The “other” kind of tortillas

I didn’t mention yesterday but on Tuesday I actually went crazy and at the same time as making flour tortillas, I also made corn tortillas!  Bloggers, especially those living in New York City, really love their tortillas!  Here is a post about making corn tortillas on 30 Bucks a Week (thanks Tina!) and another on Homesick Texan.

I checked out Grace Ottawa after seeing it recommended on Ottawa Foodies as a place to buy Masa Harina–a specific type of corn flour that is recommended for making tortillas.  Sure enough, they had it (and many other wonders and goodies, which I will report on tomorrow) so I grabbed a bag of “Masa Mix by Mr. Goudas (2 kilos for $4) and made my way home.

Now these tortillas are also very delicious, and totally easy!  Even easier than the flour variety.  And the taste?  Well, I imagine the Mr. Goudas brand is probably not the height of flavour, but even so, they were completely delicious.  They smelled amazing and the texture was lovely and soft.  I can’t wait to try frying these babies to make hard tacos and home-made corn chips.

So, is it worth it to make your own tortillas?  Absolutely!  The flavour is incomparable, the ingredients are pronouncable and safe, they are fast and easy, and so CHEAP!  While I don’t see the corn tortillas replacing bread for me for summer wrap sandwiches (not like flour tortillas), I also don’t see myself spending another penny on Old El Paso any time in the near future.

I should add that I made them without the aid of a tortilla press, which Grace Ottawa also sells for $20.  I’m guessing a tortilla press would make them even thinner, and thus do even more for the texture and flavour.  I’m putting this gadget on my list of things to look out for at garage sales this summer.

Corn Tortillas

2 cups Masa Harina

1 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups warm water

Mix the masa harina with salt, then add water and stir until it comes together as a soft dough. Knead for a few minutes until smooth. Let it sit, covered, for 15 minutes. Divide into 12 round balls and then cover so they don’t dry out as you press and cook.

Next, flatten them into thin rounds using either a tortilla press with two circles cut from thick plastic wrap (like a freezer bag), or cover two heavy cutting boards with plastic wrap and use those to press the rounds.  Heat a heavy bottomed cast iron skillet on medium.  Cook tortillas 30 to 40 seconds on each side, or long enough to produce some browned spots on the surface.

Enjoy with your favourite tex-mex or Mexican food, or fresh from the pan with some butter and salsa.  Let me know if you try it!

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