It was pure coincidence - our decision to put together a Mexican feast just in time for Cinco de Mayo. A and I love Mexican food, but we had not been eating much of it lately because he had been spending so much time south of the border. The trips to Mexico have slowed, leading to a craving for some tacos, which was merely exacerbated by the gorgeous weather. It was like the grill was calling to us.
Our Mexican feast was also a great excuse to check out the farmer's market in Hackensack. It has super cheap produce and all sorts of latino specialties like chilies, queso blanco and parts of the cow that most Americans don't traditionally eat. Red ripe strawberries? Check. Perfect cantaloupe? Check. Pork butt... no... wait, no pork butt? The Latino market has goat intestine, but they don't have pork butt? There was something called pork "cushion" in the cooler, which the butcher swore was "definitely not" pork butt. Okay fine, but is there another part of the pig that resembles a "cushion"? Whatever. Looks like the carnitas just became skirt steak for some carne asada tacos. Yum.
Of course, it wasn't enough for me to just make tacos from scratch. It was time for me to learn how to make tortillas. I had seen ladies patting them out on the streets of Guatemala... it just didn't look that difficult. A little bit of internet research confirmed my hunch - corn tortillas from scratch are actually quite simple. Simple enough that A and I are not likely to ever purchase tortillas again.
The tortilla dough requires just two ingredients - maza harina and water. Maza harina is a special type of ground corn meal that has been treated with limewater. Sometimes the bag says "tortilla mix" on it. A saw this and suggested that perhaps instead of "just using a mix", I should make my own maza. Yeah, if I want to spend the week drying, grinding and treating the corn. If you are a "from scratch only" cook, don't let the tortilla mix label scare you away.
Mix them together, roll out the tortilla, through it on the griddle and about 2 minutes later you will have a tortilla. It couldn't be simpler.
Recipe for corn tortillas and skirt steak marinade after the jump.