Putting a new face on leftovers – try some corn tortillas!

Tortillas are a nice bread substitute.

Tortillas are a nice bread substitute.

Yes, that was an enormous pot of beans. When we made it my husband and I were aware we’d be eating it for at least two nights, and several meals in between.  We needed to come up with some ideas to keep it from being mundane.

Corn tortillas are easy to make – the corn flour is available at most grocery stores for pretty cheap, and  it’s really simple, just add water. If you add too much water, you add more flour, and if you put too much flour, you just add more water.

Some people roll their tortillas with a wooden pin like a little pie dough, but I bought a special press – tortilladora – online for about $12.


This baby turns my kitchen into a tortilleria!

This baby turns my kitchen into a tortilleria!  It’s heavy so I keep it in the box to protect my cabinets.

My kids found one at a yard sale around town for $4.  It’s a simple little fold-over metal press. I line my press with a heavy plastic storage bag cut flat, it keeps the masa from sticking to the press. I roll a ball of masa about the size of a walnut and put it in the middle – squish! – and there’s a nice little tortilla to put on a hot skillet.  Takes about two minutes to brown one side, then another minute on the other side and it’s ready for stuffing. You’ll want to have a plate lined with paper towels and a pot lid  to cover them so they will stay hot and  pliable while you finish your little stack.

One nice thing about making your own tortillas is, they’re fresh, and you will notice the difference. The other thing is, you make as many as you want, no stale tortillas laying around the kitchen. Since I’ve been making my own I can smell the tortilla rack in the store from aisles away – they smell rancid compared to the fresh ones. My son who lives away at college buys them in a pack, and he gets used to the store bought, but he always asks for homemade tacos when he comes back for the weekend.  He also finds he ends up throwing away at least one tortilla from every pack,  they get too dry and start to stink.  One of these days we’ll set him up with his own press, it’s not that much more trouble than opening the plastic bag and throwing the ready-made tortilla on the skillet.

Today we will probably throw the rest of the beans on a pile of corn chips, add a little cheese on top, and call it “Nachos”!  



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