This weekend my brain burst open like a piñata when I discovered, after much hemming and hawing, how easy it is to make your own corn tortillas. At Christmas, Craig’s parents bought me a tortilla press (which I’d put on my list) and I very matter-of-factly shelved it away when I got home, telling myself that one day, some day, I’d dig it out and use it. Then, last week, I made a trip to Grand Central Market in downtown LA (more on that later this week) and bought a bag of Maseca. Turns out that’s all I needed–along with the tortilla press–to make the most incredible corn tortillas at home. Look how easy it is.
Here’s the bag of Maseca:
You’re going to need that to proceed. Seek out a Mexican market near you or order online.
On the bag is the recipe and it comes in different ratios depending on how many tortillas you want to make. The maseca goes into a bowl:
You add warm water:
Stir that around with your hand and begin kneading until the dough comes together:
Note: you want the dough to be slightly damp; so if it’s too dry, add more water. (This makes your tortillas soft.)
Now set up your tortilla press. Line it with plastic, make a tiny ball of dough, flatten it slightly and place it on top of the plastic:
Put plastic on top of the dough:
Now close the top and push on the handle.
Rotate it 180 degrees and press down again (just to make sure it’s really flat). That’s it, you’re done.
Now heat up a cast iron skillet until you can barely hold your hand over it. Carefully peel the tortilla off the plastic and drop it in:
If the skillet is properly hot, the dough will start to bubble (as you see in the above picture). After 50 seconds, flip it.
Look at that color!
Cook for 50 more seconds and your work is done. You have a warm, soft, homemade corn tortilla. Look at it on a plate.
I’m still stunned when I think about how easy this was. To fill it, I made scrambled eggs with caramelized onion and cheddar cheese topped with pickled jalapeños (so, um, this):
One of the best breakfasts I’ve had in a long time.
So do yourself a favor: if you love Mexican food, and don’t make it enough at home, buy a tortilla press and a bag of Maseca. You’ll never buy tortillas in a bag ever again.