CPCS 001: All About Corn Tortillas, Fixing Hard Cookies, and Cooking a Great Steak [PODCAST]
The corn tortilla could very well be the most important ingredient in most Mexican cuisine. It often one of the strongest flavors in a dish and, depending on how it’s cooked, it can define the texture of your food. From chips and salsa to tacos and enchiladas, a quality corn tortilla done well will make a great recipe amazing, but done poorly and you’ll ruin the entire dish.
In this episode, I explain how corn tortillas are made and why “Nixtamalization” mades the corn more nutritious and easier on your digestive system. I also let you in on my secret source for the best pre-made tortillas available anywhere and I explain a few of the different recipes you can make with your corn tortillas.
If you’ve ever been disappointed with your homemade cookies because they turned out way too hard, I tell you how to fix them overnight so you don’t have to throw them away. You’ll also learn how to avoid this problem with my three simple tips.
I answer a couple of listeners questions; How to make a perfect steak or hamburger fully cooked and not dried out. I also give some tips on how to experiment in the kitchen without wasting food on bad results.
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Things Mentioned in this Show:
Full disclosure: Several of the items I’ve linked to below are affiliate links and I do make a small commission on the sale of the items. It helps support the website and my podcast and I greatly appreciate you using these links. Of course, if you have a source for a better product or the same item at a lower cost, I encourage you to use that instead. Thank you for any support you give.
Thank You Gift: This is where you can get my free eBook “7 Mistakes You’re Making in the Kitchen That are Destroying Your Meals.” You’ll find other kitchen tips, like the one in this episode on how to fix cookies that are too hard. It’s a free gift for listening to this podcast.
Filipino Lumpia and Pancit Recipe: I mentioned how Lumpia is served at almost every potluck you’ll ever attend in San Diego. It’s usually someones first introduction to the delicious food of the Philippines. Lumpia is the Filipino version of fried egg rolls but with a much thinner and flakier wrapper than what you’d typically find in a Chinese restaurant. Pancit is a Filipino noodle dish made with very thin rice noodles and a variety of ingredients.
Making of a Tortilla Snob: This is a very comprehensive article about my love of the corn tortilla. It compliments this podcast very well and includes information about a lot of things I talk about in this episode. Take a look and share it with any “tortilla snobs” you may know.
Masa Harina Flour: This is the dried “corn flour” you use to make homemade corn tortillas. If you don’t want to go through the soaking and grinding step to make your homemade corn tortillas, this is the next best thing. You can also use this to make homemade tamales. You can also buy your own blue corn flour if you want to make blue tortillas or chips.
Tortilla Press: This will make your homemade tortilla making process a LOT more efficient and enjoyable. A simple press that gives you round consisitent tortillas every time. I bought one just like this about 20 years ago in Rosarita Beach, in Baja California. This one is cast iron and will last for many years. It’s also very affordable, but you can buy an aluminium one for a little less.
Tortilla Warmer: This is a great investment that will become the centerpiece every time you serve up one of your Mexican recipes. If you don’t want to spend the money on it, you can use a bowl with a thick towel and it will do ok. You can also step up to a nice stoneware tortilla warmer as well.
Electric Griddle: This is the exact model of electric griddle I use to make my corn tortillas at home. If you turn it up to it’s highest setting, you’ll end up with great tortillas. You can make about 6-8 tortillas at a time using this.
Porkyland Corn Tortillas: This is my secret source for the best corn tortillas I’ve ever had, other than homemade ones. These come out to $1.82 per dozen which is about the same as you’ll pay for the store bought tortillas. These are thick and soft and have a wonderful corn aroma to them that will make your mouth water. There made by Porkyland Tortillas in San Diego. If you live in the Southwest, you may be able to buy these from your local Costco store as well. I have mine shipped all the way to South Florida and they show up in great condition, fresh and ready to be devoured.
Rubio’s Fish Taco Recipe: A mild fish fillet with a crispy beer batter served on a soft warm tortilla (use the Porkland Tortilla’s I mentioned above) topped with fresh shredded cabbage and a tangy white sauce. The fish taco has become synonomous with San Diego and Rubio’s is the biggest name in the game. This recipe will please anyone who’s ever had the real deal.
Seasoned Taco Meat Recipe: This is my personal seasoning for making taco meat. It’s a wonderful blend you can adjust to your liking. Really easy to make this spicy, if you’d like, or even tone it down a bit so the whole family can enjoy.
Meat Thermometer: If you’re trying to cook your meat to a safe temperature without drying it out and overcooking it, use a meat thermometer. This will save your very expensive cut of steak and eventually you’ll learn the perfect time that will give you your perfect steak.
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