How to Make Mexican Corn Tortillas, Part 2

Epicurious's Around the World in 80 Dishes takes you to Mexico, with a demonstration of authentic Tortillas de Maiz (Corn Tortillas), prepared by Chef Iliana de la Vega of The Culinary Institute of America.

Released on 4/9/2009

Credits

Starring: Iliana de la Vega and Tanya Steel

Transcript

00:00
(upbeat music)
00:04
(orchestra music)
00:11
Alright, so here we have What is this?
00:14
A tortilladora. A tortilla?
00:15
Okay, at first, the people used to make it by hand.
00:18
Right, that's what, You know, by clapping.
00:20
Yeah. It's a lot of exercise.
00:21
It takes a long time, right?
00:22
Okay, so somebody came up with this idea,
00:24
which is brilliant.
00:26
So you need a plastic, so we have a bag here,
00:29
it's like a, kind of a hard,
00:31
or it can be just a supermarket bag, whatever.
00:34
Put it (foreign language),
00:35
which is this little bowl, and press.
00:39
Work a little bit like this, okay.
00:41
Mm-Mm, side-to-side?
00:43
Ah, wow! And then,
00:44
it's not ready.
00:45
Flip it over, 180. Oh my gosh.
00:49
And a little bit more.
00:50
All right. Ah, wow.
00:52
That is so, So we have a thin tortilla.
00:53
Cool. We don't want
00:54
a thick tortilla.
00:56
Now here, we have a comal, or a skillet, is warm.
01:01
We just peel this from the plastic,
01:04
and slide it off. Oh.
01:06
Now, you have to be careful.
01:07
If you don't do it right,
01:09
you know, like with one movement,
01:11
sometimes it gets wrinkled.
01:12
Don't touch it.
01:13
Okay, leave it there. Leave it, okay.
01:15
Okay, and eventually, it will come out not as pretty,
01:17
but it will come out. I see.
01:18
Do you want to make one?
01:19
Now what if you don't have one of these
01:21
incredibly cool, handy-dandy, machine?
01:24
What would I do? Let's see you can do,
01:27
pressure like this with something larger
01:29
at the bottom, Yeah.
01:30
And then you just pressure on it.
01:31
So could you use one pan on top of another?
01:34
Yeah. Like a bigger, smaller pan?
01:36
Or a bowl, let's imagine we don't have that,
01:38
Mm-Mm. You just press it,
01:40
like this. Oh, okay.
01:42
So really, anything that's flat, like a flat surface.
01:45
Mm-Mm, will work.
01:46
But I must say this is so fun.
01:49
Okay, so we have this tortilla from one side,
01:52
I'm flipping it over.
01:53
And what are you looking for, before you flip it over,
01:56
does it bubble at all? A little bit.
01:58
Okay. A little bit
01:59
at the beginning.
01:59
And also, it separates,
02:01
the edges are separated from the skillet.
02:04
Yeah, okay, so here's mine,
02:06
and we do them one at a time?
02:08
Yeah, well, it's easier at the beginning.
02:10
You know, especially,
02:11
if you don't have, I see.
02:12
Here, there is not enough room for more than one.
02:14
And you don't use any oil in the skillet?
02:16
Not at all,
02:17
not even in the de maiz, okay,
02:18
you don't need anything.
02:20
So it's very low fat. Okay, this is ready.
02:22
This is ready.
02:23
So we have a tortilla here. Okay.
02:25
There you go, one movement.
02:27
Voila. Beautiful, great.
02:29
Now if you're making the tortillas,
02:31
and eat them right away,
02:32
cook them the whole way through.
02:34
But if you're making a, for like enchiladas,
02:36
slightly less cooking. Okay, yeah that makes sense.
02:39
Okay, so they will roll up better,
02:41
and then at the time you need them,
02:42
they will finish the cooking.
02:44
So here we go, you know, it's bubbling here.
02:46
Kind of pretty.
02:48
And this is yours.
02:49
So come on, I know, I'm so excited,
02:53
I must say.
02:56
I want one of these guys.
02:58
There you go. Can you buy these,
03:00
Yeah. Pretty much anywhere?
03:01
Yeah, almost any Mexican grocery store,
03:03
supermarket, or internet.
03:07
So it's easy.
03:09
These really are cool.
03:11
Okay, Tanya, Yeah?
03:12
We say in Mexico that when a tortilla inflates,
03:14
and this is a little bit, you know, here's coming,
03:16
you're ready to get married. Really?
03:19
Yeah (mumbles). Interesting.
03:20
So I'll be looking for my second husband very soon.
03:24
So what do you do?
03:25
So fry some in the tortillas.
03:26
if you got a tortilladora,
03:27
or your mom is doing some tortillas for something,
03:30
just sprinkle a little bit of salt,
03:31
Yeah. And then roll up.
03:35
What about sugar, do you ever put sugar in them?
03:38
Mm, honestly, no (laughs). Okay.
03:42
Salsa would be another thing to have.
03:44
Mm. Aren't they wonderful?
03:47
This is so good.
03:49
You could go in and make more tortillas and --
03:51
It's so fun, it's a really fun thing to make,
03:54
and even more fun to eat.
03:55
Oh, how true.
03:56
Well, Chef, thank you so much for
03:57
showing us how to make tortillas.
03:58
Well, thank you too, for having me here today.
04:00
I feel so lucky. All right, thank you.
04:01
Thank you. Thank you.
04:12
(upbeat music)