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Help! Tortilla disaster.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Well, everything looked ok. I placed the masa
ball into the iron tortilla maker. I made sure
wax paper was on the top and bottom of the
tortilla ball before I pressed it. Then disaster. I tried to get it into the skillet. What a mess! The tortilla just stuck to the wax paper. I ended up just frying a store bought corn tortilla. Can you give this story a happy ending?

post #2 of 11
Try parchment baking sheets and if they still stick.... spray a little food release on the sheet.:)
post #3 of 11
Perhaps the masa was too wet. You only need to add enough water so that a cherry sized ball of dough does not crack at the edges when you squeez it between your thumb and forefinger.

post #4 of 11
If your using the metal tortilla press, add a little oil into your
masa, not a must, but helps a little(manteca). Use a large
ziploc bag cut open at the seams. Its what we use. You may
have to lay off on your pressure when flattening your masa.
Just make it a little thicker, just a little. You never get them
quite as thin as store bought. If you haven't ever tried Anson
Mills masa, look it up. They also have whole dried kernels of
masa corn for making masa from scratch. Boiling it with pickling
lime(kal, I think its called in mexico). Good luck. A fresh home
made tortilla, with good masa is hard to beat.
post #5 of 11
Would you want a fresh, home made tortilla to be like a thin, store bought one?

There are a few Latina American restaurants in my area and they make their tortillas by hand. They are thicker than store bought, and even a bit thiscker than those made by bigger, more affluent Mexican and Latin rerstaurants that crank out tortillas by machine, and they are so much more tasty. It's wonderful to watch the cooks make the tortillas by hand, just for your meal.

post #6 of 11
You ever wonder about workers washing thier hands
after going to the bathroom, or, how much stuff gets
caught under long fingernails, especially guys who have
one extremely long pinky fingernail. I've heard the pinky
nail is for cutting boxes or for drawing blood in a street fight.
Once had a customer call me out into the diningroom, I thought
he wanted to compliment me on the meal he and his guest had
just shared. He smiled and whispered to me "Look up at your
Picolli or Tapas station". Which was by the way exposed to the
dining room. There stood Carlos, our newest line cook. He was
in a starched uniform, checked pants, black shoes, clean apron,
and chefs hat. He was a good looking young fellow. There was
one problem, he had the pinky with the long fingernail jammed so
far up his nose, you'd have though he was touching brain. I mean
this kid was digging for gold. The color went out of my face, and
I stammered out a feeble apology as I dashed away from the table.
I ran through the door to the exposed kitchen and asked poor carlos
to take his hat off and walk through the dining room and out the front
door. To this day it still horrifies me and makes me laugh at the thought
of it. I don't know how many customers saw him, but, I thought the best
thing was for the whole dining room to see me quietly terminate him.
By the way, I have always had trouble making tortillas by hand with
gloves on. Boy the stories that pile up after 25 or 30 years in the kitchen.
I started at 12 and have worked in every kind of place, bar, etc. Seen so
many things that would curl your toes, make you gag, but keep you laughing
for hours. But, I do go on sometimes
post #7 of 11
Sometimnes, but I've eaten food prepared in so many places where there's no running water or sanitary facilities (like in the jungle in Panama, on beaches in Peru, from roadside stands in rural Mexico, and by so many different people, including myself, that I just don't worry about it.

post #8 of 11
It'll happen one day! Your abdomen starts to swell, like your
pregnant, only a little bit higher, you feel your ribs start to pop
at the sides, your kidneys and digestive system shut down. Two
weeks later and 25 pounds lighter, you wonder how your still alive.
Third world countries and the cuisine are the best until you have a serious
scrape with the creator. I too have eaten around, mostly in central and
south america. Its only happened once real bad and a couple of 3 or 4 day
bugs, but, if you have ever had large intestinal parasites or an extremely
bad case of food poisoning, it changes your habits. Of course it happens
in the good ole U.S.A. everyday. People die every week, albeit the extrememely young and elderly. I am happy you have been so lucky.

post #9 of 11
Well, even, I don't quite know how you got started on this line of discussion, unless it was because I commented that I enjoyed the hand made tortillas at a couple of the small local restaurants. I live in the USA, and even the small places have running water and flush toilets, and I'm sure that the people making the tortillas follow some basic health rules and sometimes even wash their hands <LOL>.

I'll tell you what I can't stand - the people who wear those disgusting latex gloves for whatever reason, and perhaps think that by wearing them they are being more sanitary than those who don't wear them. After a bit those gloves get pretty dirty, and if they're not changed frequently they are worse than someone just not washing their hands after eash food preparation step.

Frankly, I'm a little sick and tired of the obsession this country generally has with cleanliness. While there's no need for us to eat another person's waste or nose pickings, there's a limit to how much I can take. When I see the filth in some kitchens, the dirty gloves some food preparers wear, the cavalier way knives and counters are cleaned in some places, it makes me realize that no amount of regulation is going to make a place cleaner or the food any safer than someone, as in the case of my neighborhood tortilla maker, who takes even the most rudimentary steps to maintain cleanliness. In fact, after waiting in line at a deli recently, when it was my turn to order I asked the clerk to please remove her gloves, as her hands would certainly have been cleaner than that latex skin she'd been wearing.

Shel (loves to eat dirt!)
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Tortilla thanks!


Wow! I really appreciated the happy ending you gave me to my tortilla fiasco story.

post #11 of 11
I too am guilty of eating any thing and almost anywhere. Things have always worked out for me....funny though, I wont feed the stuff to my children....though I have let them swim in a river that everyone in the neighborhood used to wash clothes and "other" things. In the US I also ask people to change those gloves, I mean you cannot man the register and then turn around eat some lunch and make my sandwich!
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