Seriously, I can’t even begin to write about gorditas without starting to salivate! These delicious little treats can be found in México being sold at fairs, markets, street food stands and, definitely, at home. They’re a great way to use the leftover stew from yesterday or the lonely refried beans in the fridge. Yes, leftovers take on a new life inside gorditas, and get transformed into a delicious meal!
But, what is a gordita, you might ask? A gordita is a small, thick tortilla. There’s not just one type of gordita, depending on what region of the country you are, a gordita could be just something made of corn dough or wheat dough, with an easy simple dough mix or a very complex dough with several ingredients. It could be savory or sweet, cooked on a griddle, fried, or baked. And it can also be stuffed with a filling or not. See, a gordita could be so many things that the only thing they have in common is their shape: a small thick tortilla.
This recipe is for the most popular corn gordita, which is usually stuffed with cheese, beans, meat or other types of fillings, and served with red or green salsa. In México, we have a large variety of savory and sweet gorditas depending on the region of the country. The savory gorditas are made using corn dough, sometimes with lard and salt added; they are cooked on a griddle or deep-fried. Some gorditas are stuffed prior to being cooked or fried, similar to the “Pupusas” from El Salvador.
I usually make gorditas when I have several leftovers in the fridge. Some of the fillings could be pork cracklings in green salsa, pork pibil, refried beans, pork in salsa verde, just to mention a few options.
MAKES 9 (4-IN) GORDITAS
FOR THE GORDITAS
- 1 ½ cup of corn flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup water, plus 2 extra tablespoons.
Or any other type of filling you may have. They have to be warm, and ready to use when the gorditas come out of the griddle.
- To form the gorditas, you will need 2 (6 Inches) squares of plastic to press the dough. I usually cut up a freezer or sandwich bag, since it works wonderfully for this purpose. If you don’t have a tortilla press, use a heavy glass-baking dish. I will use a baking pan, so you can see how to use it.
1. In a medium size bowl mix the corn flour and salt. Slowly add the water and knead to from a uniform mixture. If the dough feels dry, add more water, little by little, spoon by spoon, until the dough is soft and manageable, like play dough. It doesn't have to be sticky. Depending on the humidity of your local city, you will need to add about 2 more tablespoons of water to the dough, and also keep a small bowl with water to moist the dough as needed. This dough tends to dry, so cover with a moist kitchen napkin while you make the gorditas.
2. Divide the dough into 9 balls and cover with a moistened kitchen towel or paper towel. Heat the griddle to medium high. It has to be hot when you place the gorditas, in order to avoid having them stick.
3. Place one plastic square on your tortilla press and then one ball of dough, top with the other plastic square, and gently press down the tortilla press to form the gordita. It should be about 4 inches in diameter. If using the glass baking dish, place one plastic square on your working surface, add the ball of dough, cover with the other plastic square and gently press with the glass dish, making an even pressure to form the gordita disc.
4. Remove the top plastic. Pick up the gordita, holding with the plastic at the bottom. Gently flip the tortilla onto the palm of your hand. Then, place on the hot griddle to cook.
5. While the gordita is cooking, keep forming the rest of the dough, keeping a watchful eye on the griddle.
6. After about 2 minutes, check if the gordita has already formed light brown spots. If so, flip to cook the other side of the gordita. It will need about 2 more minutes to cook on the other side. Then check if it has formed light brown spots, if you see the brown spots then flip again, if not, then leave a few more seconds on that side, and flip again and cook for 20 seconds. In total, you’ll flip the gordita 2 times, and the cooking time will be more than 4 and half minutes total. In the last cooking time, the gordita will slightly inflate. Remove from griddle and cover with a clean kitchen napkin to keep warm.
7. As soon as you can handle the hot gordita, with the help of a pairing knife, make an incision around the edge, just big enough to introduce the filling. Do not open the whole thing. Return the gordita to the napkin to keep them warm while you finish making the rest of the dough.
8. Once you’ve finished making all the gorditas, fill them with the stuffing of your choice, like I’ve mentioned in the fourth paragraph above.
9. Serve while they’re still hot with green and red salsa. Enjoy!
Provecho, and if you make them, please come back to share your experience.