What’s life like in the Taco John’s Test Kitchen? Bold, busy and never boring. Here in Cheyenne, WY, we’re always whipping up what’s new in Mexican. My name is Bob Karisny, and I’m Taco John’s Corporate Chef. I spend my day researching the latest flavor trends, traveling to find new menu ideas and, of course, eating. 
On this website, I’ll be sharing notes from our Taco John’s Test Kitchen, along with my passion for Mexican cuisine. You’ll also hear from Sissy and Carl, my partners in creating – and eating – great food. 
Whether in the U.S. or Mexico, we’re always searching for new flavor ideas and opportunities to learn from the best in Mexican cuisine. Along with these experiences, we’ll also share menu ideas in development and great recipes you can make at home. So tie your apron and get ready to digest some secrets from the Test Kitchen. We hope you came hungry!

Sep 26, 2013
September 26, 2013 by BOB KARISNY

Previously I've said that, in Mexico, most things are eaten as a taco on a tortilla. While there's some truth to that, I may have exaggerated.

Gorditas are another delicious, handheld street food that are filled with many things. But this gordita is probably unlike anything you've seen in the U.S. First, masa (a dough made from corn and used in tortillas and tamales) is combined with a few more ingredients to make a rich but stiff dough. Next, a filling is made from a different type of chicharrone (more like chopped bacon instead of crispy skin), formed into a ball and enrobed in the masa dough. The ball is formed into a puck shape about a half-inch thick and three to four inches in circumference. This puck is slowly browned on a hot pan called a comal (see picture) and browned. After it cooks and is cooled, it's fried crisp and hot, then split to make a pocket. The pocket is filled with lots of delicious ingredients: salsas, cheese, etc.

Although the pocket shape makes it similar to a pita, it has no other similarity. The flavor is that of a crispy corn cake, and it's a great item to hold in your hand and just eat up. I'd love to see if we could make this for Taco John's because I think our guests would really love it!

Well, off to La Merced (we didn’t make it the other day), the largest market in Mexico and possibly all of Latin America according to some of the folks I am with. This is one of my favorite parts of the trip because there are so many great ingredients to see and buy. Plus, you can taste great food in little stalls all over the market. I should have lots to share with you from there.




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