grated yellow cheese and fill triangles to make Greek spanakopita.
- Combine grated mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and basil leaves or pesto and fill to make pizza pockets.
- Any filling will do - including sweet fillings like chunks of Mars Bar or marshmallows and chocolate to make fried s'mores - so you're limited only by your imagination.
1: Warm tortilla in the microwave for 20 seconds - tortillas crack if they are folded when they aren't warm - and then cut in half.
2: Mix 1/4 cup flour with /14 cup water to make a paste and brush around edges of your halved tortilla to act as glue.
3: Fill with a generous spoonful of filling of your choice.
4: Fold over one corner from top to bottom and then the second to make your triangle.
5: Press down edges, repeat with remaining tortillas, and heat oil.
6: Shallow fry on both sides till lightly golden and crispy. See notes for alternative cooking methods.
COOK'S NOTES: Triangles can be brushed on both sides with oil and oven-baked at 180 C till golden. They aren't as crisp 'n delicious when baked, but they are lower in fat, plus you can bake a whole tray at one time. Tortilla triangles are best served straight from the pan, or at room temperature, as they get a little soggy if oven-heated later. Still amazingly good though. Have folding fun.