Nate could eat Mexican food seven days a week. I could eat it five days and the other two would probably be Chinese food of some sort. Several months ago a box came from Amazon and inside it was a silver tortilla press glowing with possibility.
“What is that man up to?” I thought to myself. Pretty quickly I learned that Nate was on a quest for hand-made tortillas. He wanted the kind of tortillas you see on television when Anthony Bourdain is traveling around South America swilling tequila and eating amazing food made in some little old lady’s hut with dirt floors and no running water.
My role in Nate’s quest was to eat many batches of hand-made tortillas that he made for various kinds of tacos. Yes. I know, it was a tough job, but somehow I struggled through.
Making corn tortillas aren’t as hard as you might think. You do need the right equipment – tortilla press, griddle, wax paper …
You will notice in our pictures that there are white corn tortillas and blue corn tortillas. No, Bobby Flay did not drop by and cook with us! Every time we see Bobby Flay on television, Nate says, “I bet he makes a blue corn tamale.” Nine out of ten times he’s right!
We love pretty much anything made from blue corn. We couldn’t find blue corn masa at our grocery store, but Nate ordered it online so we could try the tortillas made with it. They have a great flavor, but usually crack and break more than yellow or white corn tortillas we make. You will see these blue corn tortillas fried and made into chips in an upcoming post for Blue Corn Chipotle Shrimp Bites. Let’s just have a moment of silence for the Blue Corn Shrimp Bites because they are so darn good!
But for now, if you are in the mood for some hand-made corn tortillas, this is how we do it:
Corn Tortilla Recipe
You will need:
Gallon Size Ziploc Freezer Bags
2 Cups Masa (corn flour)
2 Cups hot water
1 TBS Salt
Comal or Griddle
Directions for Dough:
• Add 2 cups masa to a large mixing bowl.
• Add approximately 1½ cups of hot water.
• Mix by hand to a soft dough consistency. If dough is dry and crumbly, then add more hot water one tablespoon at a time.
• Knead dough a few times and shape into a ball.
• Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
While dough is resting, cut a Ziploc bag into two 7” X 7” pieces. Cover a clean work area with wax paper. After the dough has rested, divide it into pieces the size of golf balls and roll them in your hand. There should be around 16 equal dough balls. Return the dough to a Ziploc bag to prevent it from drying out while you work.
To Make the Tortillas:
• Preheat Comal (griddle) on medium heat.
• Place one plastic square from the Ziploc bag on the tortilla press.
• Place dough ball in the center of the press and lightly flatten it with your hand.
• Place the second piece of plastic on top of the dough and press.
• Rotate tortilla ½ turn and press again – this helps maintain an even thickness.
• Carefully remove tortilla from plastic and transfer by hand to the preheated Comal.
• Cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute and then flip.
• Cook another 45 seconds or until small brown spots appear on the edges of the tortilla.
• Flip a third time and quickly apply light pressure with a spatula, lift spatula and allow tortilla to puff up like a pillow. This third flip creates internal steam, which completes the tortilla cooking process.
• Place each tortilla in a single stack, keeping covered as much as possible.
• Use immediately, refrigerate for a couple of days or freeze up to six months.