In today's visit to Doņa Martha's kitchen, she will show us how to make three different fillings for gorditas and two ways to make the shells -- one with corn masa and the other with wheat flour.

Doņa Martha always uses the freshest ingredients, so she shops each morning for the day's needs.  Today she is dictating her shopping list to 12 year old grandson Chico as she prepares breakfast.  He will go to main market five blocks away to do the shopping for her.

The first and simplest filling for the gorditas is refried beans (frijoles).  The beans were cooked (boiled) yesterday.  This morning she is mashing them in a little vegetable oil for frying.  She does not use lard as many Mexican cooks do.

This meat and potato filling was made by daughter-in-law Rayo.  Very good!

It was almost all gone by the time I got this picture.

Nopales, cactus paddles with the thorns removed, are cut into thin strips.  Along with a quarter of a large white onion, they are covered with water and set to simmer for an hour or so.
After cooking, they are washed well to remove the slime, and then they are added to some chopped tomato and onion that have been sautéed in a bit of oil.

When the nopales begin to simmer, three beaten eggs are stirred in.  The mixture is slowly stirred and turned until the eggs are set.  Then the pan is set at the back of the stove to stay warm until serving time.

Doņa Martha uses generous amounts of salt in all her dishes.

Poblano chiles are toasted to remove the skin just as they were prepared for chiles Relleņos.  After the charred skin has been removed, the stem end is cut off, and chiles are washed to remove all seeds and remaining bits of blackened skin.

Then they are cut into strips.

Chopped tomatoes, onions and a clove of garlic are sautéed before the poblano strips are added and brought to a simmer.  After cooking for a while, a pint of heavy cream is stirred in.  The mixture is gently simmered and stirred before being set aside until serving time.

This dish is also called rajas, and she sometimes makes it as a side dish.  I love it!

The fillings are made, and lunch time (3:00pm) is approaching, so it's time to make the shells.

Armando, her youngest grandson, is most interested in watching her moisten and kneed the corn tortilla dough (masa) bought from the neighborhood tortilla maker.  She forms the dough into little discs for flattening in the tortilla press.

A tortilla press is used to form the patties.  She made a few by hand for some folks who wanted a thicker than usual shell.

After grilling, the shells are cut open, and a little pocket is formed to hold the filling.

The shells are filled as soon as they are made and then passed to the table where they last only a few seconds.

The grandkids ate first.  

On this day 19 people enjoyed her gorditas

There were no leftovers.

Last week Doņa Martha made gorditas with wheat flour rather than corn.  The procedure is almost the same except a rolling pin is used instead of the tortilla press.  The flour patties want to puff up more than the corn ones, so she uses paddle to flatten them as they cook.  Personally, I like the flour ones better -- but I'm glad to have either one!

If you wish to write to Doņa Martha, you may send an e-mail to martha@rollybrook.com
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