In the kitchen with Mezcal's Roberto Diaz: Gorditas

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Roberto Diaz, the chef featured in this week's Chef and Tell interview, was born and raised in Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico, where gorditas are king. "They were always served with our meal on Sunday while I was growing up, and I could never get enough of them," says Diaz. "They're very traditional, and very popular n Mexico, especially at street fairs." Diaz shares his gordita recipe after the jump.


For the dough

2 cups masa 2 cups white flour 2 cups warm water 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon baking powder Canola oil for frying

1. Place the masa, white flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor. 2. Slowly pour in the water until a ball of dough forms. The dough shouldn't be too wet or too try. Add a bit more flour or water to get the right consistency. 3. Let the dough sit, covered with plastic wrap, for 30 minutes.

Ground Beef Picadillo filling:

1/4 cup canola oil 1 potato, peeled and diced ¼ pound of ground beef 1 cup Mexican cheese, preferably queso fresco, grated Salt and pepper to taste Additions: Tomatoes, shredded lettuce and sliced jalapeños

1. Heat the oil in saute pan and fry until the potatoes until tender 2. Add ground beef and fry for 20 minutes. 3. Add salt and pepper. 4. Drain the fat.

To make and assemble the gorditas

1. Pinch off equal portions of the dough (about the size of a Ping Pong ball) and flatten each piece into a 2 1/2-inch circle about 1/4-inch thick. 2. Heat about 2 inches of oil in a saucepan until it reaches 350 degrees. Fry the gordita shells, spooning the oil over the top, until they're golden and fluffy, about 30 seconds on each side. 3. Drain the shells on paper towels, and then make a horizontal slit in each shell. 4. Stuff the shells with picadillo filling, shredded lettuce, tomato slices and jalapeños.

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