Tortillas are one of those recipes that after you learn the formula, then it’s fun to test it out in different ways. The classic homemade corn tortilla is the best, but the curious cook in me is always pushing the boundaries and testing new ideas. For today’s post, it was not so much about adding new ingredients to an old tortilla recipe. It was more about trying to duplicate that little 4 inch tortilla that you would see in some of the most authentic taquerias.
I am always learning! I love that!
A new trick I did learn just a few weeks ago, yields a really soft corn tortilla! Every time I have ever cooked tortillas, corn or flour, I will place them in between a clean kitchen towel as they come off the comal(griddle). That worked for me, or so I thought. I would often notice that the tortillas seemed a little stiff. I thought, it’s because they have cooled while sitting there. It was not much of a problem when re-heated. As I was watching one of my favorite chefs one early morning, he was preparing corn tortillas. As he cooked them, he too placed them in between a kitchen towel. The difference was that his towels was inside a deep skillet with a lid. Keeping them covered creates steam and the steam helps to finish cooking the tortilla properly. The softest corn and flour tortillas I have ever prepared, just by doing this little change at the end. Wow! Now I get it when someone states that they ate 8-10 tacos! Lol! Hope they were the small ones. #tacoseveryday #mexicanfood
All tortilla presses are not alike!
When using the tortilla press for these, just press once and gently. This will give you and ideal size. If one side seems thicker, you could turn the tortilla and gently press again.
Tips~ I find it much easier to roll the masa into a log, then use a large knife to slice the sections you need. Gebhardt chili powder will yield a brighter red tortilla. You could use chile ancho powder or everyday chili powder for this recipe as well. Tortillas will be slightly darker.
Tips~ Always keep the masa covered because it dries out quickly.
Tips~ Keeping your cooked tortillas under a cover helps create steam. This will help yield a very soft tortilla.
The ideal size for taqueria-style is 4 inches in diameter. Means you could eat 4 tacos instead of two! Lol!
My favorite way to test freshly cooked corn tortillas is with an extra spicy salsa!
Jalapeño Lime Salsa
Ingredients: 3 large jalapeños, chopped. Juice of 4 key limes or 1 large lime. Salt to taste. Two to three tablespoons of oil. I used grapeseed oil.
*Place all of the ingredients into the mini chopper. Pulse to blend until desired consistency.
Red Bean Tacos with Avocado, Toasted Chile de Arbol Salsa and Cotija Cheese.
Click onto picture to see recipe on how to prepare “healthy refried beans”. Tip- The red beans need to soak for no less than 24 hours so they can cook correctly.
- 2 c hot water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsps red mild chili powder. like Gebhardt optional
- 1 tbsps pork lard optional
- 2 1/3 cups Masa harina corn flour for tortillas maseca
- In a bowl, mix the hot water, chili powder and salt. Stir well, and gradually add in the masa harina a little at a time. Once dough forms and feels like a soft play dough, it's ready. If you can press a small disc in between your palms and see no cracked edges, then the masa has enough moisture. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- When ready, divide and roll 30 masa balls. I roll the masa into a log shape, then use a large knife to slice the sections. I wanted a very small tortilla, so I made 30, but you certainly could make them bigger. Place the balls onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap.
- Preheat griddle, large skillet or comal to medium heat for 5 minutes. Cut two pieces of plastic, from a plastic freezer bag, to fit and line the tortilla press.
- Gently press one ball(4 inches in diameter) at a time and cook on hot surface. Cook for 3 seconds on first side. When the tortilla releases, turn it. Cook for another 30 seconds. Gently press the edges of tortilla with fingers or spatula. It should inflate a little, or sometimes a lot. If tortillas don't inflate, your comal may not be hot enough. Place cooked tortillas in a skillet with lid that has been lined with a clean kitchen towel. Keep covered. Yields about 30 taqueria-style, 4 inch tortillas.