Discovery of the day: Tortilla tango

I made the Smoky Refried Bean Soup again last night. I did remember to add more corn (doubled it) and I used black beans, as written. It came out nicely, although next time I may well double the black beans to make it even more chili-ish.

I had picked up some masa harina and decided to make some tortillas. I'd tried it a few years back and had bought a tortilla press and everything. I remember it being a fairly straightforward process, nothing too complicated. Surely I could crank out a few while the soup finished up. What I didn't take into account was that my lack of experience would slow me down. A lot.

The soup was pretty much done when I started. I used only one cup of masa since I only wanted to make enough for that meal. I added the 5/8 cup of water specified by a recipe I found online. I though it might be a little dry but soldiered on since at that point I didn't have time to do any more research. And like the chapatis, my lack of research resulted in a less-than stellar product. I ended up with five tortillas that were adequate but not what I'd hoped for.

After dinner I found a video on YouTube, of all places, that showed me what I was doing wrong. It also humbled the crap out of me, watching the ease with which people who make these things regularly crank this stuff out.

I learned that my dough was way too dry and my tortillas were too thick. And I laughed at my methodical measuring of 5/8th cup of water, compared to the experienced cooks dumping in water until it felt right. But I was also encouraged. Having seen how it's done, I think I can get there.

Same thing with the chapatis. After watching a video, I now have a much better idea of what I'm aiming for. And with practice, I might be able to pull it off.

YouTube is a wonderful thing!

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