Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 11-22-2006, 08:42 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 15,185
Grrr!! How the heck do you roll a corn tortilla?

So I cooked up some shredded pork last night. Made it with all kinds of Mexican spices. I thought this would make a great filling for some pork flautas.

Trouble is: I CAN'T GET THE DAMN TORTILLAS ROLLED WITH OUT BREAKING THEM!!


I try to warm them up in the microwave first but if I warm them up too much they flake apart, not long enough; they just break or crumble.

So what the heck am I doing wrong? It seemed like a no brainer when I first started off on this venture, but now, I just feel like a big dumb ape trying to fit the square peg in the round hole.


FTR: I'm using Mission yellow corn tortillas.

Thanks for any suggestions.
#2
Old 11-22-2006, 08:50 AM
Guest
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: The Hub of the Universe
Posts: 5,022
Try this: soak a towel or cloth napkin in warm water, wring it out, wrap you tortillas in it, then put it on a baking pan and put it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350. Then take them out, throw them away, and go to the Mexican Joint down the street.
#3
Old 11-22-2006, 09:05 AM
Guest
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 174
When making chicken taquitos at my old restaurant I would spray PAM non-stick spray on a baking sheet then lay out the corn tortillas in a single layer followed by liberally spraying them with PAM too. Put that in an oven that's at about 400-500(or lower temp for a little longer) for about 30 seconds or until they were very floppy but not crispy.
#4
Old 11-22-2006, 09:08 AM
Member
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 3,905
I've only had this problem with store bought commercial style tortillas that have sat for a few days at the least. I don't think theres anything you can do about it, the masa breaks down. Can you find a Mexican grocery store? I buy my tortllas so fresh they are still warm and they never last more than a day.

IME, tortillas are not like bread; they cannot be stored for more than 6-8 hours max before they go off.
#5
Old 11-22-2006, 09:11 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,186
What MikeG said.

I've tried every trick in the book, including those mentioned in this thread, and what it comes down to is that standard mass-produced corn tortillas are stale by the time you get them, and they don't roll well.
#6
Old 11-22-2006, 09:15 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Over by dere
Posts: 27,023
When I make enchiladas, I warm a bit of enchilada sauce in a frying pan. Then put the tortilla in the sauce for 30 sec. or so. The heat and moisture make them roll-able.

You might want to try El Milagro tortillas. They're a different (and more authentic) texture and are much easier to work with.
#7
Old 11-22-2006, 09:25 AM
Guest
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Saint Paul
Posts: 26,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Smith
Try this: soak a towel or cloth napkin in warm water, wring it out, wrap you tortillas in it, then put it on a baking pan and put it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350. Then take them out, throw them away, and go to the Mexican Joint down the street.
I was going to suggest a variant on this: go to the store and buy some flour tortillas, but I think I like your idea better.
#8
Old 11-22-2006, 09:35 AM
Guest
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Prague, CZ
Posts: 2,411
I always just deep fried them for about 20 seconds, then quickly filled and rolled.

-Tcat
#9
Old 11-22-2006, 09:59 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Central WA
Posts: 1,385
[QUOTE=Kalhoun]When I make enchiladas, I warm a bit of enchilada sauce in a frying pan. Then put the tortilla in the sauce for 30 sec. or so. The heat and moisture make them roll-able.[QUOTE]

I do this, too. It works great.

For non-enchilada purposes, I heat corn tortillas in the microwave, wrapped in paper towels. However, I too try to buy fresh tortillas if I can--one of our local grocery stores has an onsite tortilla "plant".
#10
Old 11-22-2006, 10:05 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Land of Oz
Posts: 2,742
I do what stretch does, except without the sauce. I just heat them up, one at a time, in a dry skillet (about 7 seconds each side) and then quickly roll 'em.
#11
Old 11-22-2006, 10:26 AM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Over by dere
Posts: 27,023
[QUOTE=stretch][QUOTE=Kalhoun]When I make enchiladas, I warm a bit of enchilada sauce in a frying pan. Then put the tortilla in the sauce for 30 sec. or so. The heat and moisture make them roll-able.
Quote:

I do this, too. It works great.

