|In the Mexican state of Chihuahua, gorditas (“little fat ones”) are a popular food – thick deep-fried cornmeal patties, which are generally split partially through the edge, creating a pocket that’s then stuffed with meat, cheese, lettuce, avocado, and sour cream.
My gordita recipe is traditional in the way they’re made, at least – but I serve them a bit differently: before frying them, I make an indentation in the center of each, pressing the sides slightly upward to make a natural bowl for the added goodies. The reason I started doing them this way is simple – I really have trouble splitting them to make the pocket! Try them both ways; see which works best for you.
I use lard in my recipe, but shortening works equally well.
You can make these a few hours ahead of time, but be sure to warm them just before stuffing and serving. I don’t advise freezing them; but they’ll keep for a day or so in the fridge.
For those that have never used masa harina, it’s available in all supermarkets, either near the flour or in the Mexican foods section.
And by the way – the product that Taco Bell® calls “gorditas” doesn’t even resemble an actual gordita. And why is it that Taco Bell feels the need to introduce a new menu item almost monthly, even though it basically contains the same four ingredients? It’s called “core competency”, folks – stick with what you do best, and put your corporate resources toward providing the best taste and quality possible!
Uh oh… I feel a rant coming on…
|2 cups||Masa harina de maiz|
|1/3 cup||All-purpose flour|
|1 tsp||Baking powder|
|3 Tbs||Lard, chilled and cubed|
|1-1/2 cups||Warm (~120°) water|
|With an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook (or a food processor with a Pulse control), combine all dry ingredients. Add chilled lard; mix until a coarse mealy mixture appears. Slowly add warm water until dough is smooth (you may not need the entire amount of water).
Remove dough from mixer; form into a ball with hands. Wrap ball in plastic wrap; and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
On a lightly floured counter, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Using your fingers, form each piece into a circle about ½” thick and 4” in diameter. Make an indentation in the center of each circle, making a sort of bowl shape. Fry in a 375° deep fryer until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Serve with taco meat or chili in the center; add lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream and avocado as desired.