Sopes are fried masa and potato boats that are delightfully crunchy, and can be topped with any variety of delightful flavors. Here, I explore two different delicious options.
- 1 Lb Baking Potatoes, peeled and cut into large peices
- 1 Cup Fresh Masa for tortillas, or 1 cup dry masa mixed with 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons of water
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 3/4″ Deep Oil for Frying
Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, about twenty to twenty five minutes. Use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes into a large bowl. Add the masa and salt, and kneed together. Divide the dough into eighteen balls and cover with a piece of plastic warp so they do not dry out.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Cut a zip lock back along the seams so that you have two pieces of heavy plastic squares, about 6″ big. Place a ball of dough in between the two pieces of plastic, and press into an even disk, about 1/4″ thick. Peal off the top piece of plastic, and shape the edges so they are smooth and not cracked. Flip the patty onto your hand and peel off the second piece of plastic. Lay the disks onto the dry hot skillet, and continue with more of the balls. After about a minute, when the bottom is cooked enough, the dough will release, and you can remove the disks to a cookie sheet. While still warm, use your fingers to pinch the edges up to create the boat shape. You can freeze them at this stage if you want to save them for later.
In a deep cast iron pan or a dutch oven, heat the oil for frying. When hot, drop three or four in the oil and cook until golden brown, about two minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined cookie sheet, and repeat until finished.
Top with fillings, and serve hot.
Topping one: JICAMA SALSA with Chipotle Black Beans, Avocado and Queso Fresco
One of my very good friends cannot eat raw onions, so I devised this fresh salsa recipe that has a nice sweet bite without the raw onions. This salsa is also good with a quickly blanched onion. The blanch takes away the bitterness and leaves a completely sweet crunchy piece of onion.
- 1 Cup Jicama Root, chopped into 1/4″ pieces (I can get jicama in the produce section at my grocery store, but some store may have “jicama sticks” available at the food bar
- 1 Small Jalapeño, deseeded if you want a more mild salsa, diced small
- 12 oz Tomatoes, diced into about 1/4″ pieces
- A Handful of Fresh Cilantro, chopped
- Juice from 1 to 2 Limes (Start with one, but have a second handy in case you’d like a little more acidity)
- Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt to taste (Probably about 1/2 teaspoon)
Place all ingredients in a bowl, mix and taste. Adjust as desired.
Chipotle Black Beans:
- 1 Can of Black Beans, rinsed
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 2 Chipotles, in adobo, minced
- Adobo sauce, to taste
- Salt, to taste
Heat up the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and add the black beans and chipotles. Use a potato masher to lightly break up the beans and mix the flavors together. Cook for just a couple of minutes. Taste and add salt and adobo sauce to your liking.
Assembling the Sopes:
Place a couple of tablespoons of chipotle black bean spread in the base of a hot sope. Top with sliced avocado, jicama salsa and queso fresco.
Topping two: STEWED MUSHROOMS with Goat Cheese
I admit, this picture does not make this recipe look terribly appetizing. But I assure you, the flavors for this are spot on. If you like mushrooms, this is a must-try recipe.
- 16 oz Baby Bella Mushrooms
- Olive oil
- 1/2 Onion
- 1 Serrano Chile
- 3 Cloves Garlic, minced, or 1 Tablespoon Garlic Mojo
- 1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Vegetable Broth (or water)
- 6 Epazote Leaves, or a handful of cilantro, chopped
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (Optional)
- Salt to taste
- Goat Cheese to garnish
Clean and slice the mushrooms. Heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan and add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms start to brown, about 18 minutes. Add the onion and Serrano chile, and cook for about a minute. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. If using epazote leaves, add them here. Add the tomato sauce and vegetable broth and cook until the liquid evaporates. Taste and season with salt, probably about half a teaspoon. If you’d like a little more heat, add red pepper flakes to taste. If adding cilantro, mix in here, and keep on low heat until ready to serve. Serve on a sope with a hearty crumble of goat cheese.
Assembling the sopes:
Place stewed mushrooms in a hot sope, and top with goat cheese. Visually, these look like they could use a little fresh chopped cilantro on top, but flavor-wise, the epazote does the trick in the stewed mushrooms.