Making a homemade tortilla is really an art form and the traditional manner in which they are prepared from grinding the corn to create the harina to the dough and then reaching the final product of the tortilla is slowly loosing its importance. Which is so sad! Tacos are absolutely incredible if you ask me. The intense flavors, a kick of spice, a creaminess from the avocado, cheese, or sour cream (if you are me all 3 of those go in my taco), the crunch of the cabbage or lettuce, the earthy flavors of the beans, and the zest from the lime. Then you have all the fillings of protein or vegetables you can add like steak, pork, nopales, shrimp, fish, chicken.... The way to make and assemble a taco are endless.
BUT!!!! What makes or breaks a taco is the tortilla. A bad tortilla and your taco just isn't good. If the tortilla is good, well then the taco is AMAZING! I am being serious. Think about it as a sandwich. The filling of the sandwich can be great, it can be the best, it can be your dream sandwich, but if the bread is terrible you don't want to eat your sandwich. So just like the sandwich of a bread makes a sandwich the tortilla of a taco is crucial.
I went to Mexico back in May with my boyfriend (Dave), and I am still dreaming about the tacos. One in particular! It was a tuna taco, the perfect 2 biter and we were overlooking the ocean after getting an hour massage on the beach and totally relaxed from vacation. We ordered 3 or 4 different tacos and the tuna one is the one I can't ever forget. It is a good and bad thing because I want it all the time. The creamy chopped fresh tuna in a small fried corn tortilla was mind blowing. The crunchy thin texture of the tortilla paired with the tuna makes you fall weak at the knees. The tortilla made it! If it wasn't crunchy and thin it would have over powered the deliciously fatty fresh tuna and it would have been too much. The simplicity and accuracy of the perfect tortilla made this the best taco in the world! I am saying that now, but I would like to continue to challenge the tuna taco and try many more other tacos.
Just so you can see what I have been ranting about. Tuna Taco on the beach!
The traditional way to make a tortilla is simple: masa, lime, and water. That is it! The quality of the masa is important. There are two different options for making tortilla masa. The first is Maseca Nixtamasa which is the more traditional masa used. It makes a more soft and pliable tortilla. The other is Maseca or Masa Harina like an instant flour and used more traditionally in Central America. Try them out and see which of the "flours" you prefer for you tortilla. Keep practicing because the ratio of your water and temperature matter as well. I like to use room temperature water and a hint of lime to make my tortillas.
Fill your tacos with whatever you like! Make it delicious and to your tastebuds.
Here is the recipe for my tortillas for about 10-12 tortillas.
2 cups masa harina
A pinch of salt
A squeeze of lime
1 1/2 cups water
1. Prepare the tortilla press (which you must have to make tortillas), by lining it with a Ziplock bag. If you don't the masa/tortilla will stick to it and fall apart.
2. Mix all the ingredients for masa together and stir until it makes a masa. Knead the dough until you reach a smooth consistency.
3. Grab a small amount and roll it into a ball. Place it in the center of the tortilla press and close it to squeeze it flat. Then on a hot skillet place the tortilla and cook on both sides for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Continue until they are all done and then fill to make your tacos.