Tortillitas with Shrimp

April 2, 2009 · 5 comments

I often learn about the latest installment of Mark Bittman’s “The Minimalist” column in The New York Times when the videocast shows up on my TiVo queue. I watched this video last night and decided to make it for dinner tonight. The recipe is very simple, but I had to go out to buy chickpea flour and half a pound of shrimp.

There’s not much prep work involved, just measuring out the dry ingredients, chopping scallions, and peeling and chopping the shrimp. (The shrimp shells went into the freezer. They sit in the skeletons/exoskeletons section, where animal bits go to become stock at a later date. Do I organize my food taxonomically? You figure it out.)

Mise en place

A half cup of chickpea flour, a half cup of all-purpose flour, a half teaspoon of baking powder, a third cup of scallions, the chopped shrimp, and a cup of water. Six ingredients, not counting olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I mixed all the dry components, adding salt and pepper:

Stir dry

I added all of the water and whisked it in, making a thin pancake batter. I stirred in the shrimp and scallions, then let the batter rest for a few minutes while I set a nonstick pan filmed with olive oil over medium heat. I had to add a bit more water to thin out the rested batter.

Batter up!

Half of the batter went into the pan:

Side one

After three minutes, when the edges had set and I could see bubbles in the batter, I flipped the pancake over using just the pan. We don’t need no stinking spatulas!

Side two

One more flip to re-crisp the top, and I was done (with the first, I immediately made the second):

Final plate

Looks just like Bittman’s, doesn’t it?

The tortillita was crispy on the edges, a bit chewy in the center. The sweetness of the shrimp was offset by the savory batter. I forgot to add the chives, which would have improved the pancake, but not by much.

Miles loved it” “It’s like a scallion pancake, but better — because there’s shrimp!”

I’ll be making more of these with different seafood added. It takes less than half an hour from start to finish. Served with a salad it’s a perfect light meal.

5 comments

Jamy April 3, 2009 at 2:29 am

Well done! I saw the tweet and laughed because I had watched Mark’s recipe video yesterday. I like the idea of all the flexible options he mentioned. I need to get chickpea flour!

BTW, I always have shrimp on hand thanks to Costco — their frozen tails-on 25/31s are quite good.

David April 3, 2009 at 8:48 am

I’m trying scallops or crabmeat next. And I won’t forget to add the chives.

daphne April 3, 2009 at 8:20 am

These are beautiful. I am hungry. The succession of the photos really work because you have made it look almost easy.

David April 3, 2009 at 8:55 am

The most difficult part of the recipe is the trip to Whole Foods to buy the chickpea flour. After that, it’s ridiculously easy to make. Steve could make it – in fact, he should own this dish. Make him the household pancake czar: sweet for breakfast, savory for dinner (the pancakes, not Steve himself).

Phyllis Bregman April 8, 2009 at 4:45 pm

You can also buy chickpea flour at Trader Joe’s, if that is more convenient. I follow Mark on Twitter. He’s sometimes amusing. I’ve put these on my to-do list to cook in the future.

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