Preparing some tortillas for dinner is an excellent way to make everyone around the table happy. It is also relatively easy to prepare a few tortillas – no need to spend hours in front of the stove. To make the process even more convenient, you can get your hands on a kitchen appliance known as the tortilla press, (if you don’t have one, here are couple tortilla presses you can buy)
The tortilla press has become a very popular tool in modern-day kitchens. It makes the process of preparing tortillas much faster – simply add your dough, press down on the appliance, and your tortilla is ready for the cooking phase.
What many people fail to realize is that a tortilla press actually has more uses than just its default function – which is generally to press tortilla wraps. In this post, we explore five uses for a tortilla press. We explore everything from preparing a set of tortillas for dinner to some uses that you might not have considered in the past.
1. To Make Tortilla Wraps, Of Course!
Let’s start with the most basic use for these affordable tools in your kitchen – a tortilla press was originally designed to help you make tortillas. This is a food that originates from Mexico, yet people throughout the entire world tend to enjoy tortillas and tacos.
Tortillas are traditionally made from corn. This makes them ideal items to be used in the popular tortilla press. The only limitation that your tortilla press may have when you are preparing some tacos would be the fact that they do not work as well with flour tortilla wraps. Still, most people tend to opt for corn tortillas as they simply provide a better taste.
Both electric and manual tortilla presses are ideal for this particular purpose. With an electric tortilla press, you would, of course, gain the benefit of the gadget cooking the dough for you too. This can be a huge convenience, as there would be no need to get out another pan in order to cook the tortilla wrap after it was pressed in the tortilla press.
When you make tortilla wraps, be sure to consider the proper procedure – this would help you get the most out of your tortilla press. Line the base of the tortilla press with some plastic sheet. Prepare the dough in balls – and then add a single ball to the center of the press.
Lower the upper plate of the press – now simply press down onto the dough to flatten it out and make your wrap.
2. Dumpling Skins
Foods and meals from Mexico are not all that can benefit from a tortilla press in your kitchen. You might not realize this, but the specific way that a tortilla press is structured also makes them perfect for making dumpling skins.
Dumplings have a long history in China. Even though China is home to the popular dumpling, you can now find this food at many locations all over the world. Dumplings really date back to the Eastern Han Dynasty – that is almost 2,000 years ago.
There are a lot of ways to make a dumpling. These foods are generally made with a dumpling skin. The skin would be wrapped around a specific filling of your choice. The very first filling consisted of mutton, herbs, and some added chili. Today, however, people tend to experiment with a lot of different recipes.
Polish and Italian dishes now frequently include dumplings too.
Dumpling skins are generally made from a mixture of flour and a few other ingredients. Once a soft dough has been formed, it is time to press down and roll out the dough. For those who want the perfect dumpling, however, the skin needs to be perfect – and this is exactly where your tortilla press comes into play.
Arepas are also popular in the modern-day and actually holds a lot in common with the popular tortilla and taco. In fact, many people tend to use arepas just like they would use tortillas. This dough-based food is also made from corn flour. In some cases, the cornflour is exchanged for yucca or cassava in arepas, however.
The primary difference between a tortilla and arepas would be the fact that an arepa usually tends to be on the sweeter side. Tortillas, on the other hand, are usually salty food only. This is why some people tend to use arepas in the exact same way as they would usually use a tortilla.
There is another difference between the two. While a tortilla is generally pressed as flat as possible and then used as a wrap, this is not exactly how people make arepas. Instead, people tend to rather prepare arepas by pressing them – but not too flat. Once pressed and cooked, the arepa is cut open – generally in halves. This allows a filling to be used between the two layers of arepa.
Simply prepare the dough and add it to your tortilla press. Do not press down completely – but just to get the arepa to a thickness that you personally prefer.
If you are looking for more ways to use your tortilla press, consider preparing a batch of empanadas. Think of empanadas as small pies. This food originates from Filipino cultures, but there are some suggestions that empanadas can also be tracked down to Latin American cultures too.
The idea of empanadas is to use a filling that is coated in bread, as the name describes. Instead of bread, however, a relatively thin dough is used.
Making empanadas can become much easier if you are using a tortilla press – it can save you a lot of time compared to rolling out all the dough.
You will generally form small balls compared to cases where you roll out the dough. The balls are then placed at the center of the tortilla press. You will press down completely to get the dough as thin as the machine can.
Pupusas can also be made with a tortilla press. If you are not familiar with this – a pupusa is really a relatively thick flatbread that is made from corn too. In some cases, people may prefer to use rice flour instead of cornmeal.
The pupusa generally consists of a dough that is filled with something. Many people tend to ill their pupusas with cheese, but there are a lot of other options when it comes to filling this flatbread. Pork meat, beans, and squash are only three particularly popular options that you might consider.
This one is a little more tricky when you make it with a tortilla press. This is because pressing down on the tortilla press too hard can cause the pupusas to break open. Thus, do be cautious when you decide to use your tortilla press to make this flatbread.
Getting your hands on a tortilla press means preparing a delicious Mexican dinner for your family is a breeze. You might not realize that this is actually a versatile tool, however. In this post, we looked at five uses for a tortilla press. If you already own a tortilla press, then be sure to consider these uses too – or use them as motivation to get your hands on a new tortilla press.
P.S – not sure what to cook? Here are some tortilla recipes for you!