Thursday, November 10, 2011

Con Carino

So, they say the best meals are those made with love. A few Sundays ago I felt inspired to cook up a grand meal. It was raining out, and I thought there is nothing better then comfort food on a dreary day. For me comfort food is directly related to Mexican food.

Homemade Corn Tortillas

First purchase Masa Harina, which is corn flour prepped and ready to make corn tortillas. I literally just add warm water, a pinch of baking soda, and salt. From there you knead the "masa" into a dough.

When the dough is ready, simply pinch off little round balls of dough and cover the remaining masa with a warm damp kitchen towel. This will keep the remaining dough from drying out.

You can use a tortilla press, a rolling pin, or just your hands to flatten out the rounds into tortillas. Flour your rolling pin or use wax paper to roll the dough out.
There is nothing like a comal (caste iron skillet) to cook your tortillas on, but a cast iron skillet will work, too. Just cook 30 seconds on each side or until the tortillas begin to bubble.
Now I know this sounds a little labor intensive, but let me assure you they are so worth it. If you have ever tasted authentic Mexican food there is no going back to store made tortillas, unless you live in Mexico.


The Filling
Once your tortillas are made you can add just about anything. Me, I love Carnitas as my taco filling.
The how to on Carnitas is so simple. You need a few garlic cloves, one bunch of chopped cilantro, one bunch of chopped green onion, one chopped vine tomato, and a great cut of steak or pork, which ever you prefer.
First I sauté the chopped onions and garlic in half a cup of olive oil. When they are browned I add my seasoned cubed meat. For seasonings I stick to what is simple, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook for three minutes on each side. Then toss in the remaining ingredients. I let these ingredients simmer low for five minutes. Then I remove the Carnitas from the heat.
The key to exceptional Mexican food are FRESH ingredients. I can not emphasis this enough. Fresh, well cared for ingredients make EVERY meal a success. If I had a garden I would grow my own.
Add your filling of choice to your tortillas, a splash of fresh lime juice, and a homemade salsa. This meal is a favorite and definitely worth the time.

PS. If you think, Wow this looks amazing, but I will never cook this meal, then you can go to the next best thing, Casa Mexcal. It is an amazing hidden treasure on the Lower East Side. You are bound to have authentic Mexican tacos and feel as though you have been transported to Mexico, in a good way.

Casa Mexcal

It is located on Broome and Orchard. If you are looking for a unique place to have a drink and a bite, definitely get curious and check them out.

Con Carino,



  1. This is making me crave Mexican food so much! I might have to make some tortillas this week...

  2. The corn tortillas take no time at all, it is really a fast process.


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