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Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes

sopes-de-pollo chicken sopes_yes-more-please!

Antojitos Mexicanos…These are the “small bites” in Mexican street food. Go to the fair or the Tianguis (street market) and they are the perfect food for an impromptu craving. Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes is one of them. Take corn masa dough and create a small fried or grilled pattie and you have the foundation to add any kind of toppings you like; shredded chicken, beef, pork, picadillo, chorizo, requeson~Mexican Ricotta, refried beans, mashed potatoes, calabazitas, poblano rajas, mushrooms, infinite filling possibilities. Top them off with a simple tomato salsa, shredded lettuce or cabbage, onions, radishes, crema and queso fresco or cotija cheese, and these little sopes, will be a highly crave-able meal.

In Guadalajara, Jalisco, where I’m from, these fresh corn masa patties are called Sopes de Masa, or pellizcadas which translates into “pinched”. Why? Once these masa patties are cooked, on the comal or fried, the edges of these round patties are pinched all around to create a border-leap that will hold the fillings and topping goodness.

This masa pinching is done by an experienced cook, a grandma or an aunt, cooks that have developed Moctezuma fingers, with digital prints deleted by the generational hard work in the kitchen. Since these patties are piping hot, you need this kind of strong digital numbness to achive the results. Lucky you, this is not the only way to make sopes, I will provide you with an easy solution using two spoons. You get to keep your fingerprints.

Now, the best way to make these home style masa sopes, relies on a key ingredient to have a crispy exterior sope and soft inside texture. It is to add a smashed potato to the masa. This gives the corn masa a soft tender bite and a lighter more delicate feel and flavor. Optimally, this recipe is best made with fresh masa. Read below for recommendations.

Fried or cooked on a comal? This is your choice. In my version I added a bit of oil to the griddle (comal) to give the sopes crispy edges and exterior without having to use a lot of oil for frying since its just for the two of us. But, if you have more than 8 guests, pan frying them would be the way to go.

Are you ready to make some of the most delicious Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes  in the comfort of your home kitchen? Lets cook!

Grab some cold Mexican beer or prepare some Agua Fresca, and the party is on!

sopes-de-pollo-yes-more-pleasemasa-for-sopes

Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes

Makes 8- 3″ round sopes

For the Masa:

1- ¼ cup fresh corn masa or masa harina, I prefer Minsa brand, or Maseca.
1 medium waxy potato, cooked, peeled and pureed
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup of warm water, add a few more teaspoons if needed

For the fillings:
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, about 3 pieces of chicken (skin removed)
1/2 cup refried beans, on the lose side, to make them more spreadable.

For other fillings variations check this 8 vegetable taco fillings that will work just as deliciously!

For the toppings:

1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce or green cabbage
¼ cup red onion, diced
4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
1-2 fresh Serrano peppers thinly sliced
½ cup queso fresco, crumbled
½ cup Crema Mexicana
1 cup simple tomato sauce

Simple tomato sauce:

2 large roma tomatoes, boiled and peeled*
2 garlic cloves
3 good pinches of dry oregano
1 pinch of ground cloves
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Place everything in the blender and puree. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if the sauce is to thick.
*If tomatoes are out of season, I use roasted canned tomatoes from Muir Glenn.

Directions:

1. Prepare the masa by combining all the ingredients, mixing and kneading with your hands, until a soft dough ball that resembles a moist play-dough. Cover the ball with a damp clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.

sopes-de-masa-yes-more-please
2. Heat up a heavy cast iron skillet, flat griddle, or a comal. Keep it under medium heat. Meantime…
3. Divide the dough into 8 round balls around 2-1/2”. Take one ball and with your fingers press to make a round flat shape. Then turn around a press again. Use your fingers to keep the round shape on the perimeter until you have a flat round patties around 3”-3 1/2” inches in diameter and about a little less than 1/2” inch thick.

how-to-shape-sopes_yes-more-please
4. Add about 1 tablespoon of sunflower or vegetable oil to the comal and place each pattie on the comal as you keep shaping the rest of the masa. Check the patties every now and then, keep rotating them for even cooking. Give each pattie about 2-3 minutes per side. Start flipping them as they turn golden brown with a few toasty brown spots. Add a bit more oil to the comal when flipping them.

sopes-de-masa-en-el-comal
5. Once both sides are cooked, transfer to a plate and with the help of two same size spoons , make an indentation on the sope about 3/8” from the perimeter, then position one of the spoons on the outside of the sope edge and the other spoon on the indentation you just made. Gently press the masa in between the spoons, like if they were “spooning” to create the sope edge all around. If you feel confident enough, you can pinch the edges with your fingers but be very, very, careful not burn yourself. This masa gets very hot. Do this to all eight of them, and place them in the warm comal at a low heat to keep them warm as you shape the rest of the sopes.

