For More Flavorful Tacos, Heat Your Tortillas In Butter

Unless you live in Mexico, frequent a Mexican supermarket, or dine at a Mexican restaurant, you probably don't have access to fresh tortillas. As tacos have become one of the most popular global sensations since pizza, packaged tortillas have expanded their product line to keep up. Buying the smaller white corn "street taco" style tortillas may get you a little closer to authentic homemade tacos, but there are plenty of other tips for improving the flavor and texture of tortillas for the most delicious tacos.

Heating tortillas in butter will infuse them with dairy richness, rehydrate them, and create a delightfully varied texture that's soft and pliable with bits of crisp browned spots. This tip will work especially well on flour tortillas, which traditionally contain lard as a key ingredient in their batter, but can also be used for their corn counterparts. Most packaged flour tortillas don't have lard, so butter will add that rich and flavorful fat for an authentic upgrade. The butter will also eliminate any plastic or stale flavor packaged tortillas tend to accrue after sitting too long on grocery or pantry shelves. Plus, the butter will keep tortillas from drying out or becoming too crispy as they heat on a griddle. After all, you're looking for a sturdy and pliable tortilla that won't crack or disintegrate under the weight of the taco fillings.

Warming tortillas and more flavor hacks

The easiest method for heating tortillas in butter is over the stove on a griddle or in a shallow saucepan. You only need a small amount of butter for each tortilla, warming each side for 30 seconds over medium heat until you see brown spotting or bubbling. The smell of fresh tortillas is also a good indicator of their doneness. Once complete, you can keep the tortillas warm by wrapping them in a cotton cloth or tin foil. Of course, if you're a true fan of tortillas and tacos, you can buy an authentic cloth or ceramic tortilla warmer that's a staple in any Mexican household.

If you want an even more authentic taste, you can swap butter for lard. By the same token, you can swap butter for vegetable shortening, olive oil, or coconut butter for a vegan-friendly option. You could also try infusing butter or oil with seasonings for an even more elaborate flavor profile. You could fry cumin, chili powder, and garlic salt in the butter for 30 seconds to bloom the seasonings before adding a tortilla.

If you want to heat multiple corn or flour tortillas simultaneously, you can spread them over a buttered baking sheet, brushing each tortilla with a light coat of butter before heating them in the oven on low heat for seven to 10 minutes. You can also broil them for one to two minutes, watching them carefully so they don't burn.