30 March 2007

Corn Tortillas - an update

Well tonight's dinner was enchiladas. While I didn't admittedly make the sauce (it was reduced though) I made the corn tortillas that I wrapped all the stuff in.

It has long been a goal to make my own. I got a press from America that would do all the pressing (not that I cannot roll it out but thought it would make them more even - which it does!). The goal came rather like most out of frustration. The frustration was borne because one cannot in this island get anything that is near an authentic corn tortilla.

A long time ago (not really but it sounded good!) while shopping for the usual food stuff I wanted corn tortillas. Of course here they only seem to sell them in a 'set' meal - meaning high cost for corn tortillas, a packet of spices and a pouch of sauce. Well in my usual fashion thought 'Nope, I'll make my own'. That will teach me!

So had to first find a tortilla press - check. This admittedly took the longest because I wanted a cast iron one (durability issue) and could find none on sale here in the UK. Only the US was open to me and it seemed everyone was interested in gouging me for shipping. Finally found a one at a reasonable price and shipping too was reasonable.

Then had to find the masa harina - check - see previous post below. This was easier - not sure why really. Then had to season cast iron pan for cooking said tortillas once made (before preparing them into dinner) - check.

So finally culmination is today - enchiladas. I found a recipe that gave me directions on how to make the tortillas and then how to use them in the press. Quite helpful but as usual I have a few tips.

One, don't use cling film for the press. I found parchment paper worked much better. I was able to flatten the dough and remove it far easier than cling film. I cut the paper so that I could fold it over and have one end that was closed. I used that end closest to the press handle.

Two, the recipe said to use a tea towel to keep the tortillas in while cooking them. This should probably be a slightly damp towel as I thought a dry one didn't keep them moist enough. Next time I'll wring it till almost dry and use it that way. Because when trying to roll them and tuck them into the dish they started to crack (not unsightly you understand but I wanted them to remain moist).

Otherwise I could find little to improve upon. The dough was quite easy to handle and only required a small sprinkling of water to get it to the right consistency of 'soft cookie' dough.

Sadly, no pictures but it was lovely. Although I'm not a condiment person (this applies to sauces, gravies, just about anything that spreads or is a liquid!) I must admit I enjoyed the dinner. Now off to find how to make sauce.


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