how-to-make-sopes-como-hacer-sopes-sin-quemarse-los-dedos-yes-more-mexico-please
6. Once all are ready, fun begins!, I like to spread some refried beans on the bottom, that is my glue, then fill them with the shredded chicken, garnish with lettuce, onions, radishes, spoonful of the simple tomato sauce, drizzle with crema, sprinkle crumbled queso fresco, some thinly sliced serranitos, salt and pepper to taste.

You can make a Salsa Verde like this for a variation, or a spicier salsa to serve on the side, like this ones could be a good option. Or your favorite hot sauce, mine: Cholula or Tapatio.

Serve warm and enjoy!sopes-de-pollo-preparation

sopes-de-pollo-mexican-antojitos-corn-masa-yes-more-please

Sopes de Pollo - Chicken Sopes

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Sopes de Pollo

Yes more please!, cooking blog

Antojitos Mexicanos

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 -1/4 cup Fresh masa or masa harina, I prefer Minsa brand, or Maseca.
  • 1 medium white potato, cooked, peeled and pureed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water, add a few more teaspoons if needed

For the fillings:

  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, about 3 pieces of chicken (skin removed)
  • 1/2 cup refried beans, on the lose side, to make them more spreadable.

For the toppings:

  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce or green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Serrano peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or cotija, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup crema Mexicana
  • 1 cup Simple tomato sauce, recipe follows

Simple tomato sauce

  • 2 large roma tomatoes, boiled and peeled*
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 good pinches of dry oregano
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. 1. Prepare the masa by combining all the ingredients, mixing and kneading with your hands, until a soft dough ball that resembles a moist play-dough. Cover the ball with a damp clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 15 minutes.

    2. Heat up a heavy cast iron skillet, flat griddle, or a comal. Keep it under medium heat. Meantime...

    3. Divide the dough into 8 round balls around 2-1/2”. Take one ball and with your fingers press to make a round flat shape. Then turn around a press again. Use your fingers to keep the round shape on the perimeter until you have a flat round patties around 3”-3 1/2” inches in diameter and about a little less than 1/2” inch thick.

    4. Add about 1 tablespoon of sunflower or vegetable oil to the comal and place each pattie on the comal as you keep shaping the rest of the masa. Check the patties every now and then, keep rotating them for even cooking. Give each pattie about 2-3 minutes per side. Start flipping them as they turn golden brown with a few toasty brown spots. Add a bit more oil to the comal when flipping them.

    5. Once both sides are cooked, transfer to a plate and with the help of two same size spoons , make an indentation on the sope about 3/8” from the perimeter, then position one of the spoons on the outside of the sope edge and the oder spoon on the indentation you just made. Gently press the masa in between the spoons, like if they were “spooning” to create the sope edge all around. If you feel confident enough, you can pinch the edges with your fingers but be very, very, careful for not burning yourself. This masa gets very hot. Do this to all eight of them, and place them in the warm comal at a low heat to keep them warm as you shape the rest of the sopes.

    6. Once all are ready, fun begins!, I like to spread some refried beans on the bottom, that is my glue, then fill them with the shredded chicken, garnish with lettuce, onions, radishes, spoonful of the simple tomato sauce, drizzle with crema, sprinkle crumbled queso fresco, some thinly sliced serranitos, salt and pepper to taste.

    You can make a Salsa Verde like this for a variation, or a spicier salsa to serve on the side, like this ones could be a good option. Or your favorite hot sauce, mine: Cholula or Tapatio.

    Serve warm and enjoy!

Music Pairing: Chan -Chan ~ Buena Vista Social club

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Guajillo Pork Chops

guajillo-garlic-porterhouse-pork-chops-ingredientsjpg

When I saw these succulent Porterhouse pork chops at the butcher shop, I knew they were coming home with me. Porterhouse pork chops are the Cadillac of chops. Divided by a “T” bone, these chops combine some of the best cuts of the tenderloin and the loin surrounded by a generous and beautiful ribbon of pork fat and their double thickness these chops are as luscious and succulent almost like having almost a steak. Thinking of how to prepare them, I could almost hear them whispering “Guajillo and garlic” to me, so there Guajillo Pork Chops for diner it was.

