Andrew Zimmern Wants You to Make Bacon Fat Tortillas
Mad Genius Tips guest co-host Andrew Zimmern makes grease taste great.
If you've been saving up bacon fat for a special occasion, this Mad Genius Tip with Andrew Zimmern could be your big moment. The Bizarre Foods host joins Food & Wine culinary director Justin Chapple to teach viewers a new use for that liquid (or solid, depending on the state of things) gold you might not have considered before: Bacon fat tortillas.
First, take a big bowl of baking powder and add some salt. Then, take about half a cup of bacon fat (which you can eyeball by holding up a glob next to your measuring cup to avoid having to clean it later) and add it the flour. Zimmern notes that you can also use chicken fat or lard, too.
Start by incorporating it into the flour that surrounds the glob, then slowly start to work it into the rest of the flour. Add some chopped scallions, and then a bit of water. But, the chef cautions, make sure not to add water too soon. After about two or three minutes, you'll see that you're not too far off from your target dough.
Once everything has blended together into a smooth consistency, roll out what Zimmern calls your "football," which is a big cylinder of dough. Chop it into smaller and smaller halves until you're left with small pieces, which will go on a tray under plastic wrap to rise.
While you're waiting, consider a rare bonus Mad Genius Tip from Zimmern: Don't wash your hands in hot water, because it will activate the glutens in the flour and make it stickier. Instead, use cold water, and the dough will come right off.
After about 20 minutes, Zimmern says, "all that baking techno stuff that all the baking nerds talk about" happens, and it's time to roll the tortillas out on a well-floured work surface. Just don't make them too thin! Put a bit of oil in a cast iron skillet—or use more bacon fat because why not?—and give the pan a quick wipe around. Then put a tortilla in and watch. Once it's bubbling, flip it over, and enjoy your tortillas.
Zimmern likes to eat them with crispy fried chicken skin to make fried chicken skin tacos. But when it comes to bacon fat, anything is possible, so follow your heart.