October 24, 2014

Homemade Corn Tortillas

You would have to go to Mexico to get corn tortillas this fresh.

One way I have been able to judge my health over the past few months of my lower back injury is by our diet. The better I feel, and the more I heal, the fresher our food gets. Lately things are getting good and fresh.

This is not only because I feel better mentally and have a desire to cook, but also because I can stand for longer periods of time.

It has been a long time since I have made any bread, but making corn tortillas today brought back all the reasons for making food from scratch.

First of all, I find prepared foods to be lacking in flavour and healthfulness. The foods I make myself are exactly the way I want them - succulent and wholesome.

Then there is the excessive packaging that comes with prepared foods, even if it is 'only' a can, jar, or plastic bag. Cooking at home is packaging and garbage free.

Finally, prepared foods cost a lot compared to home cooking using inexpensive basic ingredients. And preparing your own food can be fun and personally rewarding. I love to be able to create food I like in my own kitchen.

One of my favourite home made bread products is corn tortillas. My recipe is based on one from the only cook book we own - Laurel's Kitchen.

Corn Tortillas

11/2 cups       water
1      cup        cornmeal
3      tbsp       butter
1      tsp         salt
11/4 cups      flour

Heat water to boiling and add 1/2 the butter. Add cornmeal slowly stirring to keep from clumping up. Cook on very low heat for 3 minutes, take off heat, then add the remaining butter and mix. Set aside to cool.

When cornmeal has cooled, add a bit of flour at a time and stir into the cornmeal. At this time I add the salt. Keep adding flour until you have a soft dough. Knead in the bowl with your hands until it forms a ball.

Knead ball of dough on floured counter top for 5 minutes. Roll into a tube and cut 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and set aside. Cover with a tea towel.

Turn fry pan to medium high. With a rolling pin, roll dough flat to a diameter a bit smaller than your fry pan. Cook each tortilla for anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, then flip over and repeat. Do not overcook or tortillas will be brittle (good for tortilla chips if this happens). When tortilla starts getting brown spots it is time to take it out.

Place cooked tortillas between tea towels to keep them warm for serving. Left over tortillas can be frozen.

We make refried bean and rice burritos and the occasional fish taco with our home made wraps. Sometimes we fill one with peanut butter and a banana for a breakfast wrap.

Unlike the store bought varieties, I can't get enough of these corn tortillas. 

6 comments:

  1. Mmm, this post makes me hungry! I didn't know it was so simple to make homemade corn tortillas - will definitely give this a go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gam,

      With such a simple ingredient list, this is an easy recipe. It can be a fussy process, but it gets easier with experience.

      After a while you develop a nice rhythm with rolling, cooking, flipping, removing from fry pan to tea towel and repeating till done. You also get a feel for the right amount of heat to use - the fry pan needs to be on a medium/hot burner.

      Soon making tortillas (or any other bread) becomes a soothing meditative process. If approached with a relaxed concentration everything 'rolls' along nicely until before you know it you are done and you have a steamy pile of fresh corn tortillas on the counter.

      Mmmm is right.

      Delete
  2. It's well worth a bit of effort to avoid the 'preservatives, 'flavourings', irradiation and bags of salt added to much ready prepared food. This recipe sounds a good one..will try it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Charlotte,

      There are so many reasons to cook as much from scratch as possible. I have really been missing our usual diet during the time that I was unable to cook for Linda and I.

      One thing I notice now is how much time it takes to do it yourself. I think a person would have to be darn near superhuman to have a full time job, a partner and children and still home cook all your meals.

      I do know that many people manage, though, and I have great respect and admiration for their commitment to a healthy diet.

      Delete
    2. You are right. I'm self-employed and this year, for the first time in 30 years, have been short of work. My husband is retired, having given up work years ago to care for his elderly Mom; so we have his small pension and some savings. It was really hard at first, feeling that I was not 'contributing' to our income. But then Dave pointed out that I was still doing my part (and saving lots) by seeking out healthier, cheaper and more home-made options for our food. Cooking has also become fun again, rather than the chore it was after a hard day working. How people cope with work, children, cooking and maintaining their relationship (perhaps that is the one that loses out most often?), like you, I just don't know. And I'm much happier with my life now!

      Delete
  3. I thought that was why they created local farmer's markets. some of us don't like to cook, never will be good at it, etc. Getting those things at a local farmer's market works for me. Locally made, jobs locally, etc. I am so not into cooking.

    ReplyDelete

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