Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Corn Tortillas

So, we had some deliciously delicious fajitas the other night, with some damn crazy good marinated tempeh, some veggies sauteed to perfection, that fabulous not-queso sauce featured a while ago, wrapped up in some homemade corn tortillas. Throw a little salsa on top, maybe a pinch (or pile) of cilantro, and you have something incredible.

Let's start at the base eh? Tortillas are easy to make, but a little tricky to make well. Sometimes they crack when you fold them , sometimes they break when you're trying to transfer them to the pan....so here's how to do it right!

The ingredients are simple: Masa Harina, Water, and maybe salt to taste. One cup of Masa makes about nine ~6" tortillas. Multiply the recipe as you like!

Corn Tortillas

1 cup Masa Harina
~2/3 cup water, plus extra just in case
Salt to taste, if desired

In a mixing bowl, add in the masa and a pinch of salt. Add in the water in batches until it comes together in a single mass. Now, take a golfball sized chunk of dough and round it in your hand. This is what I call the smoosh test.

Gently squish it between your palms and look at the slightly flattened disc. Did it crack at the edges? If so, put it back in the bowl, add a little bit more water and massage it together with your hands. Sometimes covering it and letting it sit for a few minutes helps to hydrate the masa. The ideal mix you're looking for is just the right amount of water added that allows you to smoosh the ball into a disc without any cracking, but not much more than that. If you have more, you run the risk of it being too wet & sticky, and you won't be able to remove the tortilla after pressing.

Once you've got the right mix, take off a golfball sized chunk and get ready to press it! Make sure to cover the stuff in the bowl as it dries out easily. You need two pieces of plastic wrap or a plastic bag with the sides cut so you can unfold it, and then either a tortilla press or something like a heavy flat bottomed pan.

Place that ball in between the plastic and place it on the press or on a countertop, and squish it gently. Practice will help you find the right thickness, but this may give you an idea.


When you have it, peel the tortilla off the plastic one side at a time and flip it onto your palm. Then, just a quick flop onto a hot griddle and a turn over when it's done to your liking (some like brown spots, i just turn it when it looks dry) and you have a fresh tortilla.

Stack them on a plate and cover with a towel till they're all done! The warmth & steam will help keep them pliable. Now you can fill them up with delicious stuff like this wicked tempeh!

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