FreshTartSteph Recipe: Sopes
It's a little bit ridiculous that I haven't posted about sopes before—a chewy, boat-shaped twist on corn tortillas—given that I make and devour them several times a week. In fact, I'm a maniacal cornmeal cake fan in general. Chef Thomas Boemer had an insane version on Corner Table's menu a couple of weeks ago, with a bit of lard kneaded in, fried in butter, and topped with pork confit. Oh my word it was so good that I ordered another one to go to have for breakfast the next day.
You can do some pretty serious sope damage at Midtown Global Market as well. Los Ocampo's version is a fabulously hot mess, loaded with tender chicken, melted cheese, lettuce, radishes, and sour cream. Add one of their fantastic salsas, alongside a large stack of napkins, and dig it like a day off.
The version I eat most often is the one I make at home. Nothing more than masa harina, a pinch of salt, and water kneaded together before being shaped and fried, they're the perfect delivery vehicle for pretty much whatever you have on hand: guacamole, eggs any style, salad, cheese, beans, chorizo, tomatoes, pickled things, fried potatoes, and on and deliciously on...
Makes about 5 4-inch sopes
Note: Make smaller sopes to serve as an appetizer, larger to serve as a meal.
1 c. masa harina
1/2 tsp. salt
6-7 Tbsp. of water
peanut oil for frying
In a medium bowl, stir together masa harina and salt. Add 5 tablespoons of water to begin, adding just enough more for dough to stick together when pinched. Knead dough for a few minutes until pliable and smooth.
Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Divide the dough into 5 balls (or more if serving as appetizers). Press each ball of dough into a 1/4-inch thick tortilla (I do this on my granite counter; you could also use a plate, wax paper, or parchment paper), then pinch the edges up all the way around to make a boat shape. Bake each sope in the hot skillet for 3-4 minutes to set the bottoms, transferring the sopes to a wire rack as you go.
When all of the sopes have been baked, increase heat to medium-high and add 1/2-inch of peanut oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, fry the sopes until lightly browned on both sides. Return fried sopes to the wire rack to drain. Serve hot with desired filling.