You may not need a recipe for homemade corn tortillas as much as you simply need encouragement to make them yourself. Making your own corn tortillas is not a necessity in this day and age, and I’m not even sure if taco trucks make their own or just buy them at the store like most reasonable people. However, I think you should make your own corn tortillas because it inevitably leads to taco night at home and then you can have gluten-free spa tacos filled with vegetables and low-fat protein. Imagine black beans, shredded chicken, guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, cilantro, queso fresco and lettuce nestled inside your fresh, hot, homemade corn tortillas and you will begin to understand why you need this recipe.
Before you ask me why I have a tortilla press, I want to ask you why you don’t have a tortilla press? Actually, the only reason that I have a tortilla press is because Sweetie bought it to encourage more Taco Night adventures together. These days, our cat chews on the handle like it is his own private salt lick and we debate whether or not we feel like driving to all the way to Pasco (taco truck heaven in the Tri-Cities) for street tacos. But homemade corn tortillas are not difficult and don’t even require an heirloom tortilla press to make. Use a rolling pin to flatten the masa dough if you don’t have/want a tortilla press.
There are two easy ways to make corn tortilla dough. The easiest method is to use the widely-available, standard corn masa flour found under Maseca brand. This is flour milled from dried hominy, which are corn kernels that have been soaked in a limewater solution to remove the hull. There are also other brands of golden masa harina corn flour. Beyond that, I suppose you could grind your own corn into flour (after soaking it in lime water and drying it) but I haven’t tried it yet. Which, now that I think about it, is surprising and probably something that I would attempt soon except that Pinterest keeps telling me that people want easy recipes these days.
I made my batch into curry tortillas with the addition of curry powder to the dough. Note that if you use the tortilla recipe printed on the Maseca bag, it has too much water and too little salt. Overly wet tortilla dough will stick to your press and tear when you try to peel it away. Press your tortillas as thin as you can for best results, but any thick tortillas are great candidates for baked corn tortilla chips. Simply cut up your (thick) pressed tortillas and bake them at 350°F for about 15 minutes with a little oil spray and salt.
To make your gluten-free spa tacos, prepare an avocado crema for drizzling and an Asian-flavored simmered carrot salad for topping. The avocado crema would also be great with homemade tortilla chips. You are the master of your own taco and can fill it with whatever you wish, but include lots of fresh vegetables or take the grilled fish taco option.
The sweetness of the carrots balances the slight tang of the avocado crema and really comes to life with an additional squeeze of lime over the top of your gluten-free spa tacos. Watch the YouTube video to see the steps involved in making the carrots and crema and subscribe because there are more videos to come!
As the recipe notes, togarashi powder is prepared and sold by World Spice Merchants in Seattle. The grilling taco rack I use in the photos makes a nice gift for Father’s Day. To achieve a creamy consistency for the sauce, a Vitamix blender or a Cuisinart Custom 14 food processor is necessary.
- ½ cup Maseca Instant Corn Masa Flour
- ¼ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 carrot, peeled
- ¼ cup dashi or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon mirin
- 1 dash of togarashi powder (or equivalent amount of chile powder and sesame seeds)
- 1 tablespoon dried currants or raisins
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup sour cream
- fresh lime juice, to taste
- Mix the corn flour, water, and salt together until it forms a dough. If the dough feels dry, add a teaspoon of water and repeat until dough is soft.
- Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes to fully hydrate.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Line both sides of a tortilla press with a split-open zip-lock plastic bag.
- Place a ball of dough between the plastic wrap and press until it makes a 6-inch diameter tortilla. Repeat with other balls of dough. Stack the pressed tortillas and cover with a damp towel.
- Heat a non-stick skillet or cast-iron pan on medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla one minute per side and stack under a damp towel so they will steam and soften to become pliable. Serve warm or reheat in skillet to warm.
- Use a peeler to peel carrot into slivers.
- Add dashi, soy sauce, and mirin to a pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the carrot slivers, dried fruit, and spice powder to the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for one minute. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Puree the flesh of the avocado in a food processor until smooth. Add the sour cream and blend until fully incorporated. Season to taste with salt and lime juice.
YouTube video recipe link