You can’t own a home made tortilla press and not use it for something, right? So first order of business – make tortillas! (crazy, I know!)
I looked into recipes for flour tortillas – that’s what I’m used to buying at the grocery store. First recipe, first ingredient – lard. So I check a second recipe – same thing. Ok, so there has to be a recipe without lard, right? There is – it uses butter. Now I’m not going to tell others that an ancient recipe like the tortilla is made wrong, but I’ve never once in my life purchased lard, and do my best to avoid butter whenever possible. So, now what? Well I was persistent, did some more searching, and found a better option – corn tortillas. These are a much simpler recipe that is healthier – Masa Harina, water, and a touch of salt. That’s it! Plus they cook up in minutes. Ok, here we go!
Wait – what’s Masa Harina? And where do I find it? Well to start with the easy part, I’ll answer the later. I found it at the grocery store. But what is it? Well put simply, it is corn flour. Field corn hulls are soaked in water and lime, the hulls are removed, and then it is dried and ground up. This is a traditional ingredient for many tortillas and such.
- 2 cups Masa Harina
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp salt
Mix the three ingredients together. I prefer just using my hands. Mix until you have a nicely formed dough and it’s all joined together.
Tear off small balls – maybe the size of a golf ball or a bit larger? Place this ball into your tortilla press, covering it with a sheet of wax paper on both sides. Press it down until you have a thin tortilla. Peel the tortilla off of the wax paper.
Cook the tortillas on a griddle warmed to 425°. It should take 1-2 minutes or so per side. The edges should start to crisp up on the first side, then flip and cook for a bit longer. Then you’re all set to enjoy! So simple!
Corn Tortilla Chips
We’ve all had corn chips, right? So why can’t I take fresh corn tortillas made with my tortilla press and turn that into chips, right?
So as you can see I did do this, but there is some room for improvement yet. What I did was make a tortilla, cut it into 8 chip pieces, and put those on the griddle. I tried cooking these for longer than I did the tortillas so as to give them some crisp and crunch. However, they just weren’t how I wanted them…. They were still a bit soft in the middle and such.
But I’m not giving up yet – I plan on trying this again soon – but making a slight change of course. And no, I’m not going to deep fry them – that defeats me trying to avoid the lard and butter! I think my next attempt I’ll bake them on a warm pizza stone. 5-10 minutes in a warm oven should do a much better job in my mind. Once I figure out the cooking technique, then I can start to explore more into seasonings and flavors…. yumm!!!