Saturday, June 22, 2013

Caliente y Fresco Maize Tortilla

Ever had a caliente y fresco tortilla right off of the Comal?  That's what I call good!  You can serve these little jewels up with just about anything.  Great with a scrambled egg for breakfast, perfect with a bowl of chili for lunch.  Toss some carne, frijoles and salsa on top you've got a yummy dinner.  They go great with soups, stews and casseroles also. Yes, it takes a little time but the result is well worth the work.  This will make 2 to 2 1/2 dozen tortillas approximately 3 1/2 inches across.

You can purchase maize in a prepared form.  If you check the ingredients it is simply ground corn soaked in lime juice.  I could do this myself, but regular maize is about the same price so I purchase the prepared and add my own spices.  You'll find the prepared mix at any local supermarket in the Hispanic section.

3 cups Para Tortillas de Maize (Corn Tortilla Mix)
1 TBS Garlic Salt
1 TBS Onion Powder
1 1/2 TBS Chili Powder
1 TSP Red Pepper
1 TSP Sugar
3/4 Cup Bacon Grease (if you don't have any regular 1/2 vegetable oil is good)
1 to 1 1/2 Cups warm water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Blend in grease/oil with a fork of pastry cutter until dry mixture is coarse.  Slowly pour in warm water until mixture will form stiff round balls easily without falling apart.  Roll balls about 2 inches round.  Place tortilla ball 3 inches from the farthest edge of a Tortilla Press, each side covered with a piece of wax paper. I just happen to be fortunate enough to have a tortilla press.  If you don't have one use two (salad size) plates, or even two Tupperware lids.  Pull over the side of the press (or press the places together) and squeeze gently.  If you press too hard the tortilla becomes too flat and will stick to the paper.

Carefully remove both sides of paper from the tortilla so that it doesn't tear.  Place the tortilla on the comal.  I like to use my electric one.  I can cook more of them at one time that way, and I don't risk getting them too dark.  One you see the tortilla begin to bubble on top turn and cook at least another two minutes, of until you've got a nice golden brown tortilla.

Don't get discouraged if the first couple or tries do stick to the paper.  You will eventually get the right thickness so they won't stick.  And remember the longer you use the paper the more resilient and easier to use it becomes.

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