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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sopes Mexicanos! Delicious Stuffed Open-Faced Fried Taco Shells

Sopes, also known as pellizcadas, migadas, or picadas, are a delicious traditional Mexican antojito, or appetizer.  They are very easy to make, bursting with flavor, and full of great textural variety.  The outside freshly-cooked white corn tortillas are pinched up to create shallow edges that hold in mounds of varied toppings.

Though you may not have heard of sopes before if you like tacos, tortas, or pupusas then you will love these!  Try this easy, tasty snack and you and your friends and family are sure to enjoy them.  Traditionally, the filling for this dish is refried beans, carne asada, chopped onion, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, salsa roja (spicy roasted red sauce, not the kind at the store).  However, to make this dish more accessible, I will provide a modified variation using ingredients easily found in your pantry.

Ingredients and Procedure
*the ingredients are broken into sections, be sure that you have noted them all*

Maseca brand masa flour
Goya or Maggi brand chicken bouillon powder, to taste
salt to taste

1. Pour an adequate amount of Maseca flour for your desired portion into a bowl.  Season with salt and chicken bouillon.  use enough bouillon to lightly sprinkle over the top of your flour.

2. Prepare masa, or dough, by blending in warm water with clean hands until a soft, moist dough is formed.  The dough should not be wet, just moist.  Oil your hands to avoid drying of the dough and press the dough into a circle the size of the palm of your hands.  These should be taco-sized tortillas, not the larger burrito-sized.

3.  Cook over low heat on an ungreased pan until very gently browned on both sides.  

4. Immediately press up the edges of the tortilla when still hot off of the pan.  You can use parchment paper or a paper towel to aid in this process since the tortilla will be very hot.

5. Meanwhile, heat about a 1/4 of oil to medium high heat in a separate pan.  If you are not making a large amount, you can use a medium sauce pot to save oil.  Fry on the bottom first until golden brown, flip onto the other side and allow to fry until golden brown.

6. Pat oil on the inside and outside dry.

Meat Marinade
flank steak
fresh lime juice
fresh garlic, minced
onion (optional)
beer (optional)

If using beer, blend all ingredients into a homogeneous liquid. Otherwise, rub blended seasoning into a paste and coat meat.  Marinade for two hours.  Chop into bite-sized pieces and cook well-done on a grill over charcoal or in a pan with oil over medium heat.  If you have a cast-iron skillet or griddle, it would be best to use those.

refried beans
1. Coat a pan with oil in a pan over medium heat and sautee onion and garlic
2. Add washed and previously cooked or canned beans, stirring frequently and salt to taste
3. Once oil is absorbed, mash the beans with a wooden spoon or place in a blender until a paste is formed

refried beans (I went without because I didn't have them and it was still yummy!)

marinated beef (chopped)
          - I used shredded Cuban-style marinated pork since that is what I had on hand)

white or red onion, chopped or sliced

shredded mild white cheese or cheese blend, to taste

diced tomato (optional)

radish, finely sliced (optional)

fresh or store-bought salsa (pico de gallo) or tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)

1 slice of lime per person for drizzling

1. If using, spread a spoonful of refried beans on the bottom of the fried sope

2. Top with cooked carne asada

3. Sprinkle a little raw onion

4. Top with shredded lettuce

5. Drizzle with sauce

6. Sprinkle cheese

7. Top with two to three slices of radish, if using


***Source of photos:
They are not my property.

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