Pati Jinich's Tricks For Adding Extra Flavor To Homemade Tortillas - Exclusive

Pati Jinich is a celebrated Mexican-American chef, cookbook author, and television personality. When she's not traveling throughout Mexico and sampling the culinary delicacies of different regions for her television series, "Pati's Mexican Table," she can often be found in her home kitchen preparing meals for her family. We recently spoke with Jinich for an exclusive interview with Tasting Table where she shared some of her favorite cooking hacks for when she runs out of time in the kitchen as well as her tips for making homemade tortillas with extra flavor.

Jinich shared that because of her busy schedule, "I don't always make [tortillas] from scratch — only when I have the extra time ... I always have packs of tortillas at the ready, because I'm not going to have time every day to make 20 tortillas from scratch." But when time allows, Jinich prioritizes not only making her own tortillas but also making those homemade tortillas special. "When I have extra time, I do make them at home ... if I want to season them and flavor them with something," Jinich noted. "For the new season of 'Pati's Mexican Table,' I made herb corn tortillas."

Homemade herb tortillas

Making traditional tortillas from scratch can be a time-consuming process, but the taste and texture make the pursuit worthwhile. Fortunately for home cooks looking to branch out into tortilla making, the ease of purchasing masa harina, also known as golden corn flour, from your local grocery store makes the process significantly faster and easier. 

Jinich's trick of adding herbs to the batter of her tortillas immediately enhances their flavor profile and the taste of the foods they're paired with. When reflecting on the herb tortillas she made during the newest season of "Pati's Mexican Table," Jinich recounted, "I mixed the masa with cilantro and chives. They're beautiful and delicious. As the tortillas cook, they get so powered and infused with the herbs inside of the masa." 

To try your hand at making herb tortillas at home, for the base batter, you only need a few ingredients: masa harina, salt, and water. For the herb infusion, you can use any herbs you have on hand, preferably fresh, then grind them into the batter for homemade tortillas with exceptional flavor.

For more culinary guidance from Pati Jinich, check your local PBS station's listings for new episodes of "Pati's Mexican Table" airing in your area.