With the new year, I thought I would start bringing some easy to make taco recipes. This will be the first post I have under the new recipes tab. I’ve been wanting to make my own tacos from scratch for quite awhile, they are actually simple to make, but you’ll need to invest maybe $30 in a good taco press. Below is everything you for picking out a taco press and making corn tortillas. Corn is gluten free, but sometimes you want a flour tortilla, I’ll tackle that next time!
What Kind of Taco Press should I buy?
I shopped around a lot for a good tortilla press, and some grocery stores will even have them in their kitchen aisle.
Usually the Imola brand of press can be found in Shoprite and a few stores in between. The Imola press is cheap unfortunately its cast aluminum, a very cheap construction so this was a quick pass for me at 15-20 bucks you get what you pay for. I’ve read online they are just not heavy enough and you sometimes have to press hard, which often leads to the handle breaking.
You can take the real restaurant and professional approach and buy a wood one. I’ve seen wood taco presses online anywhere from $90 to $150, they can be found hand crafted on Etsy and some other online outlets. Yes they are beautiful pieces, but unless you have plenty of room in the kitchen for one or planning to open a restaurant I would also pass.
Affordable or inexpensive taco press
I chose the Goldielocks approach to buying a tortilla press. You want something that is decently heavy, has a warranty that gives some sort of peace of mind, and is well made. A cast iron press is going to be a good choice, its naturally heavy so the weight alone kind of guides the whole thing along. I purchased a tortilla press from Victoria their press is made in Columbia the handle is removable and in case anything happens it comes with an extra bolt and pin.
Make your own tortillas
- Get a tortilla press
- Buy a good corn masa
- Add water…
- add salt
- Pretty simple steps, I went over to a local Spanish grocer and picked up white Maseca brand of corn masa if you can find it try Bob’s Red Mill Masa Harina Corn Flour . I prefer the Bob’s Red Mill Masa, its offered in an organic and non-organic varieties
Obviously the goal when making your own tortillas is to make sure you’re taking the most natural approach. A quick read of the corn masa’s ingredients I made my purchase and headed back to my apartment.
With some experimentation and laying down a cut open plastic bag as a liner I was ready. Mixing up tortilla dough is an interesting process and the texture starts out feeling a little like playtime with kinetic sand. As you continue making the dough you’ll periodically need to add more water until the texture feels like Play-doh.
Once the mixture is the right consistency you’ll need to roll up a ball of dough around the weight of 1 ounce. Personally my technique is to use an ice cream scooper and place a scoop onto the tortilla press.
Place the dough either in between plastic or parchment paper, even and surprisingly light pressure on the press will give you a great tortilla. Remember to peel the plastic or wax paper from the tortilla not the tortilla from the paper or it will fall apart.
A somewhat simple step, cooking tortillas; you’ll have to cook them enough to ensure they are not raw, but not too long. A tortilla that’s been on the skillet too long will be dry and unable to fold into a taco. Take your time with cooking these getting it right takes some practice, usually you want to aim for a surface that is hot enough, a tortilla then enough and a cook time of about 30 seconds each side. (like a Caterpillar to a butterfly it’s a delicate and beautiful process)