Hey everybody, brace yourselves for what will probably be the longest and maybe most boringest post ever on this here blog. I hope you're not wearing shoes, because what I am about to show you will blow your socks off!!!! Or not. Ahem.
Anyhow, this is how I make corn tortillas. First, dump some masa harina into a bowl. How much? Who knows?!? I just eyeball it. This time I dumped in about 4 cups and ended up with about 8-9 tortillas. You can totally follow the instructions on the masa package as far as amounts are concerned. Disclaimer: this here post is more about technique than recipe.
Nope, masa harina is NOT the same thing as cornmeal. Never has been, never will be.
Add a pinch of salt. Can you see it? It's the slightly paler white stuff just south o' the center. I estimate that I added about half a tablespoon. You just want enough to where the tortillas aren't totally bland.
Mix the salt in, then keep adding water until you end up with a dough that looks like this. I think it looks like ice cream, or stiff mashed potatoes. Or what's inside my cold, dead heart.
You should buy a tortilla press if you can!! Tacky ceramic boots from the thrift store are an optional accessory. Most cities in the US have Latin markets nowadays so what's stopping you? It can't be the price, as these go for less than $20 USA Fun Tickets. Having said that, if you don't have one, keep reading--I experimented in making these without a press. Because I care.
Open up the press (pls ignore those brown stains. I have no idea where they came from.) Tear out a long piece of plastic wrap, long enough to lay across the length of the open press. THIS IS ESSENTIAL!!! I hate plastic wrap on environmental grounds, but even I concede that you must do this or your tortillas will be a miserable failure! Don't worry, hippies (like me)--you can reuse the plastic many times (maybe that's where the brown stains came from?).
Pinch off a ball of the dough, roll it up into a ball, then roll said ball in some masa. Something about the perspective here is off--the ball looks way bigger than it was. It should be slightly bigger than a golfball.
Man the presses!!!! Fire at will!!!
This is what it will look like after pressing, safely ensconced in the plastic wrap.
Take the flattened dough out, still in the wrap.
Next, flip it over so the bare naked tortilla is resting against your palm. Try to stay calm as you peel up the other side of the plastic.
Throw it onto a hot skillet! You were preheating one all along, right? Right?! No? Sorry.
You will need to flip it after a few minutes but I didn't take a picture of that. It's easy, though, not like flipping pancakes or any other "loose" substance where sh*t can get real at the flipping stage.
For those in a state of press-deprivation, I tried making one with a plate and my kitchen counter.
It may not be obvious, but this is insufficiently thin despite me totally pressing down with all my middle aged might. However, a couple of rolls from the rolling pin and it was ready to go.
With this batch, I made vegan huevos rancheros (corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, refried beans, tofu scramble, red chile sauce, and guacamole).