My first taste of a gorditas de maiz was most likely at El Mercado Juarez in Monterrey. Without fail, every trip to Monterrey, my parents would take us to one of two mercados, an open door market. You could find all kinds of fresh foods, cooked foods and Mexican wares. As a kid, my favorite stalls were the ones filled with Mexican candy, especially spicy tamarindo candy and fresh fruits. I was always amazed to watch the women prepare some of the most delicious tacos, enchiladas and gorditas while we stood and watched. They literally worked within a small space with just a propane heated metal disk as their cooking surface. The different foods would be gathered on the outer edges of the hot disk and in the center would be the cooking oil. It was just fun to watch, but so much more fun to eat their delicious creations. Real Mexican food prepared fresh, there is nothing like it. For today’s blog post, I am sharing with you my version of preparing the Gorditas de Maiz. I use products that are available to me, which would be masa harina, a fine corn flour. It is used to prepare corn tortillas, tamales, sopes and a few other authentic dishes. Of course, if you are lucky enough to purchase corn masa directly from the tortilleria, that is really the way to go for the most delicious results!
Gorditas de Maiz
- 1 3/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups masa harina yellow or white
- 1 teaspoon chile ancho powder this is optional
- pork manteca, grapeseed oil or canola oil for frying later
- Add water, salt and chile ancho powder(if using) to a bowl and stir just until salt is dissolved.
- Gradually add in the masa harina until dough forms. It should be soft, but not sticky.
- Roll 6-8 equal size masa balls. With a little warm water on hand, wet hands and using the palm of your hands, pat balls gently to form the gordita. If the edges crack, smooth over by rubbing a little water over the area. Place onto plate and cover. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Preheat cast iron pan to medium/low heat for 5 minutes. When hot, drizzle a little oil into pan. Place 3 gorditas in pan, cover with lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook for another 3 minutes, more or less. Add another drizzle of oil to pan when you turn them. Keeping them covered while cooking, creates a little steam and the gorditas will puff up slightly.
- Let gorditas cool for just one minute. To cut open, place a few folded paper towels ovr gordita. Using a small serrated knife carefully slice open 3/4 of the way. Turn gordita as you slice. The paper towels keep your hands from getting burned while slicing. Gorditas slice better when they are warm. Yields 6 gorditas. Fill with beans, cheese, avocado and salsa.
In the pictur above there is the corn flour PAN used to prepare arepas. They are basically prepared the same way as the gorditas. They can be cooked on the comal/griddle or fried.
I found it much easier to divide the masa evenly if I roll it into a log shape. Use a large sharp knife to cut.
This is how they will cook if using a cast iron skillet or comal. I like the more rustic look it gives them.
You can find many, many salsa recipes right here on site. Search salsa and hot sauce to find your favorite! I did not use the cas iron pan for these, thus no char marks like the previous gorditas.
And then there were more Gorditas de Maiz……. Traditionally fried, but not absolutely always a must.
Brunch or lunch, I really enjoy a stuffed gordita! Black Beans, a mashed potatoe with chorizo, onions and serrano!
Filled with refried beans, cotija cheese, avocado and salsa prepared in a molcajete! The masa above was infused with grilled corn. Sharing that recipe soon!
Beans, cotija cheese, avocado and salsa!!