Homemade tortillas are totally life-changing. Okay, that's a little melodramatic - but they're taco-changing for sure. Just a little added effort turns taco night into something way more authentic and delicious than usual (my husband and I turn just about anything into tacos around here...breakfast, rotisserie chicken, spinach, mushrooms, you name it).
I wish I could say that this recipe was passed down to me by my loving Abuela, but alas, I'm about 0% Latina, so I got my recipe here. The only tricky part is that you need one special item - a tortilla press. I know, I know, the last thing you need is another single-use kitchen gadget...I'm usually really averse to buying them myself. But the thought of wowing guests with my homemade tortillas, eventually becoming everyone's favorite abuela on the block, won me over, and I'm telling you it's worth it (the press, aside from being pretty darn heavy, doesn't take up much room). The other option is to learn how to press them with a roller, like the woman in this Diego Rivera paining...but I haven't attempted that yet...
Fresh Corn Tortillas
- 2 cups masa
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Vegetable oil (for brushing)
- Whisk masa and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in water; knead in bowl until dough forms. The dough should feel firm and pliable and slightly dry (like Play-Doh). Add more water one Tbsp at a time if too crumbly; add a little more masa if too wet.
- Measure 1 heaping Tbsp dough and roll into a ball. Flatten on a tortilla press lined with a plastic bag. If tortilla crumbles, dough is too dry (add more water); if it sticks to the plastic, dough is too wet (add more masa). Repeat, pressing out 2 more tortillas.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; lightly brush with oil. Cook 2–3 tortillas until charred in spots and edges start to curl, 1–2 minutes. Turn; cook through, about 15 seconds. Transfer to a kitchen towel; fold over to keep warm. Repeat from step two, in batches, with remaining dough.
Happy taco night!
(all photos, Jamie Grill Photography)