Friday, 4 May 2012

Bacon-Flavoured Gorditas with Roasted Poblano Guacamole

I am all for a new holiday. Cinco de Mayo isn't something we hear much about in Canada and I think it is time that changed! We could be having a whole 'nother day to party on!
According to Cinco de Mayo—or the Fifth of May—commemorates the Mexican army's 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). A relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals in cities and towns across Mexico and the United States.
So in honour of Cinco de Mayo, we made Bacon-Flavoured Gorditas with Roasted Poblano Guacamole and a side salad of chunky tomato salsa. Doesn't that sound delicious? I thought so. It's not too late to plan your Cinco de Mayo menu - and don't forget the margaritas!

My gorditas are a little "rustic". They are still new to me.
Bacon-Flavoured Gorditas with Roasted Poblano Guacamole
adapted from Rick Bayless, Mexico One Plate at a Time
makes 8

6 thick slices smoky bacon - chopped fine, crisped up in a pan, cooled and drained on paper towels
1¾ cups Maseca mixed with about 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water
1 large fresh poblano pepper - charred on the grill, cleaned and chopped
3 large cloves garlic, toasted in their skins in a hot pan - cooled and peeled
3 med or 2 large avocados
2 fresh limes
kosher salt
2 cups baby arugula
⅓ cup chopped white onion, rinsed and drained
⅓ dry cheese - I used feta as we don't have Mexi cheese here
Vegetable oil for frying 

Dough - 
Mix half the bacon into the masa dough and divide into 8 equal sized pieces.
Form each piece into a ball and cover the balls with plastic wrap.
Heat a cast iron pan up to medium. 
Using your plastic-lined press, press out into thick circles, about 4 inches across and ¼ inch thick.
Grill on pan for about 1½ minutes on each side.
Set grilled breads on a plate and cover.
Set aside.

Guacamole - 
Pulse the toasted garlic and the poblano in a food processor. Scrape into a medium sized bowl.
Scoop out the avocado flesh from the fruits and dump into the bowl.
Mash lightly with a potato masher - you still want it a bit chunky.
Season to taste with lime juice and kosher salt.
Cover with plastic wrap - right against the guac - and let sit in fridge until ready to use.

Gorditas - 
Toss the arugula in a bowl with 2 Tbsp lime juice and a pinch of kosher salt.
Have it ready, as well as your onion, guacamole, reserved bacon and breads.
Heat up ¼ inch of vegetable oil to 350°F on med-high. Watch the temperature with a candy/deep fry thermometer.
Cook one by one for 45 seconds, turning after the first 15 seconds. They should puff a bit.
Drain on paper towels.
When they are all fried, use a small knife to cut a slit in them to stuff them.
Stuff with guacamole, seasoned arugula, onion and bacon.
Serve - with lime wedges, additional salsa or sour cream if desired.
We did the chunky tomato salsa as a bit of a side salad, recipe below.

Chunky Fresh Tomato Salsa
Rick Bayless, Mexican Everyday

1 garlic clove, peeled
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (2 serranos or 1 jalapeƱo), stemmed and halved
2 medium-large (about 1 pound total) round red, ripe tomatoes
⅓ cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
1 large green onion, roots and wilted outer leaves removed, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Kosher salt


Drop the garlic and chile pieces one at a time into a running food processor, letting each get finely chopped before adding the next. Turn off the processor and remove the lid. Cut one tomato in quarters and add it to food processor, along with the cilantro. Pulse 4 to 6 times until you have a coarse puree. Scrape the mixture into a bowl.

Cut the other tomato into ¼-inch pieces and add to the bowl along with the green onion. Taste and season with lime juice and salt, usually a generous ½ teaspoon. This salsa is best if eaten within an hour or two, but it will keep for a number of hours in the refrigerator.

IHCC Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded