Recently I had the opportunity to try out a tortilla press, and I was immediately hooked. I had no idea making tortillas at home was so easy and fun. Of course I didn’t own a tortilla press yet, so I consulted with my friend and author, chef Roberto Santibanez of Fonda. He told me what to buy, and it turns out they’re pretty affordable (but heavy!). I needed a recipe to follow, so of course I consulted Roberto’s new cookbook, Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales. Here’s how it went.
First I made a salsa, but I guess the term “salsa” is broader than I’d realized because this one is made with heavy cream. It called for habaneros which I couldn’t find, so I used Scotch Bonnets (just one, dry roasted in a skillet). There are also roasted red peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and allspice. This sauce is so good, you’ll want to serve it with everything.
I made a mushroom filling, also following a recipe from the book. I know mushrooms might sound kind of boring for my first time making tacos at home, but words (and a photo) cannot to justice to how amazing this turned out. There is onion, jalapeno, cilantro — pretty normal stuff — but the mushrooms turn out so good, it’s almost impossible to resist eating them straight from the pan.
Now comes the fun part. There is a recipe for corn tortillas in the book, but it’s super easy — masa harina, warm water, and salt. You almost can’t go wrong, but you’ll probably need to adjust the moisture a bit so the dough isn’t too wet. Why did I always believe this was some complicated thing to prepare? Once using the press, plastic wrap helps a lot to prevent sticking.
And voila, there you have it. You toss the tortillas into a hot skillet, and they’re done really fast. I probably could have cooked them until they browned a bit, but I think these turned out just fine.
Then you put everything together, the cooked tortillas, filling, and salsa, with some Mexican-style cheese crumbled on top. Honestly, this is one of the best-tasting things I’ve made at home in my entire life. And knowing how easy it was to make tortillas from scratch, I’m addicted now.