Tortilla press

For years I’ve wanted to make a tortilla press. I’ve tried making tortillas without one, but it never works quite right. I saw a press in the store the other day when I was in town. It was pieces of pine board screwed together with drywall screws. It looked super simple and it looked like it would do the trick. I decided I needed to make my own. I found a couple of nice pieces of hardwood (cherry and maple) that were the perfect size. So from some wood scraps I had lying around and an old hinge I found, I made my own, brand-spanking new tortilla press.

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Phase 1: Ready for action.

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Phase 2: The squashing phase.

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Phase 3: A perfect thin, round tortilla. Ready for the spicy beef I have roasting in the oven. Ooohh baby! Bring it on.

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Here’s the beef I made. It was really easy to make. I can’t take full credit for it. I got the idea for the recipe here: http://www.afamilyfeast.com/mexican-shredded-beef/  I fooled with the recipe a little. I added fresh garlic too and I used a $5 cheap London Broil steak, and a whole small can of beef broth. I sauteed the beef, onion and garlic first, then added everything else, and put it in the oven with the cover off at 350ºF for about an hour, then 450ºF until the liquid was gone and the meat was tender.

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Phase 4: The finished product. My fresh tortillas, a little cheese, the meat and cilantro on top. Simple and delicious.

Note: Making tortillas is easy. Just buy instant masa (I use Maseca) and follow the directions on the package (2 cups of masa, 1.5 cups warm water, 1/4 tsp salt). Make the dough the consistency of Play Dough. Use a freezer bag with three sides cut off to put the dough ball in for pressing. Press dough ball between plastic and carefully peel it off and brown in medium-hot pan with oil (about 30-60 seconds per side). Enjoy!

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