Our food editors learned all about the art of making corn tortillas in with a master teacher, all from the comfort of their own homes.

By Claire Sullivan
February 03, 2021
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tacos
Credit: Shira Bocar

We're all craving an adventure right now, and a quick route to one comes in the form of an online cooking class with League of Kitchens. Students step (virtually) into the home of one of its female instructors in New York City, then cook along as she prepares an authentic dish from her heritage. Our team recently enjoyed a lesson in making corn tortillas from scratch. Here's the story behind this amazing cooking school; plus, instructor Angie Vargas' shares her expertise so you can make your own delicious corn tortillas at home.

angie vargas apple laptop
Credit: Photographs Courtesy of League of Kitchens (Vargas), Apple (Laptop)

League of Kitchens

When Lisa Gross first lived on her own after college, working as an English teacher, she tried to re-create her grandmother's Korean dishes, but they never tasted quite the same. "I realized that most culinary knowledge is passed down among women, in an oral tradition," she says. In 2014, after completing her master's in participatory public art, Gross set out "to give these women a bigger audience," and launched League of Kitchens with six hosts hailing from around the globe. The workshops went virtual last March, offering welcome community during the pandemic. "We've had families and groups of former college roommates use it to connect from around the country," says Gross. "Most of us can't have new experiences right now, so it's magical to discover something at home."

Our food editors were thrilled to fire up their webcams together for a taco tutorial with Angie Vargas, who is a native of Monterrey, Mexico. Other League of Kitchens teachers come from Argentina, India, Iran, Greece, and more.

The Power of Touch

homemade corn tortillas stacked against blue background
Credit: Jenny Huang

In her taco class, Vargas makes corn tortillas using just three ingredients; masa harina (instant corn masa flour), fine sea salt, and vegetable oil. She teaches her students to use their hands to feel if the dough needs adjustments. She adds water to dampen it, or more masa harina to dry it out, until the texture resembles soft Play-Doh. Then she presses golf-ball-size pieces of the dough in a tortilla press. They cook quickly on griddle and once they're cooked, she fills them with steak, guacamole, and salsa verde.

Food styling by Greg Lofts; prop styling by Suzie Myers.

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