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Gorditas

September 14, 2015

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Gorditas (“little fat ones”) are an absolutely delicious snack or meal which I enjoy making on a semi-regular basis.   In case you’re not familiar with them, tortilla masa is the base of the dough,  very much  like corn tortillas, huaraches, sopes, etc.  As the name suggests they are thicker and smaller in size.  They are then stuffed with a wide variety of fillings, much as you would a taco.  Gorditas are easier to shape and cook than tortillas so I wonder why they are not seen more often in restaurants.   There are various recipes and methods of cooking which give slightly different textures and flavors.  Some use masa alone, others may include all- purpose flour, shortening, or lard in the dough,  others mix in cheese or mashed potato.  I’ve also seen recipes with mashed black beans in the mix.  I’ve got to try those out.  Today I’m doing the masa and mashed potato version.  I have come to especially like these since they remind me much of the gorditas I’ve eaten at the many street festivals that you find in San Antonio.  I wish I could tell you what recipe the street vendors use,  I ought to ask next time I get a chance.   The gordita itself has a nice thin crispy exterior and tender inside which results from deep frying.  Those made without potato tend to be a little denser in texture but it’s really just a matter of preference.  Though they are made to be stuffed, I enjoy them as an accompaniment to meals as I would corn or flour tortillas.

 

For 8-10 gorditas:

2 cups masa harina

3/4 cup mashed potato (less than 1 medium size Russet)

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups water

 

Peel a medium size potato, cut it into 3 or 4  chunks and then boil until just tender.  Remove from the water, put it in a small bowl and mash it. Use a ricer if you prefer, but the potato doesn’t have to be perfectly mashed.  Let the potato cool.

Mix the masa harina, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Add 3/4 cup mashed potato and mix in well.  Add most of the water to make a soft pliable dough.  It shouldn’t be too wet or sticky.  Cover the masa with plastic or a wet cloth and let it rest at least 30 minutes.

Heat a heavy skillet on medium and add enough oil to reach a depth of about 1/2 inch.

Take enough of your prepared dough to shape into a ball perhaps a little smaller than a golf ball.   Using your hands,  shape it into a disc about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. If the dough cracks  too much on the edge, it is too dry.  Add water as needed to adjust.

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The oil should not be at the smoking point. Lower it if it is.  Carefully put the gordita into the hot oil (tongs are recommended) and fry for approximately  1 1/2 minutes. You can put in 2 or 3 at a time depending on how big your skillet is. Carefully turn it over and fry an additional 1 1/2 minutes.  Cook the gordita enough so that is a light golden brown.  If it darkens quickly, lower the heat. The gordita should be crispy on the outside, but soft inside.  Put them on paper or old kitchen towels to remove oil.  Let them cool enough to handle and then use a knife to open your gordita as if opening pita bread. Stuff them with your desired filling.  Add shredded lettuce, tomato, and salsa if you want.  They should be served at once. It’s been suggested that gorditas can be kept warm covered in a very low heated oven though I haven’t tried that. Gorditas are usually eaten up pretty quickly.

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The usual suspects as far as traditional options go are mostly meats as used in tacos.  Sour cream and cheese are almost obligatory. If you are a vegan or even vegetarian, traditional choices are limited.  Avocado, guacamole, refried pinto or black beans, potatoes, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeno, salsa, and nopalitos are the most obvious ingredients.  It’s probably time to try some non-traditional ideas.  How about including stuff like kale,  pickled cabbage, steamed swiss chard, corn relish, or cucumber.

Smaller ones would make a great appetizer.  Or you can serve them opened faced like a pizza. Just be sure to serve them hot.

I find gorditas to be a great option to keep in your Mexican/Tex-Mex food repertoire.  They are a memorable treat for your family or guests.

I know it’s getting late, but I think I’ll head out to Angie’s Fiesta Friday and share these.

 

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These are made simply of refried beans, lettuce, tomato. They are great dressed up with avocado, cilantro, onion, and pickled jalapeno or homemade salsa.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2015 3:02 am

    These look fabulous! And thanks for the detailed instructions. I have been meaning to try making gorditas and now with your post, I know I need to try making them soon! 🙂

  2. September 14, 2015 3:06 am

    Oh these look delicious Gerard! You’re making me hungry! I like to fill mine with a spicy corn and bean salad, I’ll share the recipe soon. 🙂

    • September 14, 2015 10:49 pm

      Thank you Emily! Spicy corn and bean salad sounds pretty good in a gordita! Please do share the recipe!

  3. September 14, 2015 3:20 am

    I’m glad you made it to the party with these tasty gorditas. I gather these are gluten free too which is very useful when entertaining. They look delicious too.

    • September 14, 2015 3:43 am

      Better Sunday than never! Thanks Hilda! Yes, they are gluten free and quite versatile. I’ve eaten my share today.

  4. September 14, 2015 1:47 pm

    Vegetarian choices limited? You joking, right! I just found out that you can put refried beans in them. Love beans. Thanks for the idea and for making this post.

  5. September 14, 2015 3:08 pm

    Thank you for sharing this post with Fiesta Friday! I have not tried gorditas, though now that I have seen this post, I would really like to! I like the fact that you can put all kinds of different fillings in them.

    • September 14, 2015 11:08 pm

      Thank you for hosting this week’s Fiesta! Yes, gorditas have been a favorite since childhood. I was happy to share these.

  6. September 15, 2015 1:40 am

    I loved how you explained Gorditta. I have always loved them more than tortiallas but eaten them less because of fried. Gorditta have to be fried?

    • September 15, 2015 2:24 am

      I don’t think I’ve ever seen them pan or griddle baked only, Sonal. Another common way to cook is to pan bake them on the stove for a minute or 2 and then frying the remainder of the time. Along with the masa, all-purpose flour is usually used instead of potatoes. I’m afraid they are very much a fried food.

  7. September 15, 2015 4:14 am

    I love your gorditas! I enjoyed learning more about this meal, and your picture of the dough helped a lot. These look delicious, and I’m sure they’ll be eaten quickly at the fiesta. Hope you have a fabulous week. 😀

    • September 15, 2015 9:45 am

      Thank you! Thank you also for hosting this week’s Fiesta Friday! You have a great week as well.

  8. September 15, 2015 4:12 pm

    I could eat one right now!

    • September 15, 2015 7:57 pm

      They go pretty fast! I hope you’re having a good week!

      • September 17, 2015 4:05 pm

        Thank you. My week is getting better. My son finally found another job and another place to live so that is a big relief! I hope you are having a good week too!

  9. October 25, 2015 10:30 pm

    They look lovely – can’t make up my mind about the potential filling options though!
    On a positive note, my friend’s mum is coming over from Mexico next month, and is planning to teach me a few dishes. I’m sure there will be something to put into these delicious little fatties 😉

    • October 25, 2015 11:46 pm

      Lucky lucky you, getting a few Mexican cooking tutorials… These gorditas are absolute guest pleasers. They have a great flavor and texture. I make them often to take for Sunday family gatherings. I stick with vegan, they put anything else in them. I’m sure you’ll have many ideas!

      • October 25, 2015 11:47 pm

        I’ll let you know – but with my carnivore family, that won’t be of any use to you …

    • October 25, 2015 11:57 pm

      Ja! Ja!

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