Never underestimate the flavor or importance a fresh corn tortilla. Here's how to make this essential taco component.
April 19, 2016
1 of 4Photo: Jennifer Causey
Get the texture just right.
A good corn tortilla is fresh, fragrant, and supple. "You're going to have to compel yourself to make a taco out of it because you'll want to eat them all as is," says Alex Stupak, chef at Empelló Cocina in New York City. Though grabbing a bag of tortillas is certainly a big timesaver, you'll be so happy with the quality, taste, and texture of your homemade tortillas the first time you make them, you'll never want to buy the bagged kind again. (We promise.) Pressing and cooking your own tortillas is easy and a great way to get friends and family cooking with you, too. Here, we show you how.
To get started, make the dough for our Fresh Corn Tortillas. Form dough into a 1⁄2-inch-thick disk in the palm of your hand. If the dough sticks to your hands, it’s too wet: Add a little more masa. If the disk shows cracks on the sides, it’s too dry: Add a little more water.
2 of 4Photo: Jennifer Causey
Press for success.
Cover the bottom of a tortilla press with a square of wax or parchment paper. Place dough disk on center of press. Cover top of disk with another square of paper. Press dough to make 5 1⁄2- to 6-inch tortillas.
3 of 4Photo: Jennifer Causey
Use a two-pan process.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet to medium, and a cast-iron skillet to medium-high. Place 1 tortilla in the nonstick pan; cook 20 seconds. Remove from pan, and flip to cook other side 10 seconds in the cast-iron pan on medium-high. Flip twice, cooking 10 seconds on each side until charred in spots.
4 of 4Photo: Jennifer Causey
Guard your stash.
Transfer cooked tortillas to a Dutch oven or wide, shallow pot lined with clean cloth towels. Gently cover tortilla with towel. Place lid on pot to keep tortilla warm and supple for up to 30 minutes.