Gorditas means "little fat ones" and are thick, fried, tortillas that are stuffed with any number of fillings--beef, chicken, pork or beans. Cabbage may seem like an odd garnish but it is very popular topping in Mexico where it holds up better than lettuce in the heat. The use of black beans reflects a Yucatacan influence, so I serve them with a habanero-based sauce.
For the Gorditas:
For the Filling:
Beat the shortening until fluffy and add the masa, salt, and water and knead the dough into a ball. Or, if you have a food processor, blend the ingredients for 1 minute using a steel blade until a dough is formed. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 15 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 portions and roll into balls. Roll out each ball to a circle about 1/4-inch thick.
Pour the oil to a depth of 1-inch in a heavy skillet and heat to 375 degrees. Slide the gorditas into the hot oil and spoon some of the hot oil over the top until they puff and brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
When the gorditas have cooled, make a slit in the side to form a pocket. Stuff with the filling, top with some of the sauce and serve.