Tag Archives: tortillas

Not My Mama’s: Mexican Street Tacos

Tortilladora & Masa

Because I’ve been dreaming of the street tacos I had while in Mexico, I decided to put that bag of masa I’ve had in my cupboard since the last time we attempted making our own tortillas to good use.  It’s been a while because let’s face it — San Diego is a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the border and there are plenty of places to get authentic tacos here.  I just never order them.  I’m more of a carnitas person so can’t tell you much about how good the tacos are at our favorite “Los Dos” across from Albertson’s on Turquoise in Pacific Beach.  It’s on my agenda to find out, though.

In the meantime, I treated myself to a tortilla press to the tune of $17.  It makes me smile about this cooking “hobby” I have, because that sum could purchase quite a few packages of perfectly fresh corn tortillas if you know when the delivery guys stock the best ones at the market.  But the woman in Puerto Vallarta made it look so easy:  Make a ball, put it on the lower plastic covered plate, press, and peel.  Voila!

Yes, well, let’s just say that after watching me try a few with less than completely desirable results, my husband was gnashing at the bit to step in and finish the rest with no trouble at all.  Go figure.  Perhaps it’s a math thing.

And the taste?  Would they compare favorably with the El Cisne taco cart in Puerto Vallarta?  I say definitely.

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Tortillas & Carnitas: Gringo Style

Img_1963The sun is shining and I’m so not going to sit here all day — even though I nearly already have.  So this will be quick, and much less fattening than the last few posts I’ve done.

A few days ago, I was cruising through the bake aisle at my usual grocery store — I know — big surprise!  But I spotted a bag of masa harina.  You know — that stuff you make tortillas with — and I thought, “What the hell!”  I imagined myself patting those cute little fat corn patties the ladies used to make in Old Town while we were waiting for our dinner reservation to be called. Mmmmm….There surely couldn’t be much to it, right?

I ran the idea past my husband whose eyebrows lifted….“Carnitas?” he asked, expectantly?  Absolutely!  So I threw a few frozen pieces of pork into the crockpot with some cumin seeds, chopped onions and garlic and forgot about it for a few hours or so.  At one point, I began to smell something, and actually alarmed that I had left a pot on the stove and forgot about it, ran downstairs to find the crockpot, simmering away.  How lame can I get?

When my son got home from school, I casually asked him if he wanted to help me make tortillas, and he immediately said, “Sure!”  What a kid.

The pictures speak for themselves, the pork was perfect after we added some salt and pepper, and the condiments were just the right touch.  How long did it take?  About 20 minutes start to swallow.  Sometimes The Little Red Hen can round up some takers!

Roll the ball of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap, then peel off the plastic carefully. Throw the tortilla onto the griddle for a couple of minutes, flippng three times until very small brownish spots appear.

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Shred the pork, and prepare the condiments:



Diced jalapeno, tomatoes, green onions, avocados, shredded cabbage and cheese, with chopped cilantro and green salsa.


They slide right down — even if they’re not perfectly round!