Updated: Mar 30, 2020
As with many older cultures, cooking is considered the main talent of the woman of the house. "Sazon", the ability to cook well, is a gift generally gained from experience and a sense of commitment to diners. Cooking is part of social custom and meant to bind families and communities. For us, this means three things; amazing flavors, quality ingredients and hard work. With such an important role, as the cook of the house, great care and attention to detail is given to every aspect of their food. Many of the cooking processes of the Mexican culture are very time consuming but give us a flavor like no factory can.
The corn tortilla is perhaps the greatest example of this. In the home everything is done by hand, a process that takes much of the day and is done every day. Factories can hull & grind the corn to make tortillas much faster but we sacrifice the texture and even flavor in the process. Unless you're wanting to mill your own corn, this is as authentic as it gets. And they are delicious! A large batch can be time consuming, but these are super simple to make. This recipe yields about 12 tortillas.
You can use a rolling pin to roll these guys out but I highly recommend using a tortilla press. Not only to save yourself the time, but to make a more even & thinner tortilla. If you want the make the perfect traditional corn tortilla, you need this.
Here's the tortilla press I recommend. It is a little bigger so you can make them any size you'd like and it's made of cast iron, so it'll last you forever.
Traditional Across Mexico
2 cups masa harina
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ cups hot water
1. In a large bowl, mix salt and masa harina together.
2. Pour 1 ½ cups of hot water into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon or your hand to form a dough ball. The dough should be firm and springy when touched, not dry or super sticky. If the mixture is too dry, it needs a some more water, add it in small amounts until the dough is the right consistency.
3. Cover the bowl with a cloth napkin and let the dough rest for about an hour.
4. Preheat a griddle or large frying pan on medium high heat.
5. Pinch off golf ball sized pieces of the dough and form into a ball by rolling it in a circular motion in the palm of your hand.
6. Put the masa ball in between two pieces of plastic wrap, parchment or wax paper and flatten it using a tortilla press.
7. Gently remove the flattened tortilla from the plastic wrap and cook on the hot griddle for 30-60 seconds, until it has beautiful brown marks. Flip the tortilla over and cook the other side 30-60 seconds. The tortilla may start to puff up in the middle, that is okay.
8. Remove the tortilla from the pan and place it under a cloth napkin or in a tortilla warmer, to keep warm. Repeat steps 5-8 until you have used all of your dough.
9. Devour immediately!
Make these with this amazing Yucatan style Pulled Pork.
Learn more about the Regional Cuisines of Mexico here.