Sunday, August 14, 2011

Homemade Corn Tortillas

A few months ago I went to Chicago to visit a good friend of mine.  She loves to cook as much as I do and we spent several days in her kitchen cooking, enjoying a cocktail or 3 and listening to our "cooking music."  All in all, a wonderful few days.  When it was my turn to cook, we had what we affectionately referred to as.... Mexican Monday.  We spent all day in the kitchen cooking various Mexican dishes that she wanted to learn to make.  We made Red Chile Sauce and Salsa Verde, Albondigas, Guisado de Chile Verde (green chile stew), Chile Colorado, Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas and Tortillas.  With all the yummy food we made, you want to know what the big hit was????  The homemade tortillas.  TGIM wasn't surprised at all when I told him.  He thinks there are few things better than homemade tortillas.  While in Chicago we made flour ones (we'll get to those soon) I'm going to show you how to make corn tortillas. 

 Here's what you need.  Masa Harina, salt and water.  What is Masa Harina you ask?  Literally translated it means "dough flour."  The corn is soaked in lime before it's dried and ground into a flour.  This is what you use to make corn torillas, tamales, and other dishes.  Generally you can find it in the grocery store.

You need 2 cups of masa harina

 and a pinch of salt
 Then slowly add 1.5 cups of water to the bowl.   The child in the background playing with the tortilla press is optional.

 Mix it until it's firm yet springy.  If its too wet, add a little more masa, if too dry more water.  I know it's hard to tell what too wet/dry is.  You're going to have to test it
It should look like this.  Let it rest for 30 minutes or an hour if you have to referee screaming children.

 Line your tortilla press with wax paper.  You don't actually NEED a press, a rolling pin will work fine.  I just couldn't resist a pink tortilla press.  It was less that $20 from the Mexican Grocery store.
 Grab a golf ball size piece of dough.  Roll it into a ball.  Forget to take a picture of that.
 Place it on your tortilla press.  You REALLY need the wax paper or it will stick.

 Give up and let children push the press.  It's just easier to let them do it.  For the purposes of this blog, this is Robin, as in Robin Hood.  He and his little brother are obsessed with Robin Hood and run around most of the day stealing from the tax collectors.  At least they have imaginations, right????
 Here's Little John, shoving his face in front of the camera.

When you open the press, you'll have this little beauty!  Carefully peel the wax paper from the top and then lay it across your hand.

and peel the other piece of wax paper off.  Replace the wax paper on the press.

 I use a comal which is pretty much a cast iron skillet without sides.  If you don't have one, you can use a skillet.  Although if you're going to make tortillas a lot, or quesadillas, grilled cheese etc.  I suggest you invest in one.  This one is mine via marriage, TGIM brought it to the relationship, but I've taken it over.   Cook them on a hot UNOILED comal/skillet for about a minute on each side and either eat immediately, or wrap them up and reheat when you're ready. 

 This made 19 tortillas.
We had chicken tacos a la King Taco.  Just some chicken, onions, cilantro and salsa verde.  I did add a dollop of sour cream.  After all, even though I have a Hispanic last name, I'm not actually Mexican.  LOL!  TGIM said these tacos were almost as good as King Taco.  If you've ever been to Los Angeles and had one, you know what he's saying.  If you haven't, I suggest you get one ASAP! 

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