Sopes are just one of the many delicious recipes that can be prepared using masa harina, an instant corn dough. I keep several bags of masa harina in my pantry as one of my staple ingredients. Besides sopes, masa harina is key to preparing corn tortillas, tamales and gorditas when the craving strikes. I store the masa harina in the refrigerator to ensure a stable shelf life until I am ready to use it. It’s gluten free and a great and delicious alternative to all purpose flour as a coating or thickener. There are a few different brands of masa harina available, but the most poular is the Maseca brand. Prepare a batch of sope shells ahead of time. This way you will be ready for a quick lunch, dinner or snack by adding your favorite meat or vegetarian toppings .
Sopes de Chorizo con Papa
1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups masa harina corn flour
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium russet potato, washed
7 ounces beef or pork Mexican chorizo
1/3 cup onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1 roma tomato, diced
salt and pepper to taste
You will also need
1 cup refried beans, pinto or black beans
1 cup your favorite homemade salsa
1/3 cup finely diced white onion
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/3 cup queso cotija or fresco, crumbled
1. In a bowl, add the warm water and salt. Stir to dissolve salt. Gradually add in the masa harina until dough forms. If it feels too sticky, add 1 more tablespoon of masa harina. Divide into 6 equal pieces, roll into a ball. Transfer to a plate, cover and set aside.
2. In a small skillet, add the mexican chorizo and heat to medium. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, using a wooden spoon to crumble into pieces. When done, transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess grease. Set aside.
3 .Preheat a large skillet or comal to medium heat for 5 minutes. Line a tortilla press with plastic. Add a masa ball in between plastic in press. Press gently to form a thick looking tortilla. Transfer to the hot comal/skillet. Cook for about 1 minutes per side. Turn a third time and sope should slightly puff up. As soon as it does, transfer it to a plate. Using a paper towel so you don’t burn your fingers, pinch the edges up to form the sope, then pinch the sope in the center as well, set aside. Repeat with the remaining sopes until done.
4. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. While the oil heats, slice the washed potatoes into 1/2 inch cubed pieces. Transfer to large skillet. Season lightly with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 15 to 18 minutes, stirring now and then. When potatoes are fork tender, add the onions and serrano and cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomato and chorizo from plate . Stir well to combine, cover and remove from heat.
5. If you wanted to you could serve your sopes as is, but it is more traditional to fry them in some shallow oil just until they get crisp and golden. All you really need is about 4 more tablespoons of oil if you did not want to deep fry them. To serve, add beans to the bottom of each sope, then potato/chorizo mixture. Garnish with salsa, onions, cilantro, crumbled cheese and fresh lime. Yields 6 sopes.
Tips~ I prepare a double batch and keep the sope shells in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When I want a quick meal, I crisp and warm the sope shell in a little olive oil and top it with my favorite ingredients.