Tortilla press, you will be mine

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!)

One-third protein, one-third, veggie, one-third carb. Perfectly balanced meal.

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.

They don't always come out perfectly round. Gotta brush up on Spanish and tortilla pressing techniques.

Scratch Made Corn Tortillas¬†(adapted from Perry’s recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 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)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

9 Comments on "Tortilla press, you will be mine"

  1. Leslie Deitch February 16, 2012 at 11:06 am · Reply

    You may have too much time on your hands. And that one tortilla looks like a heart-perfect for little frat boys on Vday for their breakfast burritos. I too love some kitchen gadgets and lovely serving pieces for these imaginary parties that I am going to throw but unfortunately my cabinets are filled with sippy cups and bottles still (yes, she is almost 15 months-don’t judge). Got a quesadilla maker for our wedding and LOVE IT! we use it at least once a week. Chicken and black bean quesadilla Steve style-so yummy.

    • Tricia February 16, 2012 at 11:11 am · Reply

      The heart was a happy accident. Though I should probably pretend I did it on purpose to show all of the overachieving mommies how awesome I am at being awesome and perfect.

  2. Andrea February 16, 2012 at 10:12 pm · Reply

    Okay, first of all I am super impressed at you making your own tortillas. I have never considered making my own tortillas (or pie crust after the 1 time that I thought it would be a good idea..and it wasn’t). I bet they are tasty. Funny blog post. I enjoyed it!

    • Tricia February 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm · Reply

      I’m not a fan of rolling things out myself. It never quite works right. They are really good-they put the store bought ones to shame. Thanks for posting, Dre!

  3. Carmen February 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm · Reply

    I too love kitchen gadgets…it’s really bad. If I started listing the insane number of kitchen gadgets/machines that I have (including a hot chocolate machine, a cotton candy machine, 2 popcorn machines) you would be horrified and amazed. I am impressed by your ambition with this one….it seems like too much work for this lazy girl!!

    • Tricia February 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm · Reply

      I just got a little OCD on it-I COULD. NOT. STOP. Thinking about it.

      I really want to see that Cotton Candy machine, Carmen. That made my eyes light up with glee and jealousy!

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