Chiles are one of my favorite ingredients in Mexican cooking, especially dry chiles. They work miracles in the kitchen. Dry or fresh, these beautiful capsicum fruits are not only about spicy heat;
fresh chiles can brighten up and give a spicy-sass flavor to any dish along with a bright loud note. Dry chiles add a pleasant intense depth of flavor from smokey-sweet, to spicy and fruity, floral and fruity notes with a pleasant hint of spice. Dry chiles are a must have in your pantry.
Dry Guajillos are the perfect example I just described. Guajillos, when slightly toasted, fried or hydrated, bloom with the most aromatic, intense color and mild fruity heat flavor. This effect is irresistible and best used with pork because the meat’s flavor still shines through.

I just knew this Guajillo-Garlic adobo is what these chops needed. In the blink of an eye, I was in the kitchen prepping and making this recipe come to life. I toasted the guajillo chiles to awaken the oils and flavor, then removed the seeds cut into strips and sauteed them in a little oil along with comino seeds and copious amounts of garlic. All these toasted ingredients went into the molcajete to be ground by hand. Using the molcajete is one of my favorite pleasures in the kitchen to smell the aromas that the combination of ingredients emanate from the friction of the volcanic stone. Feeling how the ingredients are being transformed, is such a rewarding cooking process for me. Once the chiles start to become a coarse paste, I incorporated the vinegar and there it was… Guajillo Adobo. This adobo can be ground as coarse or fine as you prefer. I left it medium coarse for this recipe , to add texture to the rub. When its was time to marry the flavors first a gave a good pan sear on the chops, added the adobo, basted the pork chops, and finished in the oven. The smell in the kitchen was insane! The moment I sliced the chop it was juicy, and succulent.
I try not to ever say “you should”… but in this case I will say “you must” try this recipe.
Have fun in the kitchen!

guajillo-pork-chops-yesmore-please

Guajillo Pork Chops

Makes 2 1b. Chops serves 2-4

2 -2” thick Porterhouse Pork Chops*, about 1lb each.
Sea salt and black pepper to season the chops
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

For the brine:

1 cups warm water,
1/2 kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup ice
1 bay leaf

For the adobo:

4 dry Guajillo peppers
8 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
¼ teaspoon comino seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh crushed Black Pepper
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar.

Preparation Method:

1. In a glass bowl, dissolve sugar and salt into the warm water. Add ice, let it melt,add bay leaf. Add pork chops cover with plastic wrap or a lid, let them rest over night or at least 2-4 hours.
2. Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking them. To become room temperature, this will ensure even cooking and tender, juicy chops. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry really well. Set aside.
3. In a cast iron pan, slightly toast the Guajillo peppers until pliable and they change color. Remove from heat, let them cool a bit. Using kitchen scissors remove the chile tails and shake them to remove all seeds. Cut the chiles into thin rings.
4. Heat up a cast iron pan, make sure your chops fit loosely on the pan you will use. Add oil and warm up, add garlic, comino seeds, and the thinly cut guajillo. Saute for 2 -3 minutes until Guajillos are deep red and garlic is light golden brown. Remove pan from heat.

guajillo-pork-chops-garlic-adobo-yes-more-please
5. With a slotted spoon transfer the sauteed guajillos, garlic and cominos to a molcajete or stone mortar. Add sea salt and grind by hand until a coarse paste. Add the vinegar, agave nectar and grind a few more times until well incorporated.
This can be done on a small food processor pulsing 3-4 times, add the vinegar and pulse 2 more times until you have a coarse paste. Reserve paste set aside.

guajillo-pork-chops-adobo-en-molcajete_yes-more-please
6. In the same cast iron pan, utilizing the garlic-Guajillo infused oil left in the pan, bring the pan to a medium high heat. Season the pork chops both sides and around the edges with sea salt and pepper. Sear the chops for about 2-3 minutes per side and sear the chops all around standing them on their sides. This will render some of the pork fat and also will give a nice crust to the chops.
7. Once all sides are seared, bring down the heat to medium low and carefully tilt the pan, add the Guajillo adobo paste, into that oil. Be careful this might splash. Place pan flat and start basting the chops with this paste-oil for a couple of minutes. Top pork chops with a couple of spoonfuls of the guajillo adobo, add about ½ tablespoon butter on top of each pork chop.

Place the pan into the preheated oven at 425 for about 6-8 minutes.
Insert a meat thermometer, they should read between:
140-145F for medium rare.
Remove pan from oven and rest them in the pan for 3 minutes, transfer to a board or warm platter and rest them for 2 minutes.
155-160F for well done.
Remove pan from oven and let them rest in the pan for 3-5 minutes for well done. Transfer to a plater and serve.

