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Jason Grow makes his own tortillas not only because they taste better but also because he can do it with his kids. All you do is mix the corn flour with water, make dough, and roll out round tortillas by hand or use a tortilla press to make them. Once they are made grill them on a flat iron grill.
When making your own tortillas you will need a special corn flour called masa harina. This is corn flour that has been treated with calcium hydroxide or "lime" which makes it more nutritious by releasing the niacin in the corn, and also makes it easier to digest. Masa flour can be found at Mexican markets, many supermarkets or online. You will want to look for masa harina that is only corn and lime, technically called calcium hydroxide, for making corn tortillas.
You can make the tortillas completely by hand by forming a thin type of pancake with the dough by pressing it between your hands. Unless you are somewhat experienced at this, you may want to use a tortilla press. These are also available in Mexican markets or online. They are made of either wood or cast iron.
To cook the tortillas heat a griddle or a large skillet on high heat. Cook them one at a time by holding a tortilla in your hand and carefully remove the wax paper, one side at a time. Allowing the tortilla to rest half on your hand, and half hanging down, carefully lay it down on to the skillet. You should then begin pressing the next tortilla. Cook on the hot griddle or pan for 30 seconds to a minute on each side. When the tortilla is lightly toasted and little air pockets are forming it is done.
Immediately place the tortillas in a dish towel or paper towels, or wrap them in a dish towel and place in a tortilla holder to keep them warm. Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat.
2 cups corn masa flour
¼ tablespoon salt
1¼ cup water
For the Dough:
1. In a bowl mix the corn flour, water and salt until it is all incorporated and a smooth dough is formed which doesn’t stick to your hands. If the dough feels dry, add teaspoons of water (one by one). Once the dough is ready, cover with a wet towel so that it does not dry out.
2. Divide the dough into 16 equal portions and form little balls. Flatten each ball between two sheets of wax paper and start making the tortillas.
3. Once the tortillas are ready, cook on a hot griddle for 1 minute each side, or until the tortilla fills with air.
Accompany each tortilla with posole, green, red or Mexican salsa, butter or fresh cheese.
Tortillas taste good with everything.
Tip: You can cut the tortilla in small triangles and fry them to make tortilla chips or
Recipe courtesy of Jason Grow, 2011.
Jason grew up and learned to cook in New Mexico. He is s a Boston-based photographer who specializes in photographing exceptionally accomplished, busy people with real time constraints in real environ