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GORDITAS Stuffed with Refried Black Beans
makes 12 gorditas

1 1/2 cups masa harina
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp garlic oil
1/4 cup refried black beans
canola oil for frying

Combine the masa harina with the salt, then add 1 cup water and
the garlic oil and work for a few minutes with your hands to create
a smooth, soft dough. Work in more water, 1 Tbsp at a time, if the
dough is crumbly rather than soft. Divide the dough into 12 equal
balls. Pick up a ball and make a deep indentation in the center
with your thumb. Place about 1 teaspoon of the beans into the
indentation and pinch the dough closed over them. With your hands,
pat the ball into a 1/2-inch-thick circle. It is fine if the beans
bleed through the dough. Form 12 patties in this manner and set
them aside on a plate.

Meanwhile, pour the canola oil into a heavy-bottomed skillet to a
depth of 1/4-inch and heat it over medium heat until hot enough to
sizzle a speck of masa. When the oil is hot enough, place a few
gorditas in the pan and fry 3 to 4 minutes per side, until lightly
browned. Drain briefly on layers of paper towels and serve immediately
with your garnishes of choice on the side. Do not allow the gorditas
to cool off too much before serving: their texture is best when
freshly cooked and piping hot.

Garlic oil

2 cups olive oil
10 medium cloves garlic, minced

Combine the garlic and olive oil in a glass pint jar. Cover and
allow to stand at room temperature but out of direct sunlight for
24 to 48 hours. Strain out the garlic and store the oil in a covered
jar or bottle in a dark cupboard. It will keep for a few months.

Refried Black Beans

1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1/4 tsp pure chili powder
2 1/2 cups cooked black beans
2 Tbsp bean cooking liquid

Crush the cumin seeds thoroughly with a mortar and pestle and set
aside. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium
heat. Add the onion and saut=E9 for 2 to 3 minutes. until it begins
to soften. Add the cumin and chili powder. Continue to cook for
about a minute, then increase the heat to medium-high and stir in
about a third of the beans, along with the bean cooking liquid.
Mash them with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Add
another third of the beans and mash them in the same manner. Stir
in the remaining third of the beans and mash again. Continue to
cook for about 5 minutes, stirring almost constantly, until the
beans are very hot.


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