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 Masa Harina

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MikeS.

  • Total Posts: 5357
  • Joined: 7/1/2003
  • Location: FarEasternPanhandle, WV
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Masa Harina Sun, 08/13/06 5:52 PM (permalink)
A chili receipe I'm trying calls for 1 - 2 Tbs of Masa Harina. I don't want to buy a 5lb bag for this little bit.

What can I use instead?

Thanks,

MikeS.
 
#1
    Michael Hoffman

    • Total Posts: 17795
    • Joined: 7/1/2000
    • Location: Gahanna, OH
    RE: Masa Harina Sun, 08/13/06 6:00 PM (permalink)
    Go find yourself a package of Wick Fowler's or Carroll Shelby's chili. Inside of each you'll find a little packet of masa harina.
     
    #2
      xannie_01

      • Total Posts: 1481
      • Joined: 10/18/2005
      • Location: albuquerque, NM
      RE: Masa Harina Sun, 08/13/06 6:03 PM (permalink)
      this is just an idea...
      tear up a fresh corn tortilla or two and add to the chili..
      the masa harina is used to "tighten" up chili.
      the tortillas will break down as you cook the chili.
      like i said, it's just an idea.
       
      #3
        Poverty Pete

        • Total Posts: 2266
        • Joined: 8/16/2003
        • Location: Nashville, TN
        RE: Masa Harina Sun, 08/13/06 6:31 PM (permalink)
        There's no real substitute. Here's what you do...Go have dinner at your local Mexican restaurant...have a nice dinner. Ask your waiter to bring you a little masa harina in a baggie. They'll give it up. If they don't have any, I wouldn't go back.
         
        #4
          Greyghost

          • Total Posts: 1336
          • Joined: 8/19/2004
          • Location: Albany, NY
          RE: Masa Harina Sun, 08/13/06 7:39 PM (permalink)
          It is just finely ground corn meal...I think it is optional in chili There are many ways to tighten chili. The easiest way is to have your liquid proportion correct to begin with. No tightener needed. An easy and just as historic method is to crush a few crackers very finely and use that as the tightener
           
          #5
            MikeS.

            • Total Posts: 5357
            • Joined: 7/1/2003
            • Location: FarEasternPanhandle, WV
            • Roadfood Insider
            RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 2:08 AM (permalink)
            I wound up puting in 1.5 Tbs of corn meal. The chili came out pretty good.

            MikeS.
             
            #6
              oltheimmer

              • Total Posts: 214
              • Joined: 6/25/2006
              • Location: Houston, TX
              RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 10:18 AM (permalink)
              All of the suggestions should work; the corn tortillas will yield the taste closest to the use of masa of course. I first learned of masa from the Wick Fowler mix and used it for years but grew tired of the taste. Now, IF I'm tightening a pot of chili, I use saltines. You may want to cut back on the salt in the recipe if you use saltines; you can always add more later.

              I bought a 2 # bag of masa harina probably more than 15 years ago and still haven't used it up .

              In addition to using less liquid to begin with you can just simmer longer, however, hamburger meat will turn to mush.

              The label of the Wolf can lists rolled oats as an ingredient. I tried this once, splitting a pot of chili in half and adding a couple of teaspoons to one half. The gravy had a slightly creamy texture but I couldn't detect any change in flavor. No, the chili did not taste like oatmeal!

              Glad your chili turned out good.
               
              #7
                HollyDolly

                • Total Posts: 1065
                • Joined: 1/18/2006
                • Location: Schertz, TX
                RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 12:40 PM (permalink)
                Around here all I can find are the big 5 pound bags of masa harina.You used to be able to get like one or two pound bags,but no more.I think momma thicken her chili with either cornstarch or flour.
                 
                #8
                  enginecapt

                  • Total Posts: 3486
                  • Joined: 6/4/2004
                  • Location: Fontana, CA
                  RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 1:48 PM (permalink)
                  quote:
                  Originally posted by oltheimmer


                  I bought a 2 # bag of masa harina probably more than 15 years ago and still haven't used it up .


