Let's talk tortillas. Have you ever encountered a dry corn tortilla? The type that splits under the weight of an over–filled taco and lets your toppings fall to the plate mid–bite? We've all made an unsightly face or two while biting into an overflowing taco. We put our faith in the tortilla to keep things together. If you want to have a trusting relationship with your tortillas, you need to make them from scratch. And, I promise, it's really not that difficult or time consuming. It takes only three ingredients to make a corn tortilla: masa (corn flour), water, and salt. To press the tortillas, all you need are two cutting boards and plastic wrap. To cook them, use a regular old frying pan. The first time I made corn tortillas, I was prepared to devote an entire evening to the activity. A few days later, after non–stop thoughts of fresh tortillas, I whipped up my second batch in around 15 minutes. Fresh tortillas don't just carry your toppings. They are flavorful, flexible, take any simple taco to the next level. Please, make them.
I use Maseca brand masa and follow their 2 cups masa to 1.5 cups water ratio. Mix masa and water until a malleable, cookie–dough–like texture is achieved. Add small amounts of additional water or masa to adjust the texture as needed. Add salt to taste (I use ~1 teaspoon). Roll the dough into balls. Bigger balls = bigger tortillas. Don't laugh. Heat a nonstick pan over high heat. If you don't have nonstick, you may need add small amounts of oil as you go. If you don't have a tortilla press, press a ball of dough between two cutting boards covered with plastic wrap. The more firmly you press on the top board, the thinner the tortillas will be. Place the flattened dough into the hot pan. When the edges slightly pull away from the plan, flip. The tortillas may puff up, which allows for characteristic brown spots to form. Cook tortillas to your desired level of golden–brown. Place cooked tortillas into a bowl covered with a plate or towel; this keeps in the moisture and heat. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked. Cooking more than one tortilla at a time helps speed up the process. Turn tortillas into tacos or serve with salsa as a delicious snack.
Maseca brand Instant Corn Masa Flour: This is a standard brand that is widely available. I've had great results with this masa.