maria’s tortillas

Surely other people have concluded this before me, but I’m certain that the most difficult foods to master are the ones w/ the fewest ingredients. Yeasted breads, no-pectin added jams, hollandaise…they’re just so finicky. That’s part of their charm, I think. The ability to turn eggs and butter into the ridiculous deliciousness of hollandaise? Sugar plus fruit equals jam? When these come out right, it’s so satisfying.

Until recently, tortillas, w/ their two measly ingredients (if you can even think of water as an ingredient!), entirely escaped me. Then I got a tutorial! While tortillas were formerly the realm of the financier, they’re all mine now. I was hoping to make him jealous w/ my skills, but instead he just laughed and pointed out that I’d actually created more labor for myself. Really, though, I’m sure he’s jealous. :) After a few practice runs and some run-ins w/ an overheated comal, I think I’ve got a pretty good thing going these days.

This morning was all about the tortillas and eggs. 2 cups of masa plus two cups and change of warm water, mix, then roll.

tortilla balls

Then it was a matter of squishing them…


putting them on the comal, then flipping them as soon as they don’t stick.


Once they’re flipped, it’s a matter of waiting for one of the sides to get all puckery. I’m still not great at this part, so occasionally overestimate the time. This yields some brown spots, which I grumble about. I think it also makes the final tortilla a little bit tough, at least comparatively.

Then comes the best part. Flip again and watch them puff.


Sometimes I have to give them a quick little push b/f they puff up; other times they do it on their own. Self-puffing tortillas might just be one of life’s great joys.

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