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#1
Old 11-22-2006, 09:42 AM
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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, 09:50 AM
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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, 10:05 AM
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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, 10:08 AM
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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, 10:11 AM
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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, 10:15 AM
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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, 10:25 AM
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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, 10:35 AM
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I always just deep fried them for about 20 seconds, then quickly filled and rolled.

-Tcat
#9
Old 11-22-2006, 10:59 AM
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[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, 11:05 AM
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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, 11:26 AM
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[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, 12:20 PM
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#13
Old 11-22-2006, 01:03 PM
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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, 01:36 PM
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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, 01:44 PM
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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, 02:12 PM
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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, 02:21 PM
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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, 05:53 PM
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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.
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