The corn tortilla by the chef Alex Stupak
About this recipe
Source of the recipe
I got this recipe in the book "Tacos: Recipes and Provocations" by Alex Stupak.
Alex Stupak has become an expert in tacos after opening his restaurant and learning the Mexican cuisine in Mexico.
To purchase online, see HERE
In his book, Stupak offers recipes "new wave", as he puts it : "to declare that the only good Mexican cuisine is 'authentic' also assumes that the cuisine has ceased evolving"
We need Corn Masa Flour (1 ½ Cup or 168 g), widely available in our supermarkets. Masa harina is different from Corn Flour, in that it's made by soaking corn grains into a slaked lime, a process termed nixtamalization which will loosen the hulls from the kernels and softens the corn.
Sounds odd, but that's exactly how the ancient and wise Aztecs made their Masa Harina. I say wise because they understood that this tedious process would not only enhance the taste but also produce Niacin, a vitamin that was not available in their surroundings - this saved them from a lot of diseases.
Stupak shows in his book how to make Nixtamal, but honestly unless you are bored to death there is no point making it (Making it yourself will not produce a fine flour either) and in the defense of industrial Masa Harina, it can be easily found in supermarkets. You may find organic masa as well.
1. Let's knead the two ingredients (Corn Masa Flour (1 ½ Cup or 168 g) and Water (1 Cup or 232 g)) together by hand
2. Mixing the ingredients is easy, the masa absorbs the water like a thirsty hiker
3. Stop mixing as soon as the dough stopped sticking to your hands
4. Cover the masa with a damp towel
The Tortilla Press
6. Take a ziploc bag or freezer bag and cut two squares
7. Grab a small handful of masa, about 44 g ( 1 oz )
8. Make a ball about the size of a golf ball and gently flatten it
9. Open the press, position the masa in the center and press, folding the top and pushing on the handle
10. Peel off the plastic and you will get a perfect rounded shape tortilla
11. You will notice it's fun to make corn tortilla, and easier than the Flour tortillas
13. You need to cook the tortillas right away (as they dry fast)
14. Cook one side, flip it and cook the other side a few seconds
Storing the cooked tortillas
15. You may store the cooked tortillas on a plate sitting on a double boiler
16. Stupak mentioned that it's best if you use the tortillas right away. After cooking them, garnish them and serve your tacos, they will taste better when they are freshly cooked.
Bon Appétit !