Cinco De Mayo is here, and what better way to celebrate than to try your hand at some Latin flavor? You don’t have to go too far to enjoy a little Tex-Mex flavor in your own home… thanks to a few fantastic recipes to get you started. Try making homemade tortillas and salsa for a compliment to any Mexican dish!
Handmade Corn Tortillas
Sylvia Casares from Syliva’s Enchiladas Kitchen Restaurants is known as the Enchilada Queen. She offers cooking classes and has a cookbook full of everything from appetizers, sides, breakfasts and desserts. Here she shares her handmade corn tortilla recipes with you!
- 2 cups masa harina (instant corn flour; Maseca brand preferred; see below)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Also needed: Heavy cast-iron tortilla press, griddle or pan, Tortilla warmer
1. In a medium bowl, combine the masa, flour (if using), and salt. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix well to blend.
2. Add 1½ cups water and mix until all the ingredients are well blended. Knead for about 30 seconds, until the dough forms a firm but very pliable ball.
3. If the dough is too dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons additional water. Divide the dough into 16 golf ball–size rounds. Place in a large, clean bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
4. Preheat griddle over medium-high heat. You know it is ready when water sprinkled on the hot surface “dances.” The temperature should be around 400°F. Before cooking the tortillas, use a balled-up paper towel to apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the surface.
5. Using a tortilla press, place one piece of plastic wrap on the bottom plate. Place a dough ball in the center and press down with your hand to flatten to about 2 inches in diameter.
Center a second piece of plastic over the flattened dough and press down with the top side of the press. Press until the tortilla is about 6 inches in diameter.
6. Lift the tortilla off the press and carefully peel the plastic off one side. Turn the tortilla into your other hand. Peel off the second piece of plastic. Flip the tortilla onto the hot pan. Cook the tortilla for about 15 seconds; then flip it over using a spatula. After flipping, cook the tortilla for about 1 minute, then flip again. Cook for another 1 minute. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer or a bowl covered with a towel.
Repeat the process, oiling the pan as needed, until all the tortillas are pressed and cooked. This recipe makes 16 six inch tortillas.
Easy Homemade Tomatillo Salsa
Sara Wagner Hoffman shares easy and wildly popular recipes on her blog. Here she shares a popular recipe for Tomatillo Salsa.
Tip: When shopping for a tomatillo you should look for fruits that still have the husk intact. They should be firm, and not squishy. You can peel a bit of the husk back to inspect them. If you see bug bites, or wrinkly areas, toss those back. Look for a nice green color. If there is a little bit of dirt that can be washed off. You’ll need to husk them to expose the green flesh, and wash them really well to remove their stickiness.
- 12-15 tomatillos
- 1/2 medium onion
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 TBSP chopped chipotles in adobo sauce (1 for mild; 2 for heat)
- 2 TBSP chopped cilantro
1. Peel the outer papery shell off of the tomatillos. Rinse them well under cold water to remove sticky residue and allow to dry on a tea towel.
2. Once dried, place the tomatillos on a baking sheet. Place garlic cloves on the sheet, along with a medium onion that has been sliced coarsely.
3. Turn on the broiler. Place the baking tray about 5-6 inches from the heating element. Allow to cook for 5-6 minutes, allowing the tomatillos to char nicely.
4. Flip and char the other sides of the veggies. You might need to remove the garlic or onion if they start to darken at a faster rate than the tomatillos.
5. Allow to cool.
6. In a blender or food processor, toss in the tomatillos, the pan juices, the peeled roasted garlic, onion bits, cilantro and chipotle. Pulse and chop until the salsa is fully blended and makes a nice saucy liquid. Refrigerate until ready to serve.