Food, Home & Lifestyle

Tortillas de Maíz | Corn Tortillas

Gabriela Cámara

Lesson time 14:18 min

Using the masa she made in the previous lesson, Gabriela shows you how to make fresh tortillas while explaining her own personal history with tortilla making. Learn how to best store and reheat your tortillas.

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Topics include: Pressing and Cooking Tortillas · Cooking Tortillas on the Clay Comal · Storing Tortillas


[MUSIC PLAYING] GABRIELA CAMARA: When we opened Contramar, it was 1998. And at that time in Mexico, it was really difficult in the city to find fresh made tortillas. People traveled distances to go to a particular market, where ladies from Milpa Alta or Xochimilco or rural areas around the city would make their tortillas. So when we opened Contramar, for us, it was really important to have sort of a recreation of a beach palapa in the city. What we wanted is to have tortillas being made there, and that was a-- sort of an innovative concept in terms of restaurants in Mexico City, in that area of the city, and there's nothing like a fresh made tortilla. There really isn't. So we started getting corn from Morelos. Morelos is where I grew up in, and we decided to do our own masa program. And we always had-- it's been a staple of Contramar to have fresh made tortillas. It was the first thing I learned to cook in terms of Mexican food, which is-- which is something I'm very proud to say and to show you. [MUSIC PLAYING] So here we have our fresh ground masa. I also have blue masa and red masa from red corn, which turns into a little bit brownish masa. This is our white masa, so as you see, I've ground it enough so that you have this really pasty consistency. And you're supposed to be able to maneuver it without it sticking too much to your fingers. But it does have to stick a little bit, because if it doesn't stick a little bit, it means that it's too dry, and you won't be able to form a tortilla or anything, for that matter. So I want to use the white masa to show you how to make tortillas. All the different masas don't only look different, but they actually have different tastes. If you're knowledgeable enough, you can distinguish the different notes in the varieties of corn. I think that as long as you have heirloom corn that is and ground fresh, whatever tortilla you make out of that is going to be superior to anything else that you might find out there. You know, it's like eating bread right out of the oven. It's the start of any good meal. This is a dough ball that I'm going to-- it's rather small. The sizes vary in terms of what you're going to use them for, and then, you know, you have tortillas that are this size. You have tortillas that are this size and anything in between. And it has to do with traditions of, you know, particular-- of each region, of each town. In Tepoztlan, for example, tortillas are about this big. And they're usually white corn. At Contramar, I started making smaller tortillas and thicker tortillas, because that's what you'll use in Guerrero on the coast, in the Pacific. I would start with balls an ounce big, and I'm going to show you here, I have a comal, which is a clay comal. And this is what you would usually cook your tortillas in. This would usually be this size, and-- and, you know, and you could put about 10 tortillas at the same time. And I'm going to show you how t...

About the Instructor

A “star of modern Mexican cuisine,” Gabriela Cámara brings her local, sustainable twist to time-honored traditions. Now the chef of Contramar shares the richness of her culture through the art of food. Learn step-by-step recipes—for dishes of her own design, like tuna tostadas, and staples like tacos al pastor, salsa, and tortillas—and delight loved ones with your own delicious renditions of Mexican favorites.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Gabriela Cámara

Celebrated chef Gabriela Cámara shares her approach to making Mexican food that brings people together: simple ingredients, exceptional care.

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