I love fresh tortillas. Living in Southern California and Texas, finding fresh tortillas was easy. You could go down to the local taqueria (taco shop) and pick up freshly made flour and corn tortillas. Now it's easier to find commercially made, store bought tortillas than fresh ones. The problem is they aren't the same. Let's be honest, after you've had fresh, it's REALLY hard to go back to anything else. Freshly made tortillas are worlds apart than commercially made and store bought tortillas. It's like the difference between a loaf of week old store bought bread and a loaf of freshly baked bread. There is no comparison. Fresh homemade corn tortillas are always BETTER!
Tortillas are a staple in Tex-Mex and Hispanic cuisine. Corn tortillas are used to wrap tacos and enchiladas, served with appetizers like salsa and guacamole, and cut up to make tortilla chips. They can be used for so many things. Luckily, they are very easy to make. Using only 2 real food ingredients, it's a great way to eat healthier too. (I have a great recipe for flour tortillas too. You can find it here. )
Masa, corn flour, is the main ingredient in corn tortillas. Masa is a special type of corn flour that has been treated with calcium hydroxide or “lime” which makes it more nutritious and easier to digest. You can find it in a Hispanic grocery store or in the ethnic foods section of a larger grocery store.
The trick to great tortillas is using a cast iron skillet or griddle. I have this Lodge Round Griddle*. The reason you want to use cast iron is it ensures an even distribution of heat. That means your tortilla cooks evenly and quickly without burning. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, you can use any other skillet. Just watch the heat and adjust the temperature to ensure that you can cooking the tortilla without burning it or causing it to get crispy.
I've included a step by step guide to show you how to make tortillas. I am using an Imusa tortilla press* in the instructions. It saves me time and helps me crank out the tortillas uniformly. If you don't have one, you can roll out your tortillas with a rolling-pin. To prevent them from sticking, be sure to place the dough between two sheets of wax or parchment paper. The plastic warp shown in the directions can be difficult to work with when using a rolling-pin.
- 2 cups Masa (ground corn flour)
- 1 1/3 cup water
- Combine corn flour and water in a mixing bowl until well combined. (I like using my hands to mix the dough.) If mixture is too dry, add an additional teaspoon of water until the dough sticks together when pressed.
- Separate dough into 14 balls of dough.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Line a tortilla press with plastic wrap. Place one dough ball on the press, cover with plastic wrap, and press down firmly.
- Remove the tortilla from the press. When skillet is hot, place tortilla on it and cook for 35-40 seconds, or until lightly toasted.
- Flip tortilla over and cook for an additional 30-40 seconds.
- Remove corn tortilla from skillet and place in a tortilla warmer or wrap in a dish towel to keep warm.
- Repeat with remaining tortillas. (It is best to press the next tortilla as the another is cooking. Otherwise the uncooked tortillas can start to dry out.)
- Serve warm. Refrigerate remaining tortillas and reheat as needed.
What dish would you use these fresh corn tortillas with?
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