Gorditas are for everyone

Gorditas YES!  

Perfect for parties as interactive food where guests can fill them with a variety of fillings.
  Gorditahands.jpg
Vary the size and you can have either finger food or a sit-down meal.

But here’s the misunderstood side: ingredients and methods for
1) flavorings,
2) texture and
3) fillings
have been tested over centuries. They are tied to culture and the land. When you cook these, pay close attention.  Taste fully, slowly.  It bears repeating that you are dealing not just with food but with a cuisine.

Corn or Maize “was domesticated first in Mexico around 5500 BC and it gradually spread northward, appearing first in what is now the US around 3500 BC, according to archeological evidence from a cave in New Mexico.”  (Murray Berzok, 2005, p. 51.)  Native Americans devised ingenious irrigation methods as they farmed corn.

I say Gorditas are for everyone because corn is so natural here and has always been shared. Knowing our roots, we keep the tradition alive, renew it and going forward.  Send me recipes, please if you have.

MAP OF 1821 MEXICO

mapGorditas1821.PNGI have drawn circles on this 1821 map of Mexico to show three areas where I have found distinctive recipes:  Present day New Mexico (USA), Texas (USA), and Queretaro (Mexico).

In New Mexico the Hopi and Pueblo recipes use rather slender tortillas flavored with Guajillo chile.  Down in Queretaro, the corn masa is blended with chile Ancho and cheese!  The recipe I’m sharing is one I’ve adapted from Texas gorditas, using  Queso Fresco.  I hope you find these Gorditas as delicious as I do.

Gorditasgriddle.jpgRecipe makes 25 small gorditas like the ones in the picture
 
Ingredients
1 lb corn flour
2 1/2 cups water, if you need a little more, add 1 or 2 Tbsp or so at a time
6 oz queso fresco, finely crumbled
Salt to taste.  I use 1/2 tspn
3 Tbsp Canola oil or as needed

Method
1.  Combine corn flour, salt and water to make a masa. 
2.  Add the queso fresco and knead to combine thoroughly.  The masa should feel like a soft clay, the “play doh” with which kids play.
3.  Cover the masa with a damp cloth and let rest for about 45 minutes
4.  Roll the masa into 25 balls, then flatten each ball into a little gordita.  Have a bowl of water handy so that you can keep your hangs slightly moist.  This will keep the masa from sticking to your hands as you form the gorditas.    
5.  Heat a cast iron skillet or a griddle to 375-400oF and apply a film of Canola oil on the surface.
6.  Place the gorditas and cook until fully cooked and golden brown.
7.  Split apart or slice with a knife or fork and fill with the following.

Gorditasfilled.jpg

FILLINGS:
–A layer of frijoles refritos
–A spoonful of Chilorio (optional)  Wonderful with only beans and the other fillings below
–a mixture of thinly sliced Iceberg lettuce and small dice tomatoes
–crumbled queso fresco.
–Salsa mexicana (I’m uploading the Salsa Mexicana recipe next week.)  You can serve them with another salsa that you like.

(1) Murray Berzok, L. (2005), American Indian Food. Westport: Greenwood Press.

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