French-Toasted Tortilla

When Joseph French, an innkeeper in Albany, New York, invented French toast in 1724, he became an early practitioner of the American affinity to dip food in batter and fry it in fat. The oil has gotten deeper since then, the food more exotic, leading inevitably to the Texas State Fair.

I wish I could claim to be one of those brilliant innovators, but the truth is that I forgot to check the freezer for slices of bread before making batter for French toast. A fresh package of HEB flour tortillas were laying nearby, so I jumped on it, with low expectations.

It worked. The French-toasted tortilla tastes a lot like the bread version, but it has a pleasant chew instead of a soft, custardy center. It also has the handling characteristics of a French crêpe, so it can be covered with syrup and a topping, or rolled up with a filling, either sweet or savory.

French-toasted Tortillas

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 or 3 drops vanilla extract or rum (optional)
  • 2 store-made flour tortillas, 8" size

--Beat egg and milk in a pie plate or wide bowl. Soak the first tortilla in the mix, flip it over and soak the other side. Heat skillet to medium-high, melt a little butter until it foams. Lift tortilla out of plate or bowl, plop it in the skillet, pour a little bit of egg mixture on top as it fries. After 1 or 2 minutes the bottom will be mottled brown, so flip it and cook for a minute on the other side. Repeat with the second tortilla. Top 'em or roll 'em.

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