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Jun 2, 2009 11:10 PM

What to do with Maseca (masa harina)?

I have a TON of masa harina (maseca brand) and have no idea what to do with it. I don't have a tortilla press and don't like tamales. Is it worth it to make tortillas even if I don't have a press? What else can I do with the maseca? Corn bread? Polenta? Recipes and ideas will be greatly appreciated.

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  1. You can press tortillas with a heavy skillet. I learned this from a Mexican friend while we were both students in Cracow many years ago during the last days of Communism, and tortilla presses were nowhere to be found, not to mention toilet paper, which was sold on the black market, but he managed to find some masa harina in Switzerland during a break.

    Put a ball of dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and press down with the skillet. It's not as easy as a press, if you have to make a hundred tortillas, but if you're just making ten or twenty, it's fine, and fresh tortillas are always better than storebought.

    Masa harina is also nice as a thickener for chili.

    1 Reply
    1. re: David A. Goldfarb

      Amazing idea! I don't have a rolling pin and I have been using wine bottles to roll chapatis and no matter what I do I cannot get my chapati to "bubble up". I think it's because the thickness isn't consistent when I roll it. I will try to press it with my CI skillet!

    2. Make sweet corn cake. Recipe here (it's the second one):

      It's one of my very favorites!

      1. Ever had a BAKED Tamale that you make yourself; filled with shredded rotisserie chicken, black beans, hominy and a can of red or green enchichlada sauce? They're fabulous!!!

        Tortillas with a skillet (or brick or dinner plate) press, as described. Less than 1/8" thick. Make lots and pan fry them in a dry skillet, with chili powder and other spices to make your own tortilla chips.

        Gorditas - patted out disks 1/4" to 3/8" thick and anywhere from 2" to 8" in diameter. With or without diced green chiles and spices in dough. Can be eaten as bread or used as a base for chile or taco fixings.

        1. I make tortillas with a rolling pin - but I only have to feed 2 mouths so usually make 6-8 at a time.

          Or make pupusas. I'm sure you can google some recipes.

          1. I use the bottom of my 12 inch cast iron frying pan. Place ball of dough between two pieces of plastic, a little off center. Lower frying pan at an angle and press.