Wednesday, January 11, 2012
For today's post, I bring you the awkward stylings of Maria Palafox! I'm tempted to speak in third person only because I don't want to admit that it's me who you are about to witness attempting to make a "How to" video.
For this recipe, I thought it more important to actually show you the technique instead of rambling on in a wall of text. Since I am no stranger to making a fool of myself, I decided to post these videos of me rambling and awkwardly flaring my nostrils in order to teach you how to make a Sope. I also feel the need to throw out as many disclaimers as I can, like how the audio and video are pretty bad because it's amateur night at Pretty Picante and all I have for recording equipment is my iPhone (for now).
Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish that is served as either an appetizer or a main course. You begin with the base, which is made out of masa (cornmeal dough), and formed into a sort of thick tortilla, deep fried, and filled with different toppings. There is a technique for making the base, which can be easily learned after a few attempts and hopefully not too many burned fingers. I'm providing you with two how-to videos that will hopefully simplify the process.
In the videos, I use a tortilla making "machine," which can be usually found in Mexican grocery stores. If you can't find one, you can just as easily use two cutting boards or even two books! I also use a large ziploc bag that I cut to the size of the machine to line the inside in order to prevent the dough from sticking.Many of us don't have access to a corn mill, so it might be difficult to get a hold of good quality masa. Instead, you can purchase some from a Mexican grocery store that has already been prepared or use a product like "Maseca," which is pretty tasty.
Maseca or "Masa for Tortillas"
2 cups oil
3 cups of filling (i.e. chicken, carne asada, potatoes)
2 cups of finely shredded cabbage
1 cup diced white onions
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup cotija cheese (or parmesan)
Prepare the masa following instructions on label. Make sure to cover the masa with a damp cloth to prevent drying. Once the masa is ready, make equally sized balls of dough by rolling between the palms of your hands. Flatten to make a disc. Use your tortilla machine to gently flatten. Remove and place on a warm griddle (or pan). Let cook for 1 minute on each side. Continue turning until both sides have turned a slightly darker color and have developed a slightly hard exterior. Please see video below for details.
Once the sopes are cooked through, you will need to form them and here's the video to show you just that!
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Gently place each formed sope into the oil and fry until they are golden light brown and slightly crispy, about 1 minute on each side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
The final step is to top them with lots of goodies. You begin by laying down a base of refried beans. Add a heaping tablespoon of your favorite filling, top with cabbage, onion and cilantro, salsa, sprinkle a tablespoon of cotija cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and salsa!
Wait, the final step is to put on a bib and get ready for some deliciously messy eating!