Isn't she lovely? Or is it a he? I haven't decided yet or named my new pet but there it is in all its glory.
Now maybe a tortilla press isn't something to necessarily crow over, but after all the searching I did to find this one, I don't mind singing its praises. I made a big Mexican meal last night from recipes from one of my favorite cookbooks by Rick Bayless. I'll have a separate entry on that later.
One of the recipes called for oval masa cakes pressed and then filled and sealed. I found the masa without a problem in my Albany Park neighborhood, but could not find a tortilla press. It was the Fourth of July, so I decided not ot even bother trying Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table. Instead, I headed to Pilsen.
I walked all over Pilsen, trying to find a place that sold a simple tortilla press. If you have any interest in Latino culture in Chicago and haven't been to Pilsen, I highly recommend going. It's the heart of the Latino and especially the Mexican community in Chicago. I enjoyed tromping through the neighborhood, breathing in the smells from the taquerias and marvelling at the variety of produce and meats at the fruterias and carnacerias, but I had no luck finding a press.
Just West of the 18th Street El stop on the Blue Line (what used to be called the Douglas line), there is a liquor and food store. As a last gasp, just before I gave up I tried the store and inside was where I found my press. Williams-Sonoma wants $19 for their press, and Sur La Table online has no idea what a tortilla press is.
I got my press for just over $7. It's not as snazzy looking as the W-S press, but it works just fine and was manufactured in Mexico.
I'll show you what I did with the press tomorrow when we make black bean filled tlacoyos.