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Old 12-28-2012, 11:41 PM   #1
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Need help with corn tortillas

I'm on a gluten free diet so I thought I would try making wraps from the organic corn tortillas I got at Whole Foods. I would like the tortillas to be soft when heated, but they are coming out a bit crispy. I followed the instructions on the package, heating them for a couple of minutes on each side in a skillet.

Is there some way of heating them up so they remain soft and wrappable, or do I need to make my own tortillas from scratch (which would definitely be more time consuming )?

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Old 12-29-2012, 12:37 AM   #2
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I sometimes wrap them in damp paper towels and heat in the microwave, or you can wrap them in damp cloth towels and put them in a glass dish and heat in the oven at a low heat.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:44 AM   #3
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How hot is your skillet? I use corn tortillas on the reg and I always get my pan screaming hot, like meat-searing hot. You'll know it's the right temp if the tortillas develop steam bubbles when they're in the pan. Tortillas have a very high surface:mass ratio so they lose moisture fast. Gotta get color on the tortillas before the moisture has a chance to evaporate so hotter pan = less time cooking = less moisture loss. Pop the bubbles with a dull knife so you don't get uneven cooking (plus it's fun but I'm a nerd so I think things like that are fun. YMMV) They're done when you get some dark brown spots on both sides. Cast iron is my favorite for tortillas.

If you have a gas range just throw the tortilla straight on the burner grate and flip it over after about 5-10 seconds. This is the best way of all IMO, the way grandma did it.

If my tortillas are getting a little stale I'll get my hand wet and rub the tortilla on both sides before I heat it. Not too wet, just enough to get a little moisture back into it.

Last resort, is put them in the oven wrapped in foil, employing the water trick if they're dry before they go in.

If you go with the skillet, you can heat them in the pan then wrap tightly with foil and put in a 200*F oven to keep as long as you need.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:53 AM   #4
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Mayo is right on about the skillet method.

If the tortillas are stale, the quickest way to bring them back is to wrap them in damp (wet the paper towels then squeeze them as dry as you can) paper towels and microwave them for 10-20 seconds.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by no mayonnaise View Post
How hot is your skillet? I use corn tortillas on the reg and I always get my pan screaming hot, like meat-searing hot. You'll know it's the right temp if the tortillas develop steam bubbles when they're in the pan. Tortillas have a very high surface:mass ratio so they lose moisture fast. Gotta get color on the tortillas before the moisture has a chance to evaporate so hotter pan = less time cooking = less moisture loss. Pop the bubbles with a dull knife so you don't get uneven cooking (plus it's fun but I'm a nerd so I think things like that are fun. YMMV) They're done when you get some dark brown spots on both sides. Cast iron is my favorite for tortillas.

If you have a gas range just throw the tortilla straight on the burner grate and flip it over after about 5-10 seconds. This is the best way of all IMO, the way grandma did it.

If my tortillas are getting a little stale I'll get my hand wet and rub the tortilla on both sides before I heat it. Not too wet, just enough to get a little moisture back into it.

Last resort, is put them in the oven wrapped in foil, employing the water trick if they're dry before they go in.

If you go with the skillet, you can heat them in the pan then wrap tightly with foil and put in a 200*F oven to keep as long as you need.
My skillet is not that hot because I'm using a nonstick one and I use it on a low flame to reduce chemical outgassing. The only other pan I have is a Calphalon stainless steel, but it's huge and a pain in the neck to clean. I'm waiting until after I move to get new cookware, so I'm hoping I can use what I have. I don't have a microwave, so I think I'll try putting the tortillas directly on the burner and see what happens. Do you use metal tongs or a metal spatula for this?
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:22 AM   #6
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If you are having trouble getting the tortillas soft enough to use as a wrap, why not just make quesadillas? Put the tortilla in a pan to warm. As the tortilla warms, add toppings and another tortilla on top. Warm a few minutes more and then flip the quesadilla over to warm the other side. Remove to a cutting surface and cut in wedges. I often cut the tortillas in half and make half portions -- much easier to flip in pan. I've also used only one tortilla, heated it, added fillings to one side and then folded it over. No need to flip this. Have you tried the gluten free rice tortillas at Trader Joe's?
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #7
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If you are having trouble getting the tortillas soft enough to use as a wrap, why not just make quesadillas? Put the tortilla in a pan to warm. As the tortilla warms, add toppings and another tortilla on top. Warm a few minutes more and then flip the quesadilla over to warm the other side. Remove to a cutting surface and cut in wedges. I often cut the tortillas in half and make half portions -- much easier to flip in pan. I've also used only one tortilla, heated it, added fillings to one side and then folded it over. No need to flip this. Have you tried the gluten free rice tortillas at Trader Joe's?
I didn't know that Trader Joe's carried rice tortillas...sounds like a good option. What kinds of fillings do you use for your quesadillas?
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
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I didn't know that Trader Joe's carried rice tortillas...sounds like a good option. What kinds of fillings do you use for your quesadillas?
Whatever tickles your fancy. How about chopped green onion,chicken that you've shredded,any cheese you can eat, just load the tortillia up heat and enjoy. Happy New Year
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:52 AM   #9
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Whatever tickles your fancy. How about chopped green onion,chicken that you've shredded,any cheese you can eat, just load the tortillia up heat and enjoy. Happy New Year
kades
Thanks for the ideas!
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:53 AM   #10
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I like to use black beans, chopped tomatoes (salsa when tomatoes are not in season), avocado, little sprinkle of cheese (I'm not into too much cheese). I also like to use sheds of cooked chicken or pork with cheese, avocado, tomatoes and/ or salsa. Actually, you may use just about anything you like. Leftovers work great! Breakfast quesadillas are good too --- scrambled eggs, diced sausage, bacon, ham, cheese, tomato, avocado, etc. Try making a peanut butter and jelly quesadilla ---- yum! Have fun and enjoy!
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