Little Fatties - The Baker and The Chef
The other day in the mail I received the newest copy of “Food & Wine” magazine.  Maybe it’s the time of year, or the fact that I’m still nursing, but everything in there looked delicious!  I dog-eared several of the pages of recipes I want to try out, but the first one I decided to make were the gorditas.

We had decided to make burritos for dinner and these looked like the perfect accompaniment.  I’m so glad I made them, because they were fabulous and so easy!  I’ll definitely make them again, and if we ever need to make appetizers for anything this will work beautifully.  (If you do decide to make these for appetizers, you will probably want to make them smaller than the 3 inches the recipe calls for, but you know your friends better than I do, so make them as big as you’d like!)  Gorditas literally means “little fatty” in Spanish, which is exactly what these are.  They were wonderfully crisp on the outside and soft on the inside with a nice corn flavor.

You can top them with pretty much anything that sounds good to you, but we made a fresh corn salsa and roasted some cumin seasoned chicken and served each one with some queso fresco, sour cream and a squirt of fresh lime juice.  My mouth is watering just thinking about them!

Don’t confuse these with the Americanized “gorditas” Taco Bell served (serves?).  Those gorditas more closely resemble a very thick tortilla or pita.  These are much more like the toasted bread you serve bite sized appetizers on, like a piece of bruschetta.

When you make these, don’t get all hung up on the specific sizes stated in the recipe.  I figured if these are being made successfully in a remote Mexican village with a very rustic kitchen I probably couldn’t mess them up because I don’t own a comal!  It’s a very simple recipe, so don’t over-think it.  Just mix the dough until it sticks together and use your eyes to guide you when you cook them.  Don’t set a timer for two minutes and remove them from the pan because the timer says so but they’re not brown.  In culinary school, when someone asked, “how long do I cook it?” our chef would always answer, “until it’s done”.  That’s your guide here. GORDITAS

recipe from Food & Wine magazine, November 2009, page 162

yield 10 - 3” gorditas

  • 2 C masa harina (they recommend Bob’s Red Mill, but I used Maseca)
  • 1 1/4 C water
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil, plus more for frying

  1. In a large bowl, mix the masa harina with the water and the 1/4 C vegetable oil.  Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a 10” log; cut into 10 equal pieces.  Using a 3” round biscuit cutter, mold the pieces into flat disks a scant 1/2” thick.
  2. Heat a large griddle or comal (a round, flat griddle).  Add the gorditas and cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes per side.  Using the back of a spool, lightly press an indentation in the center of each gordita.  (This took a lot longer than 2 minutes to get the nicely colored brown spots that you’re looking for. I also didn’t bother to press an indentation into each one. There is a natural lip that is formed when you press the dough into the round cutter so I just left it alone.)
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1/4” of oil until shimmering.  Add the gorditas and fry over high heat until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side; drain on paper towels.  Top with your choice of toppings.  (The frying also took longer than the 2 minutes they recommend.  You just want them to turn a nice light golden brown, but not too dark.)

The uncooked gorditas can be refrigerated in an airtight container, between sheets of wax paper, overnight.

-The Baker

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