Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Freshest Tortillas

My two middle boys went deep-sea fishing a while back, and a couple of Fridays ago I cooked up some killer fish tacos with their rockfish. But while the insides were awesome, the tortillas proved a touch dry. “Why not make your own?” asked Patrick. The notion started eating at me. I like my bread better when I make it from scratch — why not tortillas?

But how to do it? Luis Estrada, kitchen manager at Café Coyote in Old Town (619-291-4695; cafecoyoteoldtown.com), told me that his restaurant makes its own tortillas. “For corn tortillas, we purchase masa. Then, to make the tortillas, we add three ounces of water for each pound of masa and mix it up.” Each tortilla starts out as a roughly two-ounce ball of masa. “We use a tortilla press. You put the masa on a round metal plate and then the top presses down.” After the tortilla is flat, it’s time for grilling on a 350-degree plancha (griddle). “I know when it’s done from the feel — a firm texture — and then I flip it over for, say, one more minute.”

Flour tortillas are slightly more complicated. “You use three pounds of flour to half a pound of lard, ten ounces of water, and two ounces of salt. You can mix it by hand or with a mixer. When you’re done, the dough will be similar to pizza dough. Divide the dough into two-ounce balls and roll them out the way you would a pizza. You can use any roller. Cook them on a small, flat grill — just like the corn tortillas, about a minute a side. You can serve them fresh and hot, or they will keep for about one week in the refrigerator.”

I had my marching orders. First up, masa. Sammy at Supermercado Murphy’s in City Heights (619-624-2504) told me he had masa for $.59 a pound. “We make it here. It’s just dried corn that has been soaked for a day and then ground. We add lime as a preservative.” Supermercado Murphy’s also sells corn tortillas, made in-store daily ($1.39 for 2.2 pounds, $2.59 for 4.4 pounds, and $3.59 for 6.6 pounds). I also found masa at Gabriel’s Tortilleria in Sherman Heights (619-232-5744) for $.60 a pound.

For flour tortillas, I would need lard. Pancho Villa’s Farmer’s Market in Normal Heights (619-584-4595) sells pork lard for $1.59 a pound. “It comes in one- to one-and-a-half pound containers,” said the clerk. “We also sell masa mixed with lard for tamales [$1.99 a pound] and plain masa [$.69 a pound].

For the tortilla press, I called Great News in Pacific Beach (858-270-1582; great-news.com). “We carry a manual tortilla press by Norpro for $18.94,” said the clerk. “It’s made from aluminum and is about six inches in diameter.” San Diego Restaurant Supply downtown (619-239-8107; sdrs.com) offered an aluminum, six-and-a-half-inch manual press for $10.95.

So many tortilla-making options. I began to consider scrapping the from-scratch approach and asked my friends for their tortilla hotspots. For corn tortillas, Mary suggested El Indio (619-299-0333; el-indio.com). “They have a machine that cranks them out all morning for $1.30 a dozen. Get there early if you want ’em while they’re warm.”

Kathy only goes to Las Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan (619-234-4460). “You can get corn tortillas for $1.25 a dozen or flour for $2.75 a dozen. They start making them around 8:30 in the morning, but if you want some, you have to call ahead and place an order first.”

Maria argued for Tortilleria Lily in City Heights (619-281-2890). “They make only white corn, and they’re open early, from five in the morning until around two in the afternoon. You can get 33 for $1.45, 66 for $2.55, and 110 for $3.55. I buy the large bag and just keep the extras in the freezer.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Nathan Fletcher's viral propaganda push

County supervisor to pack staff with video maker, social media star
Next Article

The Harrison G. Otis House: a Tudor Revival residence

Much of the craftsmanship and styling cues of the era remain

My two middle boys went deep-sea fishing a while back, and a couple of Fridays ago I cooked up some killer fish tacos with their rockfish. But while the insides were awesome, the tortillas proved a touch dry. “Why not make your own?” asked Patrick. The notion started eating at me. I like my bread better when I make it from scratch — why not tortillas?

But how to do it? Luis Estrada, kitchen manager at Café Coyote in Old Town (619-291-4695; cafecoyoteoldtown.com), told me that his restaurant makes its own tortillas. “For corn tortillas, we purchase masa. Then, to make the tortillas, we add three ounces of water for each pound of masa and mix it up.” Each tortilla starts out as a roughly two-ounce ball of masa. “We use a tortilla press. You put the masa on a round metal plate and then the top presses down.” After the tortilla is flat, it’s time for grilling on a 350-degree plancha (griddle). “I know when it’s done from the feel — a firm texture — and then I flip it over for, say, one more minute.”

Flour tortillas are slightly more complicated. “You use three pounds of flour to half a pound of lard, ten ounces of water, and two ounces of salt. You can mix it by hand or with a mixer. When you’re done, the dough will be similar to pizza dough. Divide the dough into two-ounce balls and roll them out the way you would a pizza. You can use any roller. Cook them on a small, flat grill — just like the corn tortillas, about a minute a side. You can serve them fresh and hot, or they will keep for about one week in the refrigerator.”

I had my marching orders. First up, masa. Sammy at Supermercado Murphy’s in City Heights (619-624-2504) told me he had masa for $.59 a pound. “We make it here. It’s just dried corn that has been soaked for a day and then ground. We add lime as a preservative.” Supermercado Murphy’s also sells corn tortillas, made in-store daily ($1.39 for 2.2 pounds, $2.59 for 4.4 pounds, and $3.59 for 6.6 pounds). I also found masa at Gabriel’s Tortilleria in Sherman Heights (619-232-5744) for $.60 a pound.

For flour tortillas, I would need lard. Pancho Villa’s Farmer’s Market in Normal Heights (619-584-4595) sells pork lard for $1.59 a pound. “It comes in one- to one-and-a-half pound containers,” said the clerk. “We also sell masa mixed with lard for tamales [$1.99 a pound] and plain masa [$.69 a pound].

For the tortilla press, I called Great News in Pacific Beach (858-270-1582; great-news.com). “We carry a manual tortilla press by Norpro for $18.94,” said the clerk. “It’s made from aluminum and is about six inches in diameter.” San Diego Restaurant Supply downtown (619-239-8107; sdrs.com) offered an aluminum, six-and-a-half-inch manual press for $10.95.

So many tortilla-making options. I began to consider scrapping the from-scratch approach and asked my friends for their tortilla hotspots. For corn tortillas, Mary suggested El Indio (619-299-0333; el-indio.com). “They have a machine that cranks them out all morning for $1.30 a dozen. Get there early if you want ’em while they’re warm.”

Kathy only goes to Las Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan (619-234-4460). “You can get corn tortillas for $1.25 a dozen or flour for $2.75 a dozen. They start making them around 8:30 in the morning, but if you want some, you have to call ahead and place an order first.”

Maria argued for Tortilleria Lily in City Heights (619-281-2890). “They make only white corn, and they’re open early, from five in the morning until around two in the afternoon. You can get 33 for $1.45, 66 for $2.55, and 110 for $3.55. I buy the large bag and just keep the extras in the freezer.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Football: a career low for Lucille Ball

A darker shade of twilight
Next Article

Dead Cross cover Black Flag’s “Rise Above” in solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Jonny Tarr, Dead Cross, Electric Mud, Howard Blank’s Outsiders, Trees
Comments
1

northgate, off the 43rd st exit on the 805, sells masa and tortillas too... best masa for tamales this side of the border, at least i think so. but then again, there's nothing like buying the flour and preparing one's own dough (not that i do or even know how)

or go to TJ...

March 3, 2011

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close