Corn tortillas are really the backbone of Tex-Mex and Mexican food and cooking. They have a history going back hundreds of years, and are used in just about every dish from both of these cuisines. Flour tortillas, still a relatively modern creation, are often used in Tex-Mex cooking, but in Mexico they still almost strictly use the corn variety.
You can buy ready-made corn tortillas in stores and markets pretty much everywhere in the United States, but these tend to have the taste and texture of styrofoam. Unfortunately, many Americans do not realize that these are just not very good.
To find out how flavorful the fresh corn tortillas are, it is always best to make your own. They are not difficult if you have the right equipment, and the only thing that consists of is an inexpensive tortilla press. A tortilla press is a great little gadget that saves you the time and work of patting out the masa (tortilla dough) by hand.
This easy corn tortilla recipe makes about a dozen 5-inch tortillas. Masa harina is readily found in grocery stores today. Corn tortillas freeze very well, so if you want to double or triple the recipe, go right ahead.
2 cups masa harina
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups warm water
Heat a small, heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat. In a large bowl, and using a sturdy spoon or your hands, mix all of the ingredients thoroughly together. If you need to, add a little more masa harina or water to achieve a nice, firm consistency.
Divide and form the masa dough in balls of about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cover them with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out while working. If any of the dough balls dry out, add a tiny more water and rework them until they are back to where they were before.
Place one masa ball at a time between two plastic 1-quart storage bags. Press the ball in the tortilla press until it flattens out to the desired thickness, which should be about 1/8-inch or less.
Carefully separate the dough from the plastic bags, and place it on the hot skillet or griddle. Cook the tortilla for about 30 seconds, then flip it for 1 minute of cooking on the other side. Then flip it one last time onto the first side, and cook for 30 seconds more. The tortilla will be a brown color, and covered with brown spots or specks. Cover this and all other tortillas with foil to keep them warm as you press and cook the rest of the masa balls.
Source of Fresh Homemade Corn Tortillas – An Easy Recipe For the Classic Staple Food of Mexican Cooking by Billy Bristol – author of Fresh Homemade Corn Tortillas – An Easy Recipe For the Classic Staple Food of Mexican Cooking article