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Saturday, April 2, 2011

HOMEMADE TORTILLAS...FROM SCRATCH

This is part two of the chips and salsa blog...which is turning into a three part blog...because there's just too much! 

To make tortilla chips...you must make tortillas! 

I received my tortilla press from Amazon via next-day delivery so I was set. 
I've finished the entire batch of tortillas now (haven't fried yet - more about that tomorrow) and I have to say, I have a whole new level of respect for the Mexican Abuelas and Mamacitas who ground the corn/maiz on a metate, mixed the corn flour with water (no running water - likely a well in the village) and salt if they had it, rolled it out (I'm not thinking they had a nice tortilla press back in those days), and fried it on a comal or maybe even a hot stone for all I know.  I just know they had no air-conditioning, no ibuprofen for the aches and pains of hard work, and lots of hard work to serve a meal.  I bow my head to them...we have it soooo incredibly easy - and still we complain!  Myself included.  I'll try to be better.

Any-who...I got started by making the dough. 

I rolled a log and cut it into 16 pieces with my bench scraper and then, anal that I am, I weighed each piece of dough to get it even (the ends of the log had smaller pieces).  Holy moly...I wouldn't do that again...just not worth it in the big scheme of things.  It just seemed important to me at the time.  Oh brother!

The little balls of dough need to be kept moist and so I covered the pieces before I rolled them and after I rolled them and put them in a bowl....damp paper towel...and a damp cloth.  Well, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself...let's get the recipe down....it's so complex!  (NOT)

CORN TORTILLAS

Ingredients:

2 cups masa de harina
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

Mix all ingredients - when dough can be squeezed and it holds its shape - it is ready.  I used the entire 1 and 1/3 cups of water.  I also moistened my hands when needed.



Roll dough into a log (keep the ends the same size as the middle - unlike me). 

Halve the log lengthwise (I used a bench scraper), then cut the log into 8 equal pieces (giving a total of 16 pieces). 

Cover dough when you are not using it, with a damp paper towel or a damp cloth.

Roll each 1/16th piece into a round ball and place in a bowl, also covered with a damp towel.


Prepare your comal or frying pan on the stove - medium heat - to the point it sizzles when a few drops of water are splashed on it.  Do not oil your pan.

Place one of the dough balls into the middle of two pieces of heavy plastic wrap (I cut a Ziploc bag open and used it - worked perfectly - I started with wax paper, but found after about 3 tortillas, it got sticky...so moved to the Ziploc solution). 


Take a rolling pin, or use a tortilla press, and flatten the dough into a 5 to 6 inch round.  Carefully pull back the top side of the plastic and carefully pull back the bottom side of the plastic allowing the tortilla to fall into your hand.  Drop it into the hot pan and cook each side for about 45 to 50 seconds.  I flipped with tongs at first and then realized it was easier to use a pancake turner.


I prepared the next ball into a tortilla while the one ahead was cooking...just kept a little assembly line going.  I removed the cooked tortilla to a clean dish towel folded in half so they were kept covered.  I tore some, I burned one or two; I started with a cast iron skillet and then moved to an omelet pan - non stick.  I burned the one with the iron skillet and then everything kept sticking there so I got out the other pan.  Whew, that was much easier and they cooked quickly and without burning or sticking.

I did eat two of them with butter while they were hot...dribbled all over my shirt...but dang they are good!
The teen sampled one also and declared them delicious in a shocked voice..."really, you made these?"
Ah, he of little faith. 

So, to move on to the tortilla chips.  I have to let them cool completely before frying according to the little note on the back of the masa bag.  I got tired.  I took a break...and now, I'm too tired to blog about the making of the chips...so I'll blog about that tomorrow.

I'll set this up to post Saturday morning...all of the tortilla making and chip making happened Friday night...
I will leave you with a photo of my dinner tonight...which I didn't get to eat until nearly 9:00...



Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!StumbleUpon

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