my kind of topic!I have been away for a while, but glad to hear that tortillas are still being discussed.:lips:
Although I specialize more in flour tortillas, here are some other things to try:
1) for a quick corn tortilla masa (thus eliminating the need to drive to specialty markets for fresh quality masa) just buy a bag of Maseca--most grocery stores have this in their mexican food section or flour section. All you do is add water to make a very tasty corn masa. Depending on your climate experiment with water amounts to give you a softer masa. I add more water than called for--I live in the desert.
2) yes, you can press harder on your tortilla press to get a thinner tortilla. But give this a try too: Generally, wax paper is placed on the top and bottom of the masa ball before pressing it. After you press the masa flat, you now have a tortilla sandwiched by two pieces of wax paper, correct? Slide that sandwich onto the counter and roll it out even flatter with a rolling pin--the wax paper prevents the tortilla from sticking or splitting, thus giving you a flatter AND intact tortilla.
3) How are you frying your tortillas? this can make a big difference in how well the taco shell holds up. Here is how to make a little more traditional crispy taco: in a cast iron skillet, heat up some oil/crisco/lard (may 1/8 to 1/4 inch on the bottom of the pan) to somewhere like 350-375 degrees (maybe try a lower temperature until you get quick at this). Slide your tortilla into the hot oil and wait a few moments. Even though your tortilla is brittle before being fried, this initial flat frying should soften it considerably. After a few moments, with a spatula, gently try to fold the tortilla in half. If it quickly unfolds, give it a few more moments in the oil and try again.
Traditionally, the meat is placed on the tortilla while it is being fried and the weight of the meat will help keep the tortilla in the oil. When you fold half the tortilla over the meat, hold it in place with a spatula until it holds its own taco shape. Flip the entire taco over to crisp up the other side, and you are done. Add the chesse right after it comes off the pan so that it melts thoroughly. These will be a little more oily than I think most people are used to, but again, this is the more traditional style.
Just for ease's sake, there is no shame in buying a package of good corn tortillas and frying these up to make your tacos. Most mexican families do this themselves. Just make sure they are pretty decent tortillas.