Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bicycle BBQ - How to not fry tortillas

My friends and I started a tradition called the bicycle BBQ; that is, we find some wood, strap it to a bike, ride to the beach, and cook delicious food.  We push the limits of what is acceptable to cook in a fire pit.  Some examples of things we've cooked are steamed root vegetables, bean soup, and enfrijoladas.  The last of which has video evidence:
I think seeing how the oil caught fire in the pan may have given me confidence that I could use that energy to melt metal.

Anyhow, the other day I went on a bicycle BBQ by myself which gave me the opportunity to completely document the process.
The items on the menu this time were black beans and home made tortillas.
BBQ equipment
Here are the provisions: 2 jars of soaked black beans with onion, garlic and salt, cilantro, corn flour, tortilla holder, cast iron skillet, cooking pot with home made lid, tortilla press, new and improved pot stand, spoons, fork etc. lots of wood cardboard and paper.
Loading up the bike
Packed up and ready
All of this was able fit on the bike.  Having that much weight in the front made it handle very well due to gravity, king pin inclination, castor and some other jargon.  The only worry was that the zip ties holding the basket onto the front rack would break, really should get hose clamps.  Note, the pot doubles as a nosecone, so in case I get in a head on collision, I should be safe.  Also note, the front of the nose is black due to excessive speeds traveling through the earth's atmosphere, not carbon from a fire.
Preparing to cook
The kitchen
After stopping by school to get my welding gloves, it was to the beach.
First I made some tortillas because I was really hungry.  This was not easy because the wind kept blowing around the piece of plastic bag that is used with the tortilla press, but I was able to deal with it.
Mixing the dough
Mixing the dough while the fire was building up
First tortilla
After round 1 of tortillas, I threw the beans on.  I tried to maintain a soft boil as best I could, but doing that with a wood fire is more difficult than turning a knob on the stove.
Cooking the beans

Onion mixed with beans
Onioney delicious
The beans got finished cooking after an hour or more.  I drained some of the water and added the cilantro.
For the second round of tortillas, I was too lazy to get new water, so I mixed in bean water with the corn flour.  This gave the tortillas a stone gray color which seemed pretty cool until they started to get the brown crispy marks which looked out of place, like someone pooped on it.
Tortilla finished
Regardless of looks, they tasted really good.  The leftover onion flavor added a nice taste to the tortillas.  Along with the beans, it made a satisfying lunch.  Would I do it again? probably not, but it is the experience that matters.
 Serving up the meal

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