I have a confession to make. This is kind of embarrassing, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I have a huge culinary crush on Rick Bayless. Why am I telling you this? Well, because to make these potato gorditas I didn’t make my own salsas.
I bought the tomatillo salsa and the double roasted tomato salsa. The Frontera brand is named after Rick Bayless’s restaurant in Chicago. When I graduated school I applied for a job at his restaurants, but there were no positions available. Then a couple of years later, Thomas and I went to the James Beard Awards in NY and he was there!
Oh my gosh I can’t believe I’m going to tell you the next part, but here it goes. I wanted to go up to him and just introduce myself and say thank you for everything he’s done for Mexican cuisine in this country, but I didn’t want to be lame. The people at the James Beard Awards are mostly all restaurant professionals, it’s not the kind of party where you ask people for autographs. So instead I just kind of followed him around for a little bit, at a distance of course, while I gathered enough courage to do the grown-up thing and casually introduce myself. I couldn’t do it. Maybe next time, Rick Bayless, maybe next time.
The Recipe: Potato Gorditas
Anyway, the salsas are really good and he also has some other products as well. Back to the recipe. Sheesh! These gorditas are the real deal. They’re easy to make and they’re gluten-free. I love my gorditas with cheese, but in this case we’ve filled them with potatoes in salsa verde and salsa roja. Gorditas are actually my go-to easy family dinner. Whatever you do, do not go to Taco Bell and try their gorditas, just don’t. Serve these with more salsa and guacamole. Enjoy!
- 4 Russet potatoes, peeled, cut into small dice
- 2 cups Maseca* corn masa flour.
- ¼ tsp. Salt, kosher
- ¼ tsp. Baking powder
- 2 ¼ cups Warm water
- 1 cup Salsa Verde, or your salsa of choice
- 1 cup Salsa Roja, or your salsa of choice
- 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil Optional
- Place potatoes in a pan with cold salted water, bring to a boil and immediately turn heat down to a simmer. Cook potatoes until fork tender, about 15 min. Drain potatoes and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the masa flour, salt, and baking powder. Pour in 1 ¾ cups of warm water. Mix with your hand. The dough should be the consistency of soft playdough. If it is too dry add more water, until you reach the desired consistency. Cover with a moist paper towel and let rest 5 min.
- Set a large sauté pan to medium heat and add 1 cup of salsa verde. Bring to a simmer and add half of the potatoes. Stir to coat potatoes with sauce. Season and remove from heat. Repeat these steps with a different pan, the rest of the potatoes, and the salsa roja.
- Uncover your dough and divide it into 2oz. balls. You will be able to make about 12ea. Place on a surface covered with plastic wrap. Flatten the balls with your hands to make a round patty about 1/3 in. thick. Continue this process with the rest of the balls.
- Set a large cast-iron pan, comal or griddle to medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp. of oil (optional). Once the oil is hot add the masa rounds and let cook for 3 min. and then flip. Let cook for 3 -4 min more until brown spots appear on the gordita and it is hard to the touch.
- Repeat with the rest of the rounds. Then, using a sharp serrated knife cut a slit in the edge about half-way around its circumference, making a sort of pocket. Fill each gordita with the desired potato mixture. Serve with sliced avocado or guacamole.
These gorditas can also be fried in a shallow pan with oil at 350F. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown, then cut, and fill.