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Old 09-11-2006, 06:26 AM   #1
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Homemade masa

Seven S,
Thanks again for the Panamanian tamale post and the courteous reply to my questions. I ask this in a new thread so as not to change the subject of your tamale conversation.
Is there a tradition of using the corn masa you describe to make a tortilla-like flatbread?


I use the kind of grinder you pictured to make masa for Mexican style tortillas. I agree that it is a cumbersome process. The worst part in my opinion is cleaning the thing.

Are there any others out there who can share experience on the process, the grinders, or the way the masa is used?

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Old 09-11-2006, 06:55 AM   #2
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i think this is an sweet and soft dim sum.
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:59 AM   #3
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Skilletlicker,
My mom has a grinder(mill) just like yours except hers was passed down by my grandma and is not quite as new. After grinding the corn into masa, shape them into 5-6 inch diameter circles, about 1/8 inch thick and cook them on a hot griddle for a minute or two on each side.

You can also make the tortillas thicker, cook on griddle and fill them up with all kinds of meat fillers of your choice. I'd be glad to share some filler recipes with ya. This second option would be called "gorditas".

Mother makes the most amazing Mexican tamales with this dough, adding lard, shortening, ground chiles and spices and filling them with a ground pork/beef filling, wrapped in corn husks and steamed for about a hour. Mmmmm...best tamales I've tried thus far.

Husband tells me he used to have some sort of "atole" (sweet corn hot cereal) when he was young straight out of ground corn. I'd add some milk to cook a bit of this corn, add cinnamon and sugar and you've got breakfast.
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:25 AM   #4
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skilletlicker,

yes, in panama there is something like what you speak of... we call them, oddly enough, "tortillas" and they are nothing like the mexican tortillas the world is familiar with. when this masa comes out of the grinder, you can roll it into a ball and flatten it slightly, it should now be like a patty, not thin, but close to the size of those frozen hamburger patties, about a 1/4 inch thick i believe and uniform all around.... then they are simply deep fried in vegetable oil at 375 F.... when they come out they are drained and simply eaten as is, usually aside some eggs sunny side up to use as toast would, or with a slice of fresh white cheese on top. here is a picture of these tortillas (the ones in the middle)

http://pics.livejournal.com/iamneo/p...868yq/s320x240
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:21 PM   #5
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Who has done pupusas? Those are good too, especially with some spicy curtido!

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Old 09-12-2006, 05:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thymeless
Who has done pupusas? Those are good too, especially with some spicy curtido!

thymeless
I've never had pupusas. I looked at a lot of recipes this morning and most used masa harina. I assume that if you were going to make it using fresh masa you would use plain (not lime treated) corn and use the method described by Seven S in Tamales Made In Panama.
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Old 09-12-2006, 08:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
I've never had pupusas. I looked at a lot of recipes this morning and most used masa harina. I assume that if you were to make it using fresh masa you would use plain (not lime treated) corn using the method described by Seven S in Tamales Made In Panama.
They probably use masa harina because fresh Masa is hard to find most places in the US. I think fresh would work fine.

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Old 09-12-2006, 01:16 PM   #8
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I love pupusas, we make them stuffed with wonderful cheese, or leftover carnitas chopped very fine. The "slaw" that goes with them is perfect - I could sit and eat those forever. I make them with masa harina because I don't have the grinder - would a food processor work????? I can get the dried corn.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:19 PM   #9
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not sure harborwitch if the processor would work, my guess is it wouldnt.... if you have those kitchenaid mixers, they have grinder attachments
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:24 PM   #10
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The meat grinder????? I have that attachment.
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:52 PM   #11
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yep, i havent used it but pretty sure you can give it a shot... use the finest setting.... let me know how it goes!
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:02 PM   #12
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harborwitch,
apparently both the grinder and food processor should work according to a website recipe i found - i would opt for the grinder though:
http://panamagourmet.blogs.com/cooki...s_panaman.html
when you get to this page, you must click on "READ MORE>>" after the second picture in order to get the full recipe and explanation.... PM me if you have trouble obtaining it
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborwitch
The meat grinder????? I have that attachment.
The quote below is from the Zarela site.
Quote:
I did however, get a letter from a reader who reports having good results with the meat-grinding attachment of a KitchenAid mixer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harborwitch
I make them with masa harina because I don't have the grinder - would a food processor work?????
Alton Brown did a show a few months ago about corn tortillas in which he made the masa using a food processor. Here's the Food Network link to the recipe. I was sceptical and there is, even now, only one review which on careful reading, makes me wonder if the reviewer actually made any tortillas using Mr. Browns method.
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Old 09-12-2006, 02:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seven S
harborwitch,
apparently both the grinder and food processor should work according to a website recipe i found - i would opt for the grinder though:
http://panamagourmet.blogs.com/cooki...s_panaman.html
when you get to this page, you must click on "READ MORE>>" after the second picture in order to get the full recipe and explanation.... PM me if you have trouble obtaining it
Under read more I see;
Quote:
Directions:
  1. Husk the corn, cut off the kernels and grind them in a manual grinder or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Place a large spoonful of the mixture in the center of a previously cleaned banana leaf or bijao leaf. Add the filling of your choice and fold the sides to wrap the mixture in a square packet and secure with a thin cord or thread.
  3. Continue until all the tamales are wrapped and place them in a large pot with boiling water with salt and cook for one hour. Remove from the water and serve warm.
If this is the part referred to, we seem so have switched ingredients from dried to fresh corn. Was that the intent or am I missing something?
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
If this is the part referred to, we seem so have switched ingredients from dried to fresh corn. Was that the intent or am I missing something?
yes, skilletlicker, you are right... these are called "Tamales de Maiz Nuevo" or "Tamales Made From New Corn" with "new" meaning "young".... it is a variation but i think that the gtinding process should work the same since in my original recipe with the dried corn, the kernels are boiled till soft
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:40 PM   #16
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I'll give this a try - gotta find the cal, I have blue corn in the pantry that I've been dying to play with, it wasn't real pretty in posole.
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Old 09-12-2006, 03:42 PM   #17
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I'll give this a try - gotta find the cal, I have blue corn in the pantry that I've been dying to play with, it wasn't real pretty in posole.

Thanks for all the links, I'll be playing later this week, I hope!
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:52 PM   #18
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Take that corn, shuck it, and pass it through the grinder twice, NO cooking. You should have a thickish paste, to which you will add a bit of salt.
Spread a ladle full of the paste on a hot plate - they're called "planchas" here, with a little oil to keep it from sticking. Spread the corn mush around a little to form a 1/8th inch thick circle, about the size of a saucer. Cook on one side then flip it over and cook a little on the other.
Traditionally these are served on a plate, covered with a piece of "Queso de mano" ( handmade flat white cheese) and folded in two. Eaten with hot sauce and a cocada ( ground coconut milk drink).
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:29 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliveb
Take that corn, shuck it, and pass it through the grinder twice, NO cooking. You should have a thickish paste, to which you will add a bit of salt.
What type of corn is used? The corn I use for tortillas and, I assume, Seven S would use in his original tamale recipe is dried dent corn. Harborwitch's blue corn is more like dent corn than it is like the sweet corn in the supermarket. What is used for "planchas"?
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:32 PM   #20
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Harborwitch,

Do you have a recipe you can share for making pupusas? I am wanting to learn how to make them and hope it is not too difficult. Thanks.
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