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Cinco de Mayo was FlayDay with a hint of Rick Bayless. Any excuse for margaritas and grilling. We had leftover filet that was grilled to spicy perfection that needed repurposing. I’d never made gorditas, had masa on hand, so I gave it a try.

Gorditas are like stuffed corn pitas. I’m not sure I perfected the cooking method—mine were a bit hard to slice open—but they tasted good. [note for next time: homemade tortillas are much simpler.] The filling was leftover spicy grilled filet tossed with doctored-up store-bought salsa (no judging) and seasoning.

Every gordita needs a side dish. Flay has a recipe for a Mexican quinoa “relish.” Frozen corn—ears or Trader Joe’s roasted—would have been better to use in place of fresh. It’s not time for good, local corn. Kernels are small and not fully developed. The end result was still good and this simple salad was used for many lunches last week.

While I didn’t make margaritas from scratch, thanks to my son, his girlfriend and Williams-Sonoma, I did doctor up the Mango-Passion Fruit mix with some basil simple syrup leftover from the Derby. Tossed in some additional basil leaves and a few raspberries and sucked down a cocktail much too quickly…


gordita{gluten free}

What you need:

  • 1 3/4 c masa mixed with 1 1/4 warm water, divided
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • Freshly ground sea salt

What you do:

  • Heat well-seasoned or nonstick griddle or heavy skillet over med heat.
  • Knead the masa with 1 c water to make it pliable, adding additional water if necessary to achieve a soft-cookie-dough consistency.
  • Add flour, baking powder and about 1/2 tsp salt.
  • Knead to incorporate.
  • Divide the dough into 10 portions and roll into balls.
  • Cover with plastic to keep from drying out.
  • Line working surface with plastic wrap.
  • Place one masa ball on wrap and cover with another piece of plastic wrap.
  • Using rolling pin, gently press out a ball of dough between the sheets of plastic to about 4 inches in diameter about 1/4″ thick.
  • With fingers, press in edges to form a tighter edge.
  • Peel off the top sheet of plastic, flip the gordita onto hand and then flip onto griddle.
  • Cook for about 1 1/2 min, then flip and bake for another 1 1/2 min creating a lightly-browned and crusty gordita.
  • Transfer to a plate.
  • Repeat with remaining masa balls.


What you need:

  • 1 c thinly sliced grilled steak, cooked rare to med rare
  • 1/2 c salsa
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste.
  • 1/3 c freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c chopped cilantro
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

What you do:

  • In food processor pulse first three ingredients until well mixed.
  • Mix remaining ingredients in sm bowl and set aside for assembly.


  • Warm beef mixture.
  • Add cheese, onion and cilantro to beef mixture.
  • In a deep heavy medium skillet, heat 1/2 oil over medium to medium-high until the oil is hot enough to make the edge of a gordita sizzle sharply.
  • Fry gorditas, turning after they’re crisped, about 15 seconds.
  • When they puff, remove and drain on paper towel.
  • Repeat with remaining gorditas.
  • Using sm knife, cut slit in edge of each gordita, about halfway around, creating a pocket.
  • Fill each with about 1/4 c beef mixture.
  • Serve with sour cream and salsa, if desired.

Grilled Corn, Black Bean and Quinoa Relish:

corn black bean quinoa{gluten free}

Slightly adapted from Bobby Flay

What you need:

  • 1/2 c quinoa
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 3 lg spring onions, thinly sliced and washed thoroughly
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6 ears grilled corn, kernels removed
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c Devo Olive Oil Chipotle EVOO (sub with extra-virgin olive oil and add some heat, if desired)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

What you do:

  • Bring 1 c water to a boil in a small pot over medium heat.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Add quinoa.
  • Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let sit covered.
  • Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Heat butter in sauté pan.
  • Add spring onion and cook until caramelized, about 5-7 min.
  • Remove from stove.
  • Stir the corn, beans, evoo and lime juice in a bowl.
  • Add quinoa and spring onions.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Keep the relish at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Add cilantro and serve.