Is it normal to fixate on a kitchen gadget like a school girl? Going out of my way to get to my next class for a “surprise” rendezvous when I know that gadget will be getting out of gym class and heading to the science wing? Probably not. But when I was making Chicken Veggie Enchilada Stack (recipe here), I decided rolling out homemade tortillas by hand was for suckers. I needed a tortilla press.
I’m a slut for kitchen gadgets. I will booty call every kitchen store in a ten mile radius for the right one.
Williams-Sonoma did not have one (they said it was a seasonal item-how are tortillas seasonal?). Neither did Sur La Table. Nor did Crate & Barrel, Bed, Bath & Beyond or World Market. I’d gotten so sidetracked by all of the shiny items I most definitely need at those stores, I’d used up my allotted four hours of precious Parent’s Morning Out time. I vowed to return to Compare Foods, located in an area with a high population density of Latino people.
Of course that is where I should have looked first. Duh. (Thanks nice lady at World Market for the tip!)
Since I had the littlest Frat Boy with me, I didn’t get to explore Compare as I would have liked. I did get a reminder that my Spanish is in the awful range. It has never been great, but it became readily apparent that languages take practice, and I’ve lost muchas unmad skills on the Espanol department.
In case you are wondering, a tortilla press is “la presa de tortillas” in Spanish, and they are on aisle doce. In case you are also wondering, they sell fresh tortillas, tortilla dough, prepackaged tortillas, and I start thinking English words in a Central American accent when I’ve been around Spanish speakers for five minutes.
I also don’t think the press makes the tortillas thin enough, so next time I plan to make a cardboard shim and tape it to one side of the press. I’m innovative like that. And aware of the irony that I could have been rolling them out to the thickness of my liking. Shut it.
Scratch Made Corn Tortillas (adapted from Perry’s recipe)
- 2 cups corn masa flour
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 gallon-sized zip-top plastic bag
- non-stick spray (if not using tortilla press)
- Combine all ingredients into a bowl and let it sit for about 5 minutes to allow the masa to absorb the water. Knead the dough with your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with. If it seems crumbly, add a little more water; if it seems sticky, add more masa flour.
- Cut the bottom and the sides of the plastic bag, leaving the top sealed so you can open and close it like a book. OR Put Press and Seal on each side (sticky side down) of the tortilla press.
- Grab a piece of dough and roll it into a ball — it should be about the size of a golf ball. Open up the plastic bag (like a book) and lightly spray the inside with non-stick spray. Place the ball of dough in the middle and fold the open side of the plastic over top (close the book).
- Begin rolling by placing the rolling pin in the middle and gently rolling up, then down one time. Turn the whole bag a quarter turn and repeat. Continue rolling and rotating the bag so you end up with a circle. (Or a lop-sided one. Homemade = rustic.) It should be about 5-6 inches in diameter. When you’re finished, pick up the plastic bag and center the tortilla on your hand. Peel the top piece of plastic off, flip the tortilla to your other hand, then peel off the other side of the plastic.
- Place the dough into a dry skillet preheated to medium-high heat. Cook for about one minute per side, then transfer to a plate and cover with a towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Repeat with remaining dough, lightly spraying the plastic bag between tortillas. I like to cook mine as I roll them, but if you plan on storing them, I’d put a piece of wax paper between each tortilla so they don’t stick together (before putting them in the fridge). Store cooked tortillas in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week.
Makes about 12-16 tortillas, depending on the size of the balls.
adapted from from the back of the masa bag