Inspired by gordita, pupusa, and other dishes, but not very authentic, this wraps a thick layer of masa harina (nixtamalized corn flour) around a savoury filling. Because it has no gluten, working with corn-based dough takes mindfulness and some practice.
For the filling
2 large portobello mushrooms (about 5″ diameter), stemmed, sliced 1/4″
1t lemon juice
1/4t dried red chilis
1T scallion, minced
A good pinch coarse sea salt
1/4 poblano pepper (about 1/2 cup), 4″ x 1/8″ julienne
1T sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (jarred, not dehydrated)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the shell
1/2 cup masa harina
1/4t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup hot water
Optional: Once you have practice with the base, you can try other fillings. Garnish with coleslaw or sauerkraut if you like. Refried beans make for a nice, traditional filling.
Make the filling, then the shell.
Preheat the oven for 450F. Mix the tamari, lemon juice, chilis, scallions, and a pinch of sea salt. Toss the portobello slices until coated. On a baking sheet or roasting pan, roast the portobellos in a thin layer on the middle rack until nice and brown. Expect about 20 minutes, but adjust accordingly for your oven.
When done, remove from the oven and toss with the peppers and the sun-dried tomatoes. Set aside. Mix the flour and sea salt. Whisking with a fork, add the water slowly to the masa. Whisk until a dough comes together and then knead as soon as the dough is cool enough for you to do so. Add more water or more flour to balance out the dough. It should be firm, and slightly elastic.
Roll the dough out to about 6″ between sheets of plastic wrap. Fill, and with the dough in the palm of your hand, gather it up around the filling and pinch closed. This is the tricky part. You have to be gentle with corn-based dough to avoid tearing. You can shape it into a cylinder as I did here, but for something more traditional, press it flat into a circle (carefully). Either way, the dough should be about 1/4″ thick.
Once the dough is sealed, wrap in foil and return to the oven. Bake on the middle rake at 450F for about 20 minutes. Unwrap carefully. Broil for about 2 – 3 minutes (for a crispier crust). Remove from the oven and serve.
Note, you can also try breaking the dough in half, rolling out two pieces to 6″, fill and then seam the two pieces of dough together. You can also fry on the stove top with a little oil if you prefer that approach to baking, but it can also be a challenge if you haven’t fried corn-based dough before.