I know I’m not the first, and I probably won’t be the last, to blog about the joys of making your own corn tortillas, but I gotta tell you, if you’ve never tried it, you MUST!
Tortillas are one of those things that I always thought just kind of “existed.” I never even considered the idea that I could make my own. I started with flour tortillas a few weeks ago, and while they’re better than store-bought, they’re not “I’ll never buy them again” good. The corn tortillas, though, are to die for! It takes about an hour start to finish (plus the time to make your filling), but it’s completely worth it! Here’s how you do it:
First, buy some Maseca from the Hispanic foods aisle of your grocery store. It’s priced comparably to flour, so not too much :). In case you don’t know, Maseca is corn flour – NOT to be confused with corn starch. Maseca won’t thicken your gravy, and corn starch won’t make good tortillas.
Here’s what it looks like out of the bag:
Now, I forgot to take a picture of the next step, but it’s just adding water according to the specifications on the bag to make a dough.
Then you form your dough into balls. I actually made 12, not 5, but again, forgot to take a picture in the beginning.
The next several pictures are essentially one step: flatten the balls into tortillas. If you have a tortilla press, I’ve heard (read) that this is a lot easier. If you, like me, don’t, it’s still not worth not trying over. The most important thing to remember is that you have to use plastic wrap on either side of your tortilla. Using additional Maseca, like flour on a pie dough, doesn’t work. Trust me on that! I tried it that way the first time I made these and almost gave up. Plastic wrap, or a cut open plastic bag, is the way to go.
First, place your tortilla ball between two pieces of plastic:
Then flatten it with a cast iron skillet (I found that it’s best to squish it down, then turn the whole thing, plastic wrap and all, over and do it again before moving on):
Finally, without removing the plastic wrap, roll it out with a rolling pin (again, flipping it over inside the wrap a time or two):
Carefully peel the plastic wrap away and place your tortillas on a baking sheet (with layers separated by plastic – are you sensing a theme here?) to await their turn on the griddle:
I then put my plastic wrap into my jar of Maseca so I can use it next time. I hate throwing away plastic, so I’m going to use that baby as many times as I can!
Now you’re ready to cook them! They take 45-60 seconds per side.
You’ll more than likely end up with small pieces that break off; cook them anyway and enjoy them as a cooking snack!
That’s it! Once they’re all done, use them the same way you would their store-bought counterparts.
Have you ever made your own tortillas? How did it go? If you haven’t, are you interested in trying? Let me know in the comments!