Notes:

I always remove my pork chops from the heat about 5 degrees before they reach the highest temperature, the reminder heat will carry on and will keep cooking the chops, while you baste them, with out over cooking them. New guidelines in cooking temperature from the USDA have allow our sweet pork not being overcooked, living us with a tender, juicer pork.
Check this link for more information:
www.pork.org/new-usda-guidelines-lower-pork-cooking-temperature/

*If you are in Austin, visit Salt & Time for amazing porterhouse pork chops, or Smith and Smith Farms ask for Colby at the Texas Farmers Markets on Sundays at Mueller and Domain location

guajillo-pork-chops_adoboguajillo-pork-chops_adobo-yes-more-please

guajillo-pork-chops-porterhouse-yesmore-please

Music Pairing: Cantaloupe Island- Herbie Hancock

 

 

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Guajillo Pork Chops

www.yes-moreplease.com

The great delicate fruity middle spice guajillo and garlic adobo over these porter house pork chops is to die for. Serve them with mashed sweet potatoes, and a generous green salad with a generous squeeze of lemon or lime, salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 2" Porterhouse Pork Chops, about 1 lb each.
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to season the chops
  • 1 tablespoon butter

For the brine:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 piece bay leaf

For the Guajillo Adobo:

  • 4 dry Guajilllo peppers
  • 8 cloves garlic, fresh
  • 1/4 teaspoon comino seeds
  • 1 teaspoons sea salt
  • Fresh crushed black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Apple cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar

Instructions

  1. 1. In a glass bowl, dissolve sugar and salt into the warm water. Add ice, let it melt, add bay leaf. Add pork chops cover with plastic wrap or a lid, let them rest over night or at least 2-4 hours.

    2. Take the pork chops out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking them. To become room temperature, this will ensure even cooking and tender, juicy chops. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry really well. Set aside.

    3. In a cast iron pan, slightly toast the Guajillo peppers until pliable and they change color. Remove from heat, let them cool a bit. Using kitchen scissors remove the chile tails and shake them to remove all seeds. Cut the chiles into thin rings.

    4. Heat up a cast iron pan, make sure your chops fit loosely on the pan you will use. Add oil and warm up, add garlic, comino seeds, and the thinly cut guajillo. Saute for 2 -3 minutes until Guajillos are deep red and garlic is light golden brown. Remove pan from heat.

    5. With a slotted spoon transfer the sauteed guajillos, garlic and cominos to a molcajete or stone mortar. Add sea salt and grind by hand until a coarse paste. Add the vinegar, agave nectar and grind a few more times until well incorporated.

    This can be done on a small food processor pulsing 3-4 times, add the vinegar and pulse 2 more times until you have a coarse paste. Reserve paste set aside.

    6. In the same cast iron pan, utilizing the garlic-Guajillo infused oil left in the pan, bring the pan to a medium high heat. Season the pork chops both sides and around the edges with sea salt and pepper. Sear the chops for about 2-3 minutes per side and sear the chops all around standing them on their sides. This will render some of the pork fat and also will give a nice crust to the chops.

    7. Once all sides are seared, bring down the heat to medium low and carefully tilt the pan, add the Guajillo adobo paste, into that oil. Be careful this might splash. Place pan flat and start basting the chops with this paste-oil for a couple of minutes. Top pork chops with a couple of spoonfuls of the guajillo adobo, add about ½ tablespoon butter on top of each pork chop.

    Place the pan into the preheated oven at 425 for about 6-8 minutes.

    Insert a meat thermometer, they should read between:

    140-145F for medium rare.

    Remove pan from oven and rest them in the pan for 3 minutes, transfer to a board or warm platter and rest them for 2 minutes.

    155-160F for well done.

    Remove pan from oven and let them rest in the pan for 3-5 minutes for well done. Transfer to a plater and serve.

Recipe Notes

Notes:

I always remove my pork chops from the heat about 5 degrees before they reach the highest temperature, the reminder heat will carry on and will keep cooking the chops, while you baste them, with out over cooking them. New guidelines in cooking temperature from the USDA have allow our sweet pork not being overcooked, living us with a tender, juicer pork.
Check this link for more information:
www.pork.org/new-usda-guidelines-lower-pork-cooking-temperature/

*If you are in Austin, visit Salt & Time for amazing porterhouse pork chops, or Smith and Smith Farms ask for Colby at the Texas Farmers Markets on Sundays at Mueller and Domain location

Happy Cooking!

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