Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Basics: Corn Tortillas

Home made corn tortillas may not be a staple in your kitchen, but they should be! Easy and inexpensive, the only real investment is a tortilla press and you can get one just like mine for about $15. (I got mine at a yard sale.) I grew up and learned to cook in the Southwest, I love Mexican food, so this is a natural in my kitchen.

So what do you need? A bag of instant masa mix, salt, hot water. You'll need a press, a baggie to keep them from sticking to the press and a hot, dry skillet to cook them on. Here we go, step by step.

I use Maseca brand, it's readily available in my local stores. Sometimes it's in the baking aisle and sometimes in the ethnic food aisle. You need two cups for this recipe.
 Pour it into your favorite dough making bowl and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over it. Mix it in with your fingers. Now pour 1 to 1/4 cups boiling water over the flour. Start with one cup, you can always add more hot water if you need to. Let this sit for a few minutes while you prepare your baggie. Take the baggie (I used a regular sandwich bag) and cut along both side seams so that you have one long piece that you can fold back up.
Now stir the four water mix with a fork until most of it has been moistened. You can do this with your hands if you want. Your going to think that you're doing it wrong, that this is just one big crumbly mess. So set the fork aside and knead it with both hands until it comes together and forms a big ball.
 Let this big ball rest while you get you skillet out. An eight inch skillet will work and you want the heat pretty high. These things are only going to cook 1-2 minutes per side. Now divide the big ball into 12-16 equally sized little balls.
Now open the tortilla press and place the opened baggie on the press.
Place a ball of dough in the center, I like to flatten my balls slightly.
Fold the other half of the baggie over the ball.
Close the lid.
Flip the handle down and press. Open up the press, rotate the bag ninety degrees and close it back up and press it again.
 Do this 3 or 4 times until your tortilla is about 5 inches around an 1/8 inch thick.
Carefully open the baggie, flip the whole thing over in your hand and peel the baggie off the other side.
Place it in the hot, dry skillet and let it cook for 1-2 minutes. While this one is cooking, press the next one.
Flip it over and cook the other side. Adjust your cooking time and/or burner setting to achieve the color you desire. I like mine to look like this.
Stack them up and chow them down! I'm going to wrap these up in foil because I'm not going to use them until later in the day. Easy to warm up in the oven, or with a moist paper towel steamed in the micro wave. You can fry them or spray them with cooking oil and bake them until crisp (350 degrees for about 15 minutes). Enjoy!

PS- This batch is scheduled to be turned into tostadas!



No comments:

Post a Comment