Masa Harina Corn Tortillas

Fajitas in corn tortillas
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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 65 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
86 Calories
1g Fat
18g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 86
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 133mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 62mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you've ever had the luck to peer into a traditional Hispanic kitchen, you'll know that the cooks shaping and cooking corn tortillas seem to do it too fast for the human eye to capture. Experience, repetition, and what looks like a superhuman resistance to heat might make you think that making tortillas requires a lot of work and technical skills, but in reality what it requires is attention to detail and a good tortilla press, or a humble rolling pin. You don't have to be fast to achieve great tortillas, and our recipe guarantees that your tortillas are going to be equally soft and delicious as the traditional ones. The key ingredient is just masa harina, a special flour made from dried corn that has been previously soaked in lime solution (calcium hydroxide) and then finely ground. Water and salt are the rest of the ingredients. Roll up your sleeves and prepare for this easy tortilla recipe so you can enjoy these homemade treats stuffed with your favorite ingredients. This recipe makes a dozen tortillas of 5 to 5.5-inch in diameter. These can be used immediately or frozen for later use.

Masa harina has a distinctive flavor stemming from soaking the grains in calcium hydroxide, so it's a different product than cornmeal or cornflour. A little sour and earthy, the soaked kernels are then dried and ground into flour. Because the grains used to make corn flour and cornmeal haven't been soaked in lime solution, these products, though made from corn, are not substitutions for the classic masa harina. The soft flour is then reconstituted with water to make all sorts of doughy preparations, from tortillas to arepas, gorditas to tamales. Some cooks use just salt and water to make the dough (masa) and some others add fat to make it smoother (butter, lard, oil). There are as many variations on masa as there are cooks, but ours is the basic standard for tasty tortillas. A thicker dough makes great arepas, a thinner dough is great for tamales as it will firm up when steaming. Some use more water, some use more fat, some add more salt, some add other spices. But no matter how it's prepared, this masa is a fundamental piece of the culture and tradition of Hispanic and Latin cuisines.

Add some grated cheese and fold for a quick quesadilla. Use grilled meats to stuff the tortillas and top with pico de gallo and avocado, or cut in triangles and fry for delicious corn chips. No matter how you eat them, know that making these is also a great way of celebrating the delicious traditions of the ancient and amazing cuisines from Mexico and further south. Find harina masa in the international aisle of most supermarkets, online, or in Hispanic and Latin Markets.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups masa harina

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups water, warm

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In medium bowl, mix masa harina and salt.

  3. Slowly add water until dough becomes smooth and firm, not sticky.

  4. Turn dough out onto board and divide it into 12 equal portions. Roll into balls.

  5. If you have a tortilla press, follow the tool’s instructions for flattening the tortillas.

  6. By hand, place a tortilla ball between two sheets of wax paper. Use rolling pin to roll dough out into a thin tortilla shape.

  7. To cook, place one tortilla at a time in a large ungreased frying pan. Cook over moderate hot heat for about one to two minutes on each side, or until each side is lightly browned.

  8. When finished cooking all tortillas, wrap them together in aluminum foil and place in warm oven (about 300 degrees F) for 5 minutes.