How To

How To Make The Perfect Tortilla, Thus the Perfect Taco

How To Make The Perfect Tortilla, Thus the Perfect Taco

Apr 28, 2018

When we’re dreaming about tacos, its usually about two things: carnitas or guacamole. But, the real unsung hero is the one who holds it all together: the tortilla.

This Cinco de Mayo, we celebrate the simplest of inventions that make the taco possible, thus making our lives infinitely happier.

Tallboy Taco’s Executive Chef, Tim Hockett, tells us how he fell in love with tortillas and spills all his expert tips to make it at home!

Or, just head over to Tallboy Taco and have our experts make it for you. Make a reservation here.

See how Tallboy Taco does Cinco de Mayo, here’s a hint: there’s a full week’s worth of fun. 

Let’s taco ’bout it

Tim remembers the first time he witnessed a little old lady in Mexico pressing fresh masa with a ~1,000-year-old tortilla press, as she created consistent-sized tortillas with ease and near-magical precision. The aromas of the fresh tortillas filled the air as they slowly blistered on a hot comal (griddle traditionally used for tortilla making in Latin America). The earthy, somewhat sweet smell alone made his mouth water and the flavor of a fresh, hot, steaming tortilla straight off the griddle tasted like no other.

Tim came back to Chicago to replicate her process – one that looked much easier than it was. Lucky for Tim and Tallboy Taco (and us!), a local Chicago purveyor, Popocotepetl, supplies fresh warm masa every day for the restaurant. The masa, made with Mexican corn, boasts the process of nixtamalization (traditional method of soaking corn in an alkaline solution, like limewater), which is key to obtaining optimal aromas and tastes, and makes for a chewier and healthier tortilla.

Each morning when the masa arrives, the kitchen is instantly filled with the smell of fresh ground corn. The Tallboy Taco team then hand presses each tortilla for the 500 – 1,000 tacos sold each day.

 

Homemade Tortilla Recipe

INGREDIENTS
Masa from Popocotepetl
Water
Kosher salt

METHOD

  1. Soften masa with 1-2 cups of warm water until it cleanly pulls apart
  2. Fold in a touch of kosher salt to ensure a great pop of flavor in each tortilla
  3. Cut out small circles of plastic in the size of your tortilla – grocery store bags work the best!
  4. Roll out 2 ounce balls of masa
  5. Place masa balls in the tortilla press atop a piece of plastic. Reuse plastic for pressing all tortillas
  6. Heat a griddle to 350°
  7. Place on hot griddle for 45 seconds
  8. Flip and cook for an additional 1 minute
  9. Flip once more and move it to the coolest side of the griddle
  10. Allow tortilla to puff up. Remove from griddle

Check out them tacos!

Now that you know your tortilla A-B-Cs, head on over to Tallboy Taco any day of the year with a cerveza or margarita. Here are some of our favorites!

image of four tacos on a plate from Tallboy Taco

Gunthrop Farms Carnitas | Pulled Chicken Tinga | Pork Al Pastor | Beer-Battered Crispy Fish 

Looking for more Cinco de Mayo specials? Take a look here!


You May Also Like...

In The Restaurants
Where to Eat Lunch
Nov 10, 2018

For that one hour escape from your office, you want to make sure to make most of your lunch hour.…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Happy Hour
Nov 1, 2018

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! Here are all the happy hour deals at select Lettuce Entertain You…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Here’s Where to Brunch this Weekend
Oct 19, 2018

If you're anything like us, you plan your weekend around brunch. Here is your guide to all of our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Late Night & Live Music with Lettuce
Sep 19, 2018

Night owls rejoice - select Lettuce restaurants and nightclubs offer everything from late-night food…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants
Sep 12, 2018

Finding gluten-free friendly restaurants has gotten a lot easier than it used to be. At Lettuce…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Sip on the New Frosé Rosé at Tallboy Taco
Aug 13, 2018

Heaven does exist and it's the new Frosé Rosé cocktail now available during weekend brunch at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
The Best Time of the Year: Patio Season
Aug 10, 2018

Warm weather is here, which means al fresco dining is too! We've rounded up the best patios at…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Summer Ice Cream Checklist
Jul 19, 2018

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM...we all know the drill so let's get to the good stuff. July is National Ice…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Be Your Summer Cookout’s Hero
Jul 2, 2018

It's 4th of July weekend and we know you don't want to show up empty-handed to your BBQ. We're here…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Tallboy Taco’s Boozy Rainbow Paleta Benefits the Center on Halsted
Jun 18, 2018

To celebrate Chicago Pride, Tallboy Taco is serving a limited-edition Rainbow Paleta available June…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Where to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
May 4, 2018

