Gorditas, translated into English, mean Little Fat Ones. Actually it's little fat girls, but I kind of take offense to that. There really shouldn't be a translation. Gorditas are Gorditas, Masa Pockets filled with your favorite meat, chicken or pork filling. Some people fill them up with refried beans or even queso. However you prepare them, they're delicious and easy to make.
I made mine with a simple picadillo recipe.
1 pound ground meat
1 large tomato, diced,
1 large potato, diced small
1/2 a large onion, minced
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup roasted, chopped green chiles
Seasoned with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic powder and some ground cumin
Combine ground beef with broth. Add potatoes, tomato, onion and green chile. Season. Simmer on low until potatoes are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.
The masa for the Gorditas is very simple to make, alot easier than that the masa for tamales.
1 3/4 cups masa harina
1 cup very warm tap water
2 tablespoons lard or shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
vegetable oil for frying
Mix the masa harina with the warm water until well combined and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to prepared masa. Knead in the lard. If the masa feels a little dry, add a couple more teaspoons of water. Divide dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place each masa ball on a plate or cutting board lined with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Place a heavy skillet (cast iron if you have it) over medium heat. While it's heating up, roll or flatten by hand each masa ball into an approximate 4-inch diameter circle. Place the rounds on the hot skillet and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Set aside to cool. Next comes the frying.
Heat 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan to a temperature of about 325 degrees. Fry 1 to 2 toasted gordita rounds in the hot oil until puffed and golden brown.
When you're done frying, carefully slice one edge of the gordita and open. Fill with the picadillo recipe or whatever your favorite filling might be.
Set a plateful of garnishes on the table for topping off your gorditas. I used shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, chopped avocados, salsa and lots and lots of cheese.
I hope you try this traditional dish in your next fiesta. They're simple to make, tasty and quite filling. Enjoy.