Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gorditas with Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa

I would like to know why no one ever told me how easy it is to make gorditas. Had I known this, these would always have been part of our regular week-night meal rotation. These little masa cakes get a dent in their tops to hold whatever you wish from refried beans and sour cream to shredded grilled chicken and salsa. Hot off the stove, they’re slightly crisp on the surface and delicate on the inside with great corn flavor. I kept this recipe from last November’s issue of Food and Wine and followed it precisely for total quantity and size of each gordita. As soon as I realized how easy the dough is to make and how simple each gordita is to form, I started planning to make mini versions for parties and off my mind wondered to all the possible toppings for them. For this first batch ever, I had a salsa in mind to pair with them. A few weeks ago, Kurt and I had dinner at La Condesa here in Austin, and we quite enjoyed the duck with mole negro sauce. We also enjoyed the chips and salsa as usual, but what you get at La Condesa is organic chips and four different fresh, house-made salsas. I dutifully and carefully tasted each salsa in an attempt to choose a favorite and then asked our server for the recipe of the one I picked. I was sure he would tell me no, but instead he went straight to the kitchen and came back with an ingredient list. I had to figure out exact quantities for myself, which was easy enough, and that’s the salsa shown here. I’ll include my version of the recipe below.

To make delicious, homemade gorditas, all you have to do is combine masa harina, water, and vegetable oil and stir it together to form a dough. Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a log about ten inches long. This doesn’t need to be perfect at all because you will cut disks that are then formed into cakes. You cut ten disks from the log of dough and press each into a three inch biscuit cutter to mold round cakes. The cakes can be refrigerated overnight in an airtight container if you want to prep them in advance. When you’re ready to cook them, heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over high heat. Cook the gorditas for two minutes on each side to brown them in spots, and then remove them to a baking sheet and press an indentation in each with the back of a spoon. Last, you heat some oil in a skillet and fry the gorditas for two minutes per side to crisp them. Drain on paper towels, and then top them as you wish.

Our toppings included refried black beans, sour cream, shredded queso quesadilla, sliced jalapenos, shredded chicken, chopped tomatoes, diced avocado, and roasted tomatillo chipotle salsa. We didn’t really talk during this meal, but we smiled and nodded a lot. The salsa was smoky and velvety smooth since it was pureed with olive oil, and the gorditas were crisp, tender, perfect vehicles for the toppings. I don’t know why I didn’t learn sooner, but now that I know about these, I’ll be making a lot of them.

Roasted Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa
inspired by La Condesa
2-3 chipotles in adobo depending on size and how spicy you want your salsa to be, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from can
1 large red onion
12 tomatillos, husks removed and washed
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for roasting
Salt and pepper to taste

-Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Chop onion into wedges and place on a baking sheet with tomatillos, and drizzle with olive and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and browned.

-Transfer roasted vegetables to a food processor and add chipotles and adobo sauce. Puree until smooth and then slowly add olive oil while the machine is running. Taste for salt and add more if needed.



21 comments:

  1. I shyly admit that I never had gordita before, but Chipolte salsa sounds so delicious that I wish I have it now..

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  2. These gorditas are much easier to make than I thought! I'm going to definitely this soon because I love fresh corn tortillas and I am sure I'll love these too!

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  3. I love gorditas, I am making these gorgeous goodies as soon as humanly possible.

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  4. These look so beyond fabulous. Oh, what I wouldn't do to have one of these. I am super jealous of whoever gets to eat them!
    *kisses* HH

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  5. I'm having one of those moments that goes something like this: Why hasn't anyone told me about Gorditas? They look easy enough and your right, they'd make great party finger food, canap├ęs - so all I can say is... Thanks :)

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  6. Scrumptious! My kind of food!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. These WOULD be fab for a party. With a pitcher of margaritas, it would be one helluva party, too. ;)

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  8. Delicious! Especially with the refreshing tomatillo chipotle salsa!

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  9. Yes, those look totally amazing and totally easy. I am jealous that you can go to a place with 4 different salsas on the table!

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  10. What tasty & appetizing looking food!

    MMMMMMM,..So special & apart too!

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  11. Lisa

    I also thought gorditas were time-consuming and never bothered with making them!
    I am so glad you tried and now I can benefit from the experience; glad you pan fried them as I was reluctant of the deep-frying advocated in mexican cookbooks!

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  12. Yummy! These look so incredible and I love the sound of the salsa, too. I'm going to try if I can get my hands on some tomatillos. Maybe I'll wait for a visit back home...

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  13. Wow, I love what you're doing with dough these days! Even if it's cornmeal dough (it counts, right?) These are right up my alley -- I'm on a pan-Latin kick right now, and a tomatillo kick too. I had bookmarked this one in FW too but then, well, you know what happens when something hits that "I'm gonna cook this someday" pile. Thanks for bringing it back to the light.

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  14. Wow, that looks amazing! the presentation is beautiful.

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  15. first of all, gorditas is a fun word to say. secondly, and of more importance, gorditas are a fun thing to eat. tasty work, lisa.

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  16. O my...those look to-die-for. The toppings sound fabulous too. YUM

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  17. I know that silence, it happens on occasion in my house too. These do look insanely good! Now that I know how easy they are I see them in my future.

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  18. This is something new to me and I like the look of it. Looks spicy and flavourful.

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  19. Oh I am sad why didn't i think of gorditas before. That picture is making me hungry.

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  20. Yay! Something else for me to make with my tomatillos. I have one plant that's producing like 3. And now I can tell my husband he doesn't need to go to Taco Bell for gorditas. ;)

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