Chef Chuck Hughes is sharing the flavours of Mexico with this fantastic street snack! Gorditas are crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside small cornflour cakes stuffed with any number of delicious fillings. We're using a rich Chile Verde today. For the Chile, take the time to get a good sear on the pork before adding the onions and garlic. As for garnishes, if you can't find requeson (a fresh Mexican cheese), you can substitute with queso fresco or ricotta. Enjoy!
For Chile Verde2 lbs pork shoulder , ideally with bone-in
1 medium white onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lbs fresh tomatillos, peeled and washed
2 cups diced mild green chiles, already roasted or you can roast your own
2 large poblano peppers
2 serrano or jalapeño peppers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, and more for garnish
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
to taste salt and pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
as needed olive oil
For Gorditas2 cups masa harina
1 1/2 cups warm water, approximately, as needed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp flour
4 tbsp olive oil or canola oil
Garnishesas needed sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, crumbled requeson or queso fresco, lime wedges
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut the pork into 2-inch pieces, cutting as much meat away from the bones as possible. Do not discard the bones, because they will add great flavor. Season the pork with 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir well to combine, cover and refrigerate.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and lay the tomatillos, poblano, and serrano or jalapeños on the pan. Drizzle with a little bit of oil, roast for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes. Peppers should be soft, and the tomatillos gently blistered. Remove from oven and transfer the poblanos to a plastic storage bag until cooled. When cooled, remove skin from poblanos and discard. Transfer the tomatillos and peppers to the blender. Add the 2 cups green chiles, cilantro, 2 cups chicken broth, and ½ teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth, set aside.
3. Remove the pork from the refrigerator while you chop your onions and garlic. In a large Dutch Oven pot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat to medium-high heat. When good and hot, add the pork and cook to sear, turning as needed. Add the onions and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the sauce from the blender, stir well to combine, taste for salt. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 1 hour.
4. While the pork is simmering, in a large bowl combine the dry ingredients for the gorditas. Gradually add in the warm water until the dough forms. Add in the oil and work well into dough. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or plastic wrap. Make 6 dough balls and with your hands form the gorditas, using a little bit of water to form the sides. You are looking for a gorditas that is at least ½-inch thick. Transfer to lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap, then set aside.
5. Add the remaining chicken broth to chile verde, stir well to combine, taste for salt. Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to pan, cook 2 to 3 gorditas at a time, but do not overcrowd the pan. The key to cooking the gorditas this way is to cover them, with a lid, so it creates a little bit of steam. This will help the gorditas cook all the way through. After both sides have browned nicely, transfer to a plate and let cool. Carefully slice open with a serrated knife before serving and reheat.
6. Serve the gorditas stuffed with a nice spoonful of chile verde, a few sliced radishes, cilantro, and a little requeson or queso fresco sprinkled on top. Serve with a side of your favorite rice, salsa and crema.
Yield: Serves 6