March 22, 2009

Tortillas, Paraguayan style

Food is such a great way to learn more about the culture you're in, anytime you travel. We've shared a few North American goodies with our Paraguayan friends, including brownies and grits. The grits were a little "different," they said, but the brownies are an instant hit (was there any doubt?)

Ken is privileged that asado (steak on the grill) is a Paraguayan custom much observed, and the beef has a great flavor. Bread is also a staple (I've already mentioned that they don't call it bread, though. Each type has a unique name and bread is only the sliced stuff you buy in sandwich loaves.) We've learned a few recipes, but one of my faves is tortilla. No, it's not chips or even a relative to the taco, but it's a fried up bunch of goodness...

2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 cups liquid (preferably milk, but water will do in a pinch, or a mix of water and milk if you don't have 2 cups)
a handful of whatever you'd like to add (I like rice and black beans, with bell peppers. Ken likes tomatoes. Fresh veggies all chopped up are a good addition, too. Every Paraguayan uses onion.)

Mix all that up and drop by big spoonfuls into a frying pan with about an inch of hot oil. I generally fit three at a time in a regular sized pan. Cook until they're brown, turning them in the pan once. Camille eats hers with ketchup. We like to just salt them.

The benefit of this simple meal is that most people have these ingredients on hand. The downside is that for those of us who aren't accustomed to fried foods at all, it produces quite a belly ache within about half an hour. It's good going down, though. Try it and let me know what you think. (PS--I tried avoiding frying, but there doesn't seem to be a way to produce the same thing any other way. Alas.)


  1. Milciades has promised to make these for us, but I think I may end up just trying it on my own one of these days! :) I love the new blog look, by the way- and also concerning the posts about Project: Puente, I love it. I am so glad that Caroline and Camille will be heading it up. They are two amazingly special girls.

  2. My daughter loves tortillas and makes them for herself in Canada, when she´s missing home... :)

  3. Thanks for the easy recipe! When you're in Asuncion, buy some Pam (I've seen it in many grocery stores) and try "frying" it with a thick coat of Pam--if you have a non-stick pan. Who knows? It might work! I'll try it here and let you know what happens. Tell your girls everyone who hears about them will be very proud of them!

  4. I do love these, especially with green onion and queso paraguay. But I never make them, I buy them when I am out places and have my favorites :)

  5. GREAT new blog design! I like tortillas with spinach inside, but we only eat them at friends' homes bc of the fried-factor!

  6. I was born in paraguay but lived in the caribbean island of St.Maarten most of my life. Now that Im living in Florida apart from my parents I have to make my own tortillas. Thanks I really appreciate the gesture.

    Esteban Mellid.

    P.S. Follow me on

  7. Thanks! I was hosted in Ybycui, Paraguay 16 years ago, and I MISS those tortillas, now I came across this recipe and it's just like en casa. I used mozarella as a substitute for queso paraguayo and it rocked. Hope you enjoy your time there.

  8. Great recipe! I was on a mission in Paraguay three years ago, and I've been trying to remember the recipes ever since. We actually made the tortillas just last night as part of an "asado paraguayo" along with ensalada rusa, chorizo, beef, mango, jugo de guayaba and more. I love Paraguayan food!!


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