Tacos are one of my favorite foods and Mexican food in general is great for me because it is pretty easy to swap in corn tortillas or corn chips for any flour tortillas or products and hooray – delicious gluten free meal. Canada, however, does not seem to share my degree of excitement about Mexican food and I still have not been able to find corn tortillas in the grocery stores here. (They do have a pretty good selection of flour tortillas though so gluten lovers can still get their Mexican fix in Canada). So in honor of Cinco de Mayo (a couple days early), I decided to try making my own corn tortillas last night so I could make some shrimp tacos.
I found an easy looking recipe online (http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/fresh-corn-tortillas/ … I also was intrigued by the “on a shoestring” part of this blog as it fits very nicely with my graduate student budget and general way of life) and went to work!
Mix them together, cover with a wet towel (I went for the paper version) and let sit for 15 minutes.
I don’t have a tortilla press (tool of choice suggested in the recipe) but Gillian does have a rolling pin so I figured I could go with that. The recipe suggested using two pieces of plastic wrap to roll the dough between if you didn’t have a tortilla press. However, we didn’t have any plastic wrap. So I tried waxed paper…Fail. The paper must not have been wax-y enough because the wet dough stuck to it on both sides. So I tried aluminum foil…Cool – perfectly oval and flat tortilla!
Until I tried to get it off the bottom sheet:
So in the end I resorted to throwing a lump of dough in the pan and trying to pat it down with spatula. Not as pretty but it was the best I could do.
I also managed to set off our smoke alarm about 20 times in the process of making 6 tortillas because of the oil smoking in the pan. I guess with a cast iron skillet you can cook them ‘dry’ – no oil – but I don’t have one of those either. I even tried taking the battery out of the smoke detector which gave me about 45 seconds of peace before it starting going off because I hadn’t replaced the battery in that time period.
Anyway, they came out more like corn pancakes (I think these might also be known as flapjacks) but still tasted good.
They were a little too thick to fold up into actual tacos so I just put my toppings on top of the flat corn pancakes. Shrimp, avocado (a new ‘love’ – well, ‘like’, we’re not quite at the love stage of our relationship yet), and fire-roasted salsa – yum! I would also like to thank my sister Pam for helping me grow into some more adult tastebuds by accidentally serving our family super spicy vegetarian tacos at her house, after which I was forced to eat guacamole (previously, not a food I would choose to eat) by the spoonful to cool the burn. But since then I’ve decided that I like guacamole and avocado if they are in things – sushi, tacos, etc. Salsa, also not previously a favorite – I love tomato soup and pasta sauce but I’m not a huge fan of tomato chunks or whole tomatoes and as previously stated, I am a huge wimp when it comes to spicy stuff. So avocado and salsa on a taco for me is a big night!
Even though I had to eat them with a fork and knife they still tasted pretty good. I guess these would more appropriately be called tostados (http://www.mexgrocer.com/mexcocina-may1.html) although I still think my ‘pancakes’ were a little too thick to be true tacos or tostados. Next time I’ll try actual plastic wrap!
Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!