For non-enchilada purposes, I heat corn tortillas in the microwave, wrapped in paper towels. However, I too try to buy fresh tortillas if I can--one of our local grocery stores has an onsite tortilla "plant".
That tortilla plant is awesome. Wish we had one. But I think El Milagro is made in the Chicago area, so we're probably getting them pretty fresh. They're lightyears ahead of the mealy died-yellow ones you usually see.
#12
Old 11-22-2006, 11:20 AM
Charter Member
Charter Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kettering, Ohio
Posts: 20,471
Moderator Notes:

Moved from IMHO to CS.
#13
Old 11-22-2006, 12:03 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 44,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena
What MikeG said.

I've tried every trick in the book, including those mentioned in this thread, and what it comes down to is that standard mass-produced corn tortillas are stale by the time you get them, and they don't roll well.
Pretty much. If you let the corn tortillas sit around for more than a day or two, you're hosed trying to get them soft and ready to roll. Luckily, I live in spitting distance of a masa processing plant and the corn tortillas at the local grocery stores are still warm to the touch in their packaging.

If you're really ambitious, you can try purchasing some fresh masa or masa harina, a tortilla press, and make your own corn tortillas.

That said, if SHAKES is in Dallas, there should be a few places that make their own corn tortillas locally. Try Luna's Tortilla Factory for starters.
#14
Old 11-22-2006, 12:36 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Sturgeon Bay, WI USA
Posts: 20,390
I put them between two pizza pans (flat, thin) and set them on top of the stove on any burner with the very lowest setting while I am cooking other stuff. Periodically, I turn the pans over. If it gets too hot, they stick to the pans, but a little anti-stick spray might work for that.

I can't get fresh tortillas in my neighborhood, so I keep some refrigerated all the time. This procedure works for me, and they roll or fold pretty well.
#15
Old 11-22-2006, 12:44 PM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Sin City
Posts: 3,836
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomcat
I always just deep fried them for about 20 seconds, then quickly filled and rolled.

-Tcat
I worked in a couple Mexican joints in Albuquerque and this was the method that was used.

Slee
#16
Old 11-22-2006, 01:12 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 6,077
It actually isn't that difficult to make corn tortillas - or so my recipe book would have me believe, seems similar to corn-like bannock.
#17
Old 11-22-2006, 01:21 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 1,507
Quote:
Originally Posted by motomoon
When making chicken taquitos at my old restaurant I would spray PAM non-stick spray on a baking sheet then lay out the corn tortillas in a single layer followed by liberally spraying them with PAM too. Put that in an oven that's at about 400-500(or lower temp for a little longer) for about 30 seconds or until they were very floppy but not crispy.
This is exactly what I do when making chicken enchiladas, and it works perfectly, unless the tortillas are exceptionally stale (like I waited a week to use them after buying them or something).

I got the tip from Cook's Illustrated, and they use a kind of scientific method approach to cooking, so I usually trust them.
#18
Old 11-22-2006, 04:53 PM
Guest
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: St Louis, Missouri
Posts: 1,013
It looks like that the OP has been answered, but I just want to add that my mom would make enchiladas all the time, and she would use the 'dip in the sauce' method. I've also fried them in oil just long enough to get them soft and that worked for me also.

But the original quality of the tortilla does make a huge difference. I have had some that were absolutely worthless for rolling, so I would just cut them up and turn them into chips.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:58 PM.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: [email protected]

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: sickly child anywho or anyhow hotel cash deposit roman lion distance eyeglasses serious enquiries pigs bristles firestone spark plugs one way cruise etu brutus baltimore streetwalker atima insurance defrost button heroin spoon calories in grass coughing in the morning and night another word for housewife bands with 2 drummers 5 o'clock shadow cartoon salt substitute that tastes like salt how long can you leave a crockpot on warm rent a hotel room for 2 hours liquid center golf balls what does spyder mean looks like a beaver with a rat tail what to do with tomato juice why do you have to sign for sudafed how do i remove a google account from my computer close your eyes and think of england why don t you make like a tree