Monday, February 13, 2012

Fresh corn tortillas with zucchini flowers

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My specialty is making food that tastes good. I'm not quite so skilled when it comes to making food that's beautiful.

But when I saw these stunning fresh corn tortillas with zucchini flowers on Girl + Fire, I thought I'd take a shot. And guess what? It wasn't actually that hard.



I've become a big fan of Maseca corn flour and now keep a bag in my pantry at all times. Mix Maseca with water to make dough, roll the dough into golf balls, press each one thin in a tortilla press, a minute in a nonstick skillet, and presto - tortillas. For a girl from Long Island who tasted her first tortilla long after her first legal margarita, it's pretty magical. 


You can use either waxed paper or plastic wrap to line the tortilla press and keep the tortillas from sticking to the press. If you don't have a tortilla press, I bet you could use the back of a heavy skillet and do it on the kitchen counter. (I haven't tried it, though, because a tortilla press is pretty easy to come by here in Los Angeles.)


If you can't find zucchini flowers, any edible flower will do, or try a branch or two of tarragon, chive flowers, a few sprigs of dill, thin strips of roasted bell pepper, or sliced olives. 



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Fresh corn tortillas with zucchini flowers
Fresh corn tortillas are easy and quick to make. Press edible zucchini blossoms into the tortillas for a dramatic presentation. Look for zucchini flowers at gourmet grocery stores or local farmers markets.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Maseca corn flour
  • about 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12-16 zucchini flowers, washed and gently patted dry
Instructions
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the Maseca and water until a soft dough forms. It should be moist but not sticky. Roll the dough into balls about 2 inches in diameter, somewhere between a walnut and a golf ball. Cover the dough balls with a damp towel or a piece of plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.Line a tortilla press with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Place one dough ball on the press, put another piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on top, and press down to flatten the tortilla. Lift the press, put one flower on the tortilla, replace the paper or plastic, and press down again gently to embed the flower into the raw tortilla.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tortilla until dry and cooked through, flipping to make sure both sides are cooked. Move the finished tortilla to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Continue with the rest of the tortilla dough and zucchini flowers. While one tortilla is cooking, press the next so it is waiting when the pan is empty. Serve warm.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12-16 6-inch tortillas

8 comments:

Sippity Sup said...

My goodness that is so spectacularly beautiful. GREG

Christi said...

I don't like dealing with crowds on Valentine's Day, so I usually cook "red" foods for my husband and have a nice, quiet dinner at home. I am making Emeril's wonderful vegetarian chili tonight and these will be a perfect accompaniment! Thank you for such a lovely suggestion.

linda said...

Wow, I love it, definitely going to make those, they contain two of my favorite ingredients. Happy Valentine's Day

Andrew @ Eating Rules said...

Those are beautiful!

We've just recently started making tortillas, using Bob's Red Mill's Masa Harina. Any idea of the difference between that and Maseca?

Also - if you don't have a tortilla press (we just got one last week), you can sandwich the dough between two cutting boards and wax paper...and then sit on them. Looks ridiculous, but works pretty well!

Ericka (Nibbles & Feasts) said...

Hi Andrew, I belive Bob's has both Masa Harina and Golden Masa harina. Maseca has the exact same corn flours. No difference. Just the price :)
BTW Maseca also carries instant corn flour especially made for tamales (in case you ever want to make tamales).

Erika, I love flor de calabaza (squash blossom), I love stuffing them with warm rice made with chipilin herbs and just eating them like that. I'm definitely wrapping them in a freshmade tortilla next time. So good!

Andrew @ Eating Rules said...

Thanks, Ericka! The Bob's package says that their Masa Harina is "made from corn soaked in lime then dried before grinding."

Do you know if the Maseca corn flour uses the same process?

Ericka @ Nibbles & Feasts said...

Yes! It's called Nixtamal. The exact same process :)

Lynne @ CookandBeMerry said...

Wow, that is really beautiful! I love it.

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