Tuesday, June 25, 2013

homemade corn tortillas

Homemade is always better.

"Always" is a strong word.  It's definitive and leaves no room for flexibility.  And there's something about saying that phrase that can make those who choose not to do homemade feel less than or not as good as the next cook.  

Therefore I'm not sure I can really make that statement in 100% good conscience.

Except if I'm talking about today's feature.

Maybe these are an ol' standby for you.  A regular addition to your weekly menu line-up.  Not that big of a deal.  But, wow.  I had absolutely no idea what I was missing.

Homemade corn tortillas.

Three easy, cheap ingredients, one incredible staple for your favorite Mexican dish.  And if you haven't given this a try before, go ahead and set aside some time to practice.  The bag of corn masa is very inexpensive, and you'll be glad you spent a little while getting the right ratio/"feel" of ingredients.  Too wet, and they don't press without sticking.  Too dry, and they crack too easily.  Once you get the correct amounts, it's a breeze.  

I've been doing them by hand lately, but with as much as we've enjoyed having them at the ready, a tortilla press is on my short list of future buys.  I'll definitely share about my find when the time comes!

I'll post a wonderful casserole using the tortillas in my next "Cooking Light, Cooking Right" spot.  John was sold on the first bite, as was I.  I know you'll love it too!

Homemade Corn Tortillas 
makes approx. 12 6-inch rounds
  • 2 cups Instant Corn Masa Flour
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
~ Mix water with flour and salt for about 2 minutes.  If dough seems dry, add water, about
    1 tablespoon at a time.  
~ Remove dough from mixing bowl and roll into a cylinder to make for easier, even 
    dividing.  Cut into three equal parts, dividing each of those in half, and those in half again
    to make twelve.

~ Roll the twelve pieces into balls.

~ Cut a large Ziploc so you can open it like a book.  Open.
~ Place one rolled piece of dough on the inside of the plastic "book" and fold the other half 
    over the top of the dough.  
~ Roll dough with a rolling pin, or flatten with the palm of your hand, rotating the plastic a
    quarter of a turn with each press.  If it sticks, try lightly spraying with non-stick oil or 
    very lightly flouring the surfaces.

~ Meanwhile, heat griddle to 450 degrees.  
~ Place flattened tortilla on griddle until bubbles form, about 20-30 seconds, depending on 
    how thin your tortilla is.  Flip and finish second side.  Additional flipping may be 
    necessary to fully cook.  
~ Cover your tortillas to keep from drying before serving, or let cool completely and store 
    in airtight container or Ziplock for up to one week in the refrigerator.