The Return of the Yellow Indian Woman
Chiles en Nogada

Heating Tortillas

The best way to heat tortillas is one by one on a comal. This isn't always practical with a crowd so an alternative is to wrap a barely damp tea towel around a stack of tortillas and microwave for a minute or so.

Tortilla-towel

You can then put the hot towel in a clay, Styrofoam (boo!) or metal tortilla holder and serve. My friend Christopher Ann will be quick to tell you that you never take the top tortilla. I'm sure she has a reason.

Comments

Bob Mrotek

Here where I live in Central Mexico we sometimes jokingly call the top tortilla "la tortilla de suegra" or "mother-in-law's tortilla". It is the tortilla that you offer your mother-in-law because it is the coldest one. Mexicans like their tortillas warm so they generally take the top tortilla and bury it down in the stack to warm up and use the next one down instead :)

Rodrigo Chavez

I live on the Southern California border with Mexico and have lots of friends and family in Northern Mexico. Whenever I have to heat up a few tortillas I fit as many as I can onto the comal (usually only one or two at a time) and then I keep the growing stack of hot tortillas covered in foil paper before putting them into some kind of holder. The tortillas end up steaming themselves a bit, which isn't quite the same as having them right off the skillet but it's still nice.

My wife has used the microwave sometimes too, except she puts the tortillas in a plastic shopping bag left over from the groceries. Don't ask me why or how, but this works -- she even "bakes" potatoes this way.

Steve Sando

Bob- I love that. And it makes sense. Of course my own suegra is perfect in every way and deserves a hot tortilla, if that's her fancy.

Rodrigo, I tend to heat them and start a stack on the side of the comal that I keep flipping. It works ok. I also have this special "sleeve" that was designed for the microwave. It keeps them hot but really, the comal is best.

jen maiser

I never take the top tortilla either. Whenever we used to eat at my grandmother's house as kids (nearly every day because she watched us while mom worked), she would constantly be up and down flipping tortillas on the comal. I still have that tendency too, unless I am serving food for 6+ (and dependent on that crowd, I sometimes tell them to heat their own damn tortillas!)

Bob Mrotek

Sometimes the ladies here just throw the tortilla right on the stove burner for a few seconds and then flip it over for a few more seconds. They do it with their bare fingers and they do it so fast that the heat doesn't seem to bother them.

B.

I always wrap mine in a tea towel that I've dampened the inside of and stick the stack in a warm oven, just using the leftover heat of a pie cooling for after the meal.

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