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…And while my cute little banana bread is rising in the oven showing off its golden crumbly top, I take some time off from my loved/hated readings to pass you the recipe of the tortillas here pictured. Although I’ve been meaning to make corn tortilla for a while now, I never looked for the right ingredients. Don’t ask me why. When I decided the moment arrived for me to make corn tortillas, I could only rely on polenta. I don’t recall the moment when I started believing that any food labelled with the word “corn” could be turned into corn tortillas. Luckily for me, it worked (with a little extra care since the dough is not so easy to manage).

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Just the time of writing these few lines above and the banana bread is all up fiery and bold, golden and swollen! I must be a slow writer. Anyhow, here is my baby, still in the oven because I fear that if I take it out it would miserably deflate killing the joy that finally came to visit me after a gloomy and stormy day of sad news (O Captain!).

Sad news takes me to the topic of “fears”. I have quite a few fears, some even more serious than a cake deflating out of the oven. I don’t let my life to be controlled by my fears (I hate flying but I still manage to board planes somehow) but I reckon I am mostly frightened by changes and choices that would put myself to the test. When I finally come to terms with my concerns, those fears fade away.

How do I get to the point where the acceptance of my fears makes them disappear? I’m not sure I am able to provide a meaningful answer but if there’s something that seems to work for me, at least minimally, this is the attempt of looking at my actions from a different perspective. Do you remember when Mr. Keating  in Dead Poets Society makes his students literally climb on top of a desk and take a look around? I climb on the desk of my mind to see how it looks like being Daniela from the “outside”. This way, most of the times I manage to avoid self-pity. It is just enough to realize that my tiny little fears are wrong and, indeed, too tiny to be serious.

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While I reflect on my fears my oven is taking the time to destroy my banana bread. A few minutes ago, I realized the cake was ready but instead of taking it out of the oven, I turned the knob to a different setting. To some kind of destroying grilling setting. “Grilled Banana bread”, how does it sound to you? The crust is a war zone of black crumbles.

Surprisingly, this accident hasn’t suppressed my state of content as of yet. I know I shouldn’t been so hesitant. It’s no use crying over spilt milk, right? I’m going to scrape all the burnt crumbles off. In a tranquil day like this one, coming up with a small domestic solution is enough to make me feel a little less “fearful”.

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Corn Tortillas made with Polenta

Ingredients

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1/3 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus some more to cook the tortillas
  • wheat flour to adjust the consistency and knead
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, mix together polenta, corn meal and hot water until thoroughly combined. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is too sticky, add some wheat flour. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat a cast iron skillet to medium-high. Divide dough into 9 equal-size balls. Using a tortilla press, a rolling pin, or your hands covered in flour, press each ball of dough flat. In order not to break the dough make sure to coat the each ball with white flour (this is extremely important!)
  • Immediately place tortilla in preheated pan and allow to cook for approximately 1 minute, or until browned and slightly puffy.
  • Turn tortilla over to brown on second side for approximately 1 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Repeat process with each ball of dough. Keep tortillas covered with a towel to stay warm and moist until ready to serve.

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15 Comments

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  1. As I continue under self-imposed exile in the province of Ancona, and, craving corn tortillas, I searched for ‘polenta tortillas’ and there you were.
    The writing is so impressive. And the photography. And the logo. And the writing, have I mentioned the writing? Wow.

    Here in le Marche Poltenta is ubiquitous. Corn flour, not. Any suggestions?

    Thank you,

    JP

    1. Hi James, in Italy corn flour is Amido di Mais, or Maizena which is a brand but people use it as a name. Easy to find as it’s a common ingredient for cakes and sauces.

  2. Polenta is so delicious! I need to use corn meal more often for pizzas and such! I like the idea of the grilled banana bread, I would eat it right away!

  3. Daniela, these corn tortillas look amazing – so I think you did a fantastic job. Pinned!!!

    And, I’m sorry to hear about the banana bread. Fears are a horrible thing and can rob us of so much joy. Seriously. 🙁 I refuse to be fearful of anything. And when I am, I do it over and over and over again until I’m not fearful of it any more. Which sometimes takes a while. But, once I overcome it, I am so, so, so happy I’m not afraid of it any more! Ask me about elevators some time! 🙂

  4. In the Indian state of Punjab we make similar flat bread and I can imagine how delicious this meal must have been. We usually serve it with tempered mustard greens and dollops of butter.