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Cathy Katin-Grazzini

Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC


Masa-Mesquite Tortillas


Once you start making fresh tortillas, you’ll wonder what took you so long!  The superior flavor and texture of homemade tortillas put commercially made brands to shame. Fast and fun to make; whipping up a batch of fresh tortillas can engage kids of every age to flock to the kitchen and participate.


This tortilla variation adds some mesquite flour (from ground mesquite pods) to organic masa harina•, for an even softer texture, sweet nutty flavor, and much more fiber.


 Plant-based, gluten-free with no oils, sugar or salt.


• Use only masa harina for corn tortillas, not regular corn flour. Masa harina is the traditional flour of indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica that protected them from malnutrition from pellagra; it is “nixtamalized”, i.e. alkalized with slaked lime to ensure bioavailability of niacin.


Prep time 10 minutes          Cooking time 30 minutes                Makes 11-13 six-inch tortillas




1 ¾ cups of organic masa harina

¼ cup mesquite flour

About 1 ½ cups VERY hot water




A tortilla press

Wax paper

A comal griddle or good quality nonstick skillet

Large spatula (silicon or nylon if using a nonstick skillet)

A large bowl or basket lined with a large clean dishtowel




Mix the flours in a large bowl.  Slowly add the water, mixing initially with a spoon, and when the temperature is tolerable, continuing with your hand.  Add only enough water to create a soft, supple, smooth dough that is not at all crumbly.  The moisture in the dough is essential to a tender tortilla.

The exact proportion of water to flour is variable, depending on the brand and grind of your flours, the weather etc. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth.


Pre-heat your comal or skillet for 5 minutes over a medium/medium-high flame.


Tear off two pieces of wax paper to line the tortilla press plates.  Break off enough dough to roll a 2” ball between your palms.  Make it as smooth as you can. Replace the cloth over the bowl to prevent drying.


Lay down one piece of wax paper and center the ball on the plate. Cover with the other piece of wax paper and close the press. Using the lever press down firmly. Open the press, flip over, replace the dough, close and press a second time. 


Remove the tortilla from the press, gently peeling off the wax paper on the first side, then reversing on your palm and peeling off the second sheet. Gently transfer to the hot comal or skillet and start making your next tortilla.


Check the underside of the tortilla after 3 minutes. You are looking for light brown speckling over the surface. If too dark or scorched, lower your flame. If too pale, raise the heat slightly.  Flip over and cook for another 3 minutes.  If you press around the perimeter of the tortilla with the spatula you can cause it to puff up with steam to cook the interior. Don’t fret if you can’t coax your tortillas to puff up, they’ll still be delicious, but it is somehow satisfying when you can! 


Flip back and forth once more briefly this time, and when both sides are lightly toasted, transfer to your lined bowl or basket, covering it well to keep warm and soften up.


Repeat until all tortillas are cooked. As you add hot tortillas to the bowl/basket, flip their order around, to keep them all warm and steamy.


You may not have leftovers, but if you do, wrap them in plastic and refrigerate or freeze. To reheat, cover them with a damp clean dishtowel and microwave for 1 minute – or steam for 3 minutes - and then toast briefly on your skillet.


Enjoy your tortillas with soup, stews, chilis, in nachos and enchiladas.   Buen apetito!

Masa-Mesquite Tortillas

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