                  The suggested shelf life of bagged or boxed cornmeal is 8 months. If stored at a constant temp of 70 degrees in an airtight sealed container with oxygen absorbers and purged with nitrogen, you can stretch it to 5 years.

                  Suggestion: Dump it and buy a new box. Whatever you make with it will taste a whole lot better.
                   
                  #9
                    oltheimmer

                    • Total Posts: 214
                    • Joined: 6/25/2006
                    • Location: Houston, TX
                    RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 4:32 PM (permalink)
                    Thanks. I'd heard that it was better fresh but I didn't have any time frame. I haven't used it in years; obviously never found much use for it. Well at least there's no green mold growing in it, it just sits there in the back of the pantry.
                     
                    #10
                      xannie_01

                      • Total Posts: 1481
                      • Joined: 10/18/2005
                      • Location: albuquerque, NM
                      RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 4:34 PM (permalink)
                      wow..another topic"what's the oldest item in your pantry?"
                       
                      #11
                        roossy90

                        • Total Posts: 6695
                        • Joined: 8/15/2005
                        • Location: columbus, oh
                        RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 6:03 PM (permalink)
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by xannie_01

                        wow..another topic"what's the oldest item in your pantry?"
                         
                        #12
                          fhoran

                          • Total Posts: 185
                          • Joined: 5/27/2006
                          • Location: Walpole, MA
                          RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 8:06 PM (permalink)
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by xannie_01

                          wow..another topic"what's the oldest item in your pantry?"


                          You mean besides me? Fred
                           
                          #13
                            oltheimmer

                            • Total Posts: 214
                            • Joined: 6/25/2006
                            • Location: Houston, TX
                            RE: Masa Harina Mon, 08/14/06 10:17 PM (permalink)
                            quote:
                            Originally posted by xannie_01

                            wow..another topic"what's the oldest item in your pantry?"


                            At last a food competition I may be able to win. I've never won anything in my life . I'm so excited .
                             
                            #14
                              CajunKing

                              • Total Posts: 6317
                              • Joined: 7/6/2006
                              • Location: Live at Saint Clair
                              • Roadfood Insider
                              RE: Masa Harina Sat, 08/19/06 12:48 AM (permalink)
                              I have tried tortilla chips, in the food processor, pulsed several times making a nice meal, then adding it to my chili. tightened it up and did not distract from the taste overall.

                              I have tried straight corn meal, but i must have done something wrong because I could taste it. BLAH. Maybe should have cooked it longer, but ran out of time. I LOST THAT ONE
                               
                              #15
                                GordonW

                                • Total Posts: 924
                                • Joined: 11/13/2003
                                • Location: Chapel Hill, NC
                                RE: Masa Harina Sat, 08/19/06 1:23 AM (permalink)
                                Alton Brown has a chili recipe that uses 30 tortilla chips for three pounds of meat. He cooks it in a pressure cooker -- I'm not sold on that part -- but it would seem that in an hour or so, the chips would have cooked down and done the thickening part.

                                http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_28231,00.html
                                 
                                #16
                                  marzsit

                                  • Total Posts: 343
                                  • Joined: 12/2/2006
                                  • Location: renton, WA
                                  RE: Masa Harina Sat, 12/2/06 10:47 AM (permalink)
                                  masa harina is dehydrated tortilla dough, basically mashed hominy so i would think that grits would be a better substitute than corn meal??
                                   
                                  #17
                                    Big_g

                                    RE: Masa Harina Sat, 12/2/06 11:05 AM (permalink)
                                    I've even used a tablespoon or two of instant mashed potatoes to tighten things up. Does not add or subtract from the flavor of the original product either.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      PapaJoe8

                                      • Total Posts: 5504
                                      • Joined: 1/13/2006
                                      • Location: Dallas... DFW area
                                      RE: Masa Harina Wed, 12/6/06 12:57 PM (permalink)
                                      I most always add some yellow corn tortillas, the soft kind, to my chili. They add an extra flavor I like. White corn tortillas work also but w/o the extra flavor. They are just like masa, I think?
                                      Joe
                                       
                                      #19
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