the masa king, redux

Gordita win! And all because I didn’t make them! The last time I attempted a batch of gorditas, which are one of my favorite things ever, it turned out so badly I swore never to make them again. I’m talking non puffed, dense, overly gooey on the inside, gross little masa bricks that went straight into the garbage. Honestly, I don’t get why masa hates me so much. But it loves Erik and he truly, now more than ever, will be the only person in this household that is allowed to handle masa. Plus it’s nice to not have to make dinner alone, or at all, because Erik has taken it upon himself to make some dinners while I’ve been putting in my mandatory overtime this month. I’m hoping this leads to an interest in cooking for him (even a slight one) and that he’ll do it more. Not only because it’s easier for me not to handle every single cooking task, but also because it’s fun to cook with him…

Fajita Gorditas
recipe for the shells from Girlichef

You Need:
1 3/4 cups masa harina
1/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
scant teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water
oil for frying

For your fillings:
skirt steak
garlic cloves
salt, pepper
cumin
lime juice
refried beans
chopped onions, cilantro, tomatoes, queso fresco or cheddar, lime wedges

For your steak: squeeze lime juice over your skirt steak, season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Pop it in the fridge and let it marinate awhile. Let it come to room temp before you grill. Heat your grill, sear the beef on both sides to your desired level of doneness. Rub cut garlic cloves over both sides of the beef. Set aside and let it rest, before you chop the steak into strips (against the grain, of course).

For the shells, start by heating up a comal, or a cast iron skillet, or whatever you use to cook tortillas. Combine the masa harina, flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add the water in a little at a time until you have the right consistency (i.e. like playdough – not too dry, not too wet, but pliable). Form into balls that are 1 to 2 inches. If you want to squish them by hand, cool; Erik used a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap and pressed them to the thickness Ms. Girlichef suggests: a little more than 1/4-inch thick. Cook the masa patties, browning them on both sides. Set aside on a plate. After they’re initially cooked, heat 1/2 inch oil in a large pan to about 350 (if you don’t get the oil hot enough, the shells won’t cook up right). Slip the masa patties into the oil and cook about 30 seconds per side, or until golden brown. Just a note: when I made gordita shells before, I expected a huge puff, but that’s not the case I now know. It’s only a slight puff. Set the crisped shells on a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Let them cool enough to handle then with a sharp paring knife, make a slit in one side to open it up (don’t cut it open all the way through). Load it with your beans, meat, chopped veg, and cheese, if you’re using it. Nom away.

crispy golden puffy shells of perfection

Cooking Music: Bob Dylan, the eponymous first record

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8 Comments

Filed under Erik Does Dinner, Tex-Mex, Uncategorized

8 responses to “the masa king, redux

  1. jewelboxer

    ugh, masa doesn’t like me either…but these look REALLY tasty.

  2. mmmmmmmmmmmm! they look delicioso! Yeah, kind of surprising when you expect a huge puff…but oh so good anyway, aye?? Great job! Thanks for the shout-out, too!

  3. rebekah

    I just can’t believe I can finally have gorditas in my house. It’s too awesome for words. Thanks for the easy directions!

    Expect more shout outs in the near future, woman. I just bookmarked a ton of recipes from your blog to try out …

  4. I have failed with masa. I wish I had Mom’s talent in that department.
    These look delicious. Now I am hungry at 11pm. Damnit.

  5. rebekah

    hehehe i’m not sorry that you got hungry seeing these. i wish i’d had some at 11 last night …

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