It won’t come as a surprise that after visiting casa Remcooks, I have been inspired to do some Mexican/Tex-Mex/Southwestern cooking. Baby Lady got me a big bag of corn masa flour, needed to make corn tortillas and she also taught me how to make crispy taco shells. Thank you, Baby Lady! Making your own corn tortillas from scratch is easy. You only need a tortilla press. I simply followed the recipe on the bag of masa, and it worked the first time around. Corn tortillas are easier to make than flour tortillas, which are hard to keep soft. Especially the fried version (taco shells) has a very nice flavor, which you probably know from tortilla chips.
280 grams (2 cups) corn masa flour
320 ml (1 1/3 cups) water
1/4 tsp salt
(Please note that you cannot use the type of corn flour used to make polenta for this. It has to be corn flour that has been ‘nixtamalized’ as the process is called. Available from Mexican shops.)
Divide the dough into 16 equal balls. (The easiest way to do is, is to divide the dough in half. Then divide each half into quarters. Then divide each quarter into 8ths, and finally divide each 8th into 16ths.)
Eat them straight away, or allow them to cool to room temperature and store them in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag for up to a week.
How to make hard taco shells
Allow the tortillas to cool to room temperature first. Head about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of vegetable oil or lard to a temperature of about 180ºC/350ºF. Add a tortilla, cook for about 5 seconds, flip it, and cook again for about 5 seconds.
Now use tongs to fold the tortilla to a 45-degree angle and cook it for about 15 seconds or until crispy and golden, using the tongs to press it down. Flip it over and cook the other side for 15 seconds as well.
It takes some practice to get this right. You may actually make them wrong on purpose, as a freshly fried tortilla is a great snack with some salsa 😉
It is very appropriate that two years ago I prepared flaky pork shoulder sous-vide, as I will apply the same method soon to prepare carnitas sous-vide (which will be served with corn tortillas).