Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 lb masa harina flour, fresh or reconstituted by mixing 2 cups masa harina with about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water (masa harina is made by Quaker Oats and other companies)
- 1⁄2 cup lard or 1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
For the toppings
- 1 cup any salsa or 1 cup green chili salsa
- 1 cup guacamole
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- For the picadas: With your hands, work the salt into the masa.
- Shape it into 20 to 22 walnut-size balls.
- Press them into rounds about 3 inches across and 1/8-inch thick.
- Set them side by side (not stacked) on baking sheets as they are shaped, covering them with a damp cloth.
- Lightly grease a griddle or large cast-iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact.
- Have ready a basket lined with tea towels.
- Now you must work quickly, because the masa will be supple enough to shape for only a few seconds after baking.
- Place 2 of the prepared masa rounds on the hot griddle and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes, until the edges shrink away slightly from the pan and lose their raw look.
- Turn and cook the other side for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes more.
- Transfer to a plate or work surface and, while they're still hot, quickly pinch up the edges of each into a slightly raised rim.
- Place them in the basket and cover snugly with the towels.
- Continue with the remaining masa rounds, 2 at a time.
- Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
- In a small skillet or saucepan, heat the lard or shortening over medium heat until hot but not quite rippling.
- Using kitchen tongs, slide each picada into the hot fat and let it cook for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Before it starts to brown, lift out, letting it drain well, and set on the prepared baking sheet.
- When all the picadas are done, layer them with guacamole, cooked chicken and salsa.
- Scatter some of the grated cheese over the sauce, top with some chopped onion, if desired, and serve.
These were great, but very labor intensive. My family gobbled them up! I used refried beans, chicken, queso fresco, and pico de gallo.
These were great. I made a half recipe, and the two of us finished them off in one sitting. I just used guacamole, cheese, lettuce and sour cream (we skipped the chicken). They were much easier to make than I expected, too. Thanks for posting this recipe!
A 10 star recipe! These tasted like authentic mexican food. I halved the recipe without a problem and also used jack cheese. I found that I needed to use much more warm water for the masa to stick together - I just kept adding it until it was not crumbly. These were really fun to make and the directions were very clear. This makes a nice change from tacos and tostadas. Thank you Mariposa for sharing this outstanding recipe!