I have always chosen flour tortillas over corn tortillas. I grew up in England where the only Mexican food we had was Chilli con carne served incorrectly with rice or a microwaved enchilada at 3am which came out a few hours later, looking exactly the same as it went in.
It wasn’t until I travelled to Mexico and had the best food I have ever eaten in my entire life, Mexican street food, that I realised just how amazing and important, corn tortillas were. I spoke with a dude there who told me that there are only 2 ingredients, 3 at most. Masa harina, water and a bit of salt. I then went back and looked at the corn tortillas in supermarkets and checked the ingredients. Some had over 20 and you know when you can’t pronounce half of them ( and yes they were in English you git!) they are not good for you.
I don’t understand the science behind masa harina too much. From what I can gather, it is corn flour or corn maize that is cooked slightly in lime juice. This breaks down enzymes or something! To be honest, I don’t really care. It works! So when buying the masa harina, make sure it is just that. I use Maseca brand which is pretty much the industry standard and if it is not, it is certainly the most easily accessible. Not sure where to get them from your neck of the woods, but I get them from USA foods in Moorabbin as it is just down the road from me!
I tried finding the perfect ratio for ages until realising there isn’t one. Just add in the same amount of water as flour, which will be a bit dry and then add tablespoon by tablespoon until it is perfect. If it crumbles, add more water. If it is too watery, add more flour. It is not rocket science! Also, don’t worry if you don’t have a tortilla press, I didn’t for ages. Just place the dough ball between 2 pieces of cling film/glad wrap and squash it with a heavy pan or something. A tortilla press makes it SO much easier though!
Once you have made these homemade bad boys, you will NEVER buy those horrible things from the store again.
Enjoy… Oh and go to Mexico, it’s amazing!
Serves 2 (makes 8 tortillas)
- 1 cup masa harina
- 2 cups warm water (you won’t use anywhere near that though)
- Big pinch salt
- Mix the masa and salt in a mixing bowl
- Pour in 1/2 cup of warm water and mix with a spoon. This will be too dry and flaky
- Tablespoon by tablespoon, keep adding water and mixing until you have a perfect dough. It won’t be flaky or runny. Add more water if too dry and more flour if too wet
- Place in a clean bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to sit for 20 – 30 minutes
- Put a girddle pan or frying pan onto a medium high heat
- Divide the mixture into 8 and roll into balls. They will be about the size of a golf ball, maybe a bit smaller
- Take a large piece of cling film/glad wrap/saran wrap (all the same thing you ignorant philistine!) and lay over your opened tortilla press. This should cover both of the big round heads
- Put one of your balls on the plate that acts as the base, close it with the other plate and push down using the lever for about 10 seconds You should end up with a good sized, not too soft and not flaky tortilla
- Fry for about 60 seconds on each side
- You can start the next 1 or 2 as the first are cooking. You will get good at building a working line
- When they are done, put them in a kitchen towel covered tortilla holder or just wrap in the towel
Corn tortillas are all about street food and sun. I try not to match records and food by Country. I don’t want to match Italian food with Italian music etc. It has to be about the mood, vibe, contents and taste as well as location. Therefore, I am taking this to Southern California and eating tacos in the sun with a good beer in hand.
And to do that, we are going with Sublime….