This Cinco de Mayo our restaurants are going south of the border with specials throughout the week -…

read more >
How To
How To Make The Perfect Tortilla, Thus the Perfect Taco
Apr 28, 2018

When we're dreaming about tacos, its usually about two things: carnitas or guacamole. But, the real…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Dishes and Drinks with the Color of the Year: Ultra Violet
Mar 30, 2018

Every year, Pantone, the creator of colors, announces their choice in what the Color of the Year is…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Milkshake Madness: A Tournament of Toppings
Mar 17, 2018

In the grand tournament of milkshake toppings, who are the last sweets standing? We rounded up all…

read more >
In The Restaurants
It’s Tequila Time! National Margarita Day is February 22
Feb 12, 2018

As if you needed an excuse to drink margaritas, here's one more: National Margarita Day…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Mardi Gras 2018: Let the good times roll!
Feb 4, 2018

It's that time of the year again to don your favorite feathered mask and live it up like you're in…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Now Serving: The Impossible Taco
Jan 3, 2018

First there was the Impossible Burger and now Tallboy Taco introduces the Impossible Taco. Starting…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Cheers for Mocktails
Jan 3, 2018

If you're doing Dry January, mocktails are the perfect way to still enjoy Happy Hour without the…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Vegetarian Comfort Food
Dec 28, 2017

A New Year's resolution that we are making is to incorporate more veggies into our diet, but it's…

read more >
In The Restaurants
In Bloom: Strawberries
May 21, 2017

Summer is on the horizon, which means strawberries season is back to brighten our palates! From…

read more >
In The Restaurants
5 Reasons Why You Should Be Brunching at Tallboy Taco
May 21, 2017

The week leading up to Cinco de Mayo is going to be celebrated with a slew of food and drink…

read more >
How To
How to: Eat Clean
Mar 21, 2017

Let’s be honest, the vegan, paleo, gluten-free talk can get a little, well, intimidating. What…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Lettuce Date Night
Aug 15, 2016

 

read more >
In The Restaurants
And a Happy National Ice Cream Month to You
Jul 15, 2016

There are a million reasons why we all love frozen treats. Here are just a few…   They can be…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Few of Our Favorite Brunch Dishes
May 15, 2016

[caption id="attachment_4528" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Brunch at Tallboy Taco[/caption]…

read more >

Recent Posts

In The Restaurants
Case of the Mondays? How About Half Price Sushi and Wine at Di Pescara
Nov 19, 2018

Di Pescara, located in Northbrook Court, is now offering half price sushi and wine EVERY MONDAY…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving 2018
Nov 19, 2018

Thanksgiving is a time for friends, family and everyone in-between. To celebrate this special…

read more >
In The Restaurants
A Gift Guide for the Food Lover in Your Life
Nov 18, 2018

Whether a birthday, graduation or any other of the countless holidays, we're here to make selecting…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Thanksgiving Eve and Black Friday Specials 2018
Nov 18, 2018

Do you have friends and family in town for the Thanksgiving weekend? Beyond Turkey Day, our…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Sweet Potato Casserole
Nov 17, 2018

Embrace all of the fall flavors in Wildfire's Sweet Potato Casserole. Ginger and cinnamon warm up…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Classic Turkey Stuffing from Wildfire
Nov 17, 2018

Stuffing, the most ideal starch for Thanksgiving dinner, is always a high point of the meal. Great…

read more >
How To
The Perfect Party Appetizers
Nov 15, 2018

A well-crafted appetizer is the perfect way to make sure your guests won't go hungry so you can…

read more >
How To
A Guide to Selecting the Perfect Thanksgiving Wines
Nov 15, 2018

Fact: wine stores are intimidating. More truth: we're here to help! We've tapped the minds of our…

read more >
In The Restaurants
Your Thanksgiving Recipe Guide
Nov 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is the time to gather 'round the table and gobble up some scrumptious food. If you love…

read more >
In The Restaurants
$12 Burgers and Brews Wednesdays at Tokio Pub
Nov 14, 2018

Wednesdays just got a whole lot tastier with Tokio Pub's new Burgers & Brews! For just $12,…

read more >
How To
Recipe: Wildfire’s Cornbread Stuffing
Nov 14, 2018

This Thanksgiving, give your stuffing some southern influence with Wildfire's Cornbread Stuffing. To…

read more >
Openings
The Newest Wow Bao Location at 46 E. Chicago
Nov 14, 2018

Getting tired of your same old carry-out order? You're in luck! Wow Bao's newest, fully-automated…

read more >
Lettuce Consulting Group

Grow Your Business

Learn More
Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Search Jobs
Latest Articles

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign Up Now

Lettuce on Instagram

Checkout our feed @lettuceentertainyou!