Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Did Someone Say Tortillas?

Good morning, dear friend, and welcome!

It's been HOT in these here parts of the west, as I know most folks are in the throws of full blown summer heat...and I find myself making fresh and easy to prepare dinners, which regularly includes the addition of tortillas. They are wonderful for transporting all manner of yummy food from your plate to your mouth.

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you the art of making corn tortillas, which have always been a huge staple at our house. We still eat a ton of them, even though the nest has emptied, and to my delight, the kiddos have carried on the tradition in their own homes. How fun is that!

I was taught how to make tortillas as a very little girl by a most beloved baby sitter, and we made many tortillas together. We used our hands and a rolling pin, and cooked them right on the burner of her old stove...they tasted like heaven.

I still follow her recipe, only now I use a tortilla press, but the memory is still with me. And, my own Mom always says that I am the one who taught her how to make tortillas, when I was a wee girl sharing my newly learned skill...and we enjoyed them my entire childhood!

I have to start by sharing two important items that I find make all the difference in the final product...

The first is your tortilla flour, I have found that Maseca Instant Corn Flour makes the best tasting and softest tortillas.

The second item is your cooking pan. It is important to have a pan that is both flat, as well as a good heat conductor for evenly cooked and soft tortillas.
I use a flat griddle that I picked up years ago at Target, it is basic non-stick and NOT cast iron. I want to state that I don't use cast iron for stove use, as it is very heavy and rusts really easy, but many people use them and love them...your choice, just make sure it's a good one that conducts evenly...

Okay, on to the good stuff...
I share with you the art of  Corn Tortillas...

What you will need:
  • Mixing bowl
  • 1 tsp measure
  • 1 cup measure
  • Tortilla press or rolling pin
  • Parchment paper
  • Flat griddle pan

  • 2 cups Maseca Instant Corn Flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups water ❋

❋ I always find that I have to add more water as the amount called for leaves a dry and crumbly dough. I add water, a bit at a time, until my dough pulls together nicely, but doesn't stick to the wall of my bowl when I knead it.

  • Mix together the corn flour, salt, and water until the dough is nicely formed into a ball, and it is ready to be kneaded.
  • Knead the dough in the bowl, for 2 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into 16 golf ball size balls.
  • Preheat your griddle pan over medium until a drop of water "dances" on the surface.
While your pan is heating, begin making your tortillas...
Place a dough ball inside your tortilla press, between two pieces of parchment paper...And flatten that baby, using your press...Once flat, I like to flip over the parchment covered tortilla and give it another good press...Peel each side of parchment paper from the tortilla...very gently...And, viola!
Now...you could easily do this using a rolling pin, so don't go out and buy a press if you don't own one already.

Remove the flattened dough to your pan
Cook the first side, for about a minute...until you see brown spots...

Then flip the tortilla and cook the other side, until it puffs us...

I remove cooked tortillas to my trusty tortilla warmer, but a dish towel wrapped nice and tight will also work, while I cook up the rest.

How easy was that?!

These tortillas can be eaten right away, warm with some butter...sooo yummmy...and never stay long before they are all gone, however they can also be made 2 hours in advance, wrapped and reheated. I just wrap the stack of tortillas in foil, pop them in the oven, and Bake then in a 350°F oven for about 12 minutes.

Stay cool, dear friend, and remember to drink your water, and as always, thanks for stopping by, and for suffering through my cooking lesson.