Authentic Mexican Picaditas
Picaditas are popular all over Mexico and they are very simple to make. Basically a picadita is just a small tortilla made from raw masa dough. Other names for them include memelitas, gorditas, sopes and guaraches. Melted pork lard is often drizzled over the top, followed by salsa and crumbled cheese, but there are all kinds of toppings you can choose from. Perhaps you live near a Mexican store where they sell raw masa, in which case you can just form it into flat shapes and cook them on a comal (or griddle pan) until done.
A comal is a round, flat, heavy duty pan which can be used for many different Mexican dishes. Lightweight, modern cooking pots and pans are all very well, but they do not offer any additional flavor from the cooking surface. Also, nonstick pans tend to scratch or chip while comals are supposed to last for life. If you do not have one, you might wish to invest in one, else you can just use a nonstick pan for now. The flavor will be better if you do use the comal though.
The following recipe shows you how to create, shape and cook the picaditas, and suggests some nice toppings for them. We are using bacon, sour cream, salsa and queso fresco (a crumbly white cheese) but you can experiment if you wish. Perhaps you have some leftover shrimp or chicken, and you can add that instead of the bacon if you prefer, or use your imagination and think of a sweet topping instead of a savory one.
Picaditas make a great appetizer because of their diminutive size, or you might like to serve them as a main dish, perhaps using a variety of toppings to add interest. Serve a couple of Mexican side dishes and you have a complete meal for your family to enjoy. A tossed salad using Mexican ingredients would make a nice side dish, and perhaps you also offer some Mexican rice or similar. However you serve your picaditas, they are sure to go down a storm with Mexican food fans.
- 1 lb raw masa (tortilla dough)
- ⅔ lb fried, crumbled bacon, and keep the cooking grease
- 2 cups salsa verde
- 15 oz queso fresco
- ½ chopped, cooked onion
- 15 oz sour cream
- Heat the comal (or nonstick pan) over a medium-high heat.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal parts, then shape these into 4 inch wide rounds.
- Put them on the dry comal and cook until the dough is dry underneath and starting to brown.
- This will take about 3 minutes.
- Flip them over and cook the other side.
- Pinch the edges all the way around to make a ‘lip’ so the toppings will stay in there.
- Spoon a teaspoon of bacon grease over the top of each one then add crumbled bacon, onion and salsa.
- Sprinkle on some crumbled queso fresco and serve with sour cream.
You can see in the picture how the picaditas are shaped with an edge so the toppings do not slide out. Shape this edge after flipping them in the pan and they will hold the shape. You can see in the photo the salsa, onion and cheese on top of each picadita, and you can also see a bowl of mole sauce. Instead of the mole sauce you might like to serve guacamole or sour cream. It is up to you what you serve these with. These are nice for breakfast or as a snack. Each person can eat 3 picaditas, so this recipe serves 4, else you can serve 4 each and have it serving 3 if you are really hungry.
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