Sunday, August 15, 2004
They were good!
After a morning of making tortilla masa, I spent the evening making gorditas. The recipe was from Diana Kennedy’s From My Mexican Kitchen: Techniques and Ingredients.
The salsa verde was very easy. It is made with tomatillas, those little green tomatoes in the papery husks. The tomatillas are boiled for a few minutes and then pureed in the blender with chiles, cilantro, garlic and salt. The resulting sauce is tangy, spicy and very green!
The technique for making the shredded beef is easy, but time consuming. The recipe calls for either skirt or flank steak – I used flank. The steak is cut into cubes and simmered with onions and garlic, and then shredded. I started out using two forks but I found it was easier to pull it apart with my fingers. Either way, it is slow going. The shredded beef is mixed with onion and cilantro to form the filling.
With the other components ready, the moment of truth had arrived – it was time to turn the tortilla masa into dough and form and cook the gorditas. The dough is made of the tortilla masa, a small amount of lard, and some salt. I had decided that my tortilla masa was a little dryer than it should be, since it weighed about four ounces less than it was supposed to, so I also added a little water to the dough. I mixed it in the mixer with the paddle to make sure the lard was well distributed and then used my hands to pull the dough together into a ball.
I formed and cooked the gorditas without much trouble, although I didn’t get the nice brown spots pictured in the book. I don’t understand how she got that color cooking on low heat as instructed in the recipe! After the gorditas were cooked, I split them open about three quarters of the way through. I was amazed that they didn’t crumble to bits at this stage, but they held together. Just before eating, I reheated the gorditas in a little lard, stuffed them and topped them with salsa. Eating them was a messy affair, with the filling falling out every which way and the salsa dripping all over, but they were good!