Happy Cinco de Mayo! In honor of the Mexican semi-holiday, here's my newest trial into Mexican cooking: homemade corn tortillas!
I bought a bag of masa a few months ago for Pioneer Woman's Simple Meaty Chili, and used 1/2 cup in the recipe. So the rest of the bag sat in my pantry, taunting me.
After reading the bag, the only other uses I could see other than thickening more chili, was to make it to it's original purpose: corn tortillas.
Why would I make my own tortillas?
1. Health - my tortillas have minimal ingredients: corn flour & water. No partially hydrogenated fats, no preservatives to make them shelf stable.
2. Cheap - for the cost of one package of prepared tortillas, you can buy one bag of corn flour and make 66 tortillas.
In full disclosure, I do not own a tortilla press. But I do own some heavy cast iron pans, so I thought in a pinch I could smash the crap out of them myself.
While I followed the recipe from the Maseca corn flour bag, I got the most technique tips from Texas Cooking
Makes 8 tortillas
1 cup masa
2/3 cup warm water
(or follow proportions on your bag of corn flour)
2. Pinch off a golf-ball sized piece of masa and roll it into a ball
3. Set the masa on a piece of plastic in the tortilla press; cover with another piece of plastic (I used a thick storage bag cut in half because it worked better than regular plastic wrap - and yes, my storage bag says "Broccoli & Cauliflower $1.00 - Thanks Produce Club!)
6. Cook for about 30 seconds on one side; gently turn
7. Cook for about 60 seconds (it should puff slightly); turn back to the first side
8. Cook for another 30 seconds on the first side
9. Remove and keep the tortilla warm
The first time I made tortillas, I used them immediately to wrap up into chicken enchiladas (with homemade enchilda sauce).
The 2nd time, I made the tortillas a day in advance, stashed them in the frig and fried them up for tostadas the next night.
I topped the tostadas with homemade Refried Beans, cheese, lettuce and Corn & Black Bean Salsa.
Oh. my. gosh. Now I know which of my favorite Mexican restaurants make their own tortillas, because the texture and taste is so far superior to store-bought.
I enjoyed the homemade tortillas more in the enchiladas, and while they were good fried for tostadas, the work of making the tortillas one day, then frying them the next was a little too much for me. The next time I need a good cooking project, I'll make a double batch and see how they freeze, because the taste was totally worth it.
Easy Cooking | Simple Cooking