Saturday afternoon Nick and I met some friends to map out the 2007 CUDGEL urban golf route. We are holding the event Sunday, May 27th (the day before Memorial Day). Check out our soon to be updated CUDGEL webpage and Myspace page for more details and to sign up.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so upon returning to Logan Square we wondered what we would do with the rest of the day. We had two perfectly ripe avocados that needed to be used in our dinner, but past that we didn't have many ingredients. Thanks to my new tortilla press, all we needed was a cup of masa harina, a can of black beans, and some rice to make a fabulous meal.
Makes about 8 6-inch tortillas
1 C Masa Harina
1 C warm water
2 tsp salt
In a medium sized bowl combine all of the ingredients. Work together with a wooden spoon or with your hands (easier). Don't worry about over-mixing, but the dough should come together easily. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let sit for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile heat your cast-iron skillet or heat your frying oil. Divide the dough into 8 round pieces. As you work with each ball of dough, add a few more teaspoons of warm water with your fingers and work through the dough. I have found that adding a bit more water than called for makes the dough much more manageable and reduces the dry, split edges that sometimes show up after pressing.
Place a ball of dough on a plastic lined tortilla press (recycled plastic bags work fine). Hold the dough away from the handle and then slowly press the dough between the metal pieces. Peel back the top piece of plastic and remove from the second piece just before you add the tortilla to the hot pan or oil. Keep the other dough covered while you make each tortilla. If cooking in a pan, give each side 1 and a half to 2 minutes.
A tortilla press is certainly not necessary to make homemade tortillas, however it does make the process quite a bit easier. In the past I have always cooked my tortillas on a hot cast iron skillet, but this time Nick fried them and folded them into shells. They were very tasty. They turned out to be a surprisingly bright yellow. We decided that next time we might cook them briefly before frying, though this isn't necessary.
We sat outside on my porch while we ate and enjoyed some Pabst. This was a very simple and satisfying meal or a lazy weekend day.