It's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club! The Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who secretly make one of someone else's dishes and post them all on the same day at the same time. It's really fun, choosing a recipe to make, making the recipe, then reading about everyone else's recipes. It's a great way to "meet" other bloggers and check out some great blogs that you never knew about before.
This month I was assigned the blog An Opera Singer in the Kitchen. I was really happy to get this assignment as I have been reading Noelle's blog for a long time now. She and I have a few things in common. When I first discovered her blog, she and I both lived in Michigan, on the west side. She lived in Holland, I believe, and I lived near Grand Rapids. We have both since moved to different states. Also, Noelle and I are both mommies to two little girls. She often posts pics of their family activities and her little girls are just adorable.
I knew without even looking at Noelle's blog that I wanted to a meatless dish. Noelle has a great variety of recipes on her blog, but I knew she had a great collection of vegetarian dishes and while I am not vegetarian, I do observe a meatless day once a week or so. I am always looking for new, creative meatless dishes that my family will love. I decided to try her Mexican Sopes. Even though I love cooking Mexican food and have eaten at many different Mexican restaurants, I have to admit that I had never even heard of sopes. In case you haven't either, they are miniature fried corn-dough bowls filled with beans and sauce and topped with cheese. They are delightful.
2 cups instant corn mix (Masa preparada)
1½ cups water
1 tsp salt
2 cups shredded cabbage
½ cup red onion, diced
½ tsp salt
½ lime, juiced
2 tomatoes, diced
¾ cup Queso Fresco
1 can refried beans
Salsa of your choice
Preheat oven to 350°.
First prepare the masa by mixing the instant corn mix, salt, and water in a mixing bowl. Let the dough sit for 5 minutes. Grab some dough and roll it until golf ball size. Press the dough on a mat or on your hand until flattened. They should be thicker than a tortilla.
Heat a pan on med-high with ¼” inch of oil. Fry each dough patty about 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Keep the corn patties warm by placing them on a baking sheet in the warm oven.
Warm the beans in the same pan after frying the patties and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the cabbage, ½ tsp salt, red onion, and lime juice.
To assemble the sopes. Take one corn patty and spread it with 1 tbsp beans. Sprinkle on 1 tbsp queso fresco and then add the tomatoes. Then top with the cabbage salad.
Makes 4 servings.
I actually had everything I needed for this recipe except for the queso fresco. I tried three grocery stores before I finally found it at the fourth. (Meijer, I miss you! Start work on that Kenosha store, stat!) I had masa because I use it to make my Sweet Corn Tomalito. And I'm glad to have another recipe to make with it because it always comes in a huge bag and I can never use it up fast enough.
Here is one of the little corn patties. I don't ever fry things and it's because I'm really bad at it. The first four of these turned out perfectly. Then I got distracted with assembling those and let the other six burn. Oops!
I had to add a little more water than what Noelle's recipe called for to get the dough to the right consistency. And I found them a little on the salty side, so next time I will cut back on that. The only other thing I changed was due to my own inattentiveness. When I was making my grocery list, my eyes skipped right over the word "refried" in the ingredients list and thought it called for regular whole beans. It wasn't until I started assembling the sopes and the beans were rolling all over that I realized the recipe called for refried beans. Duh! That was the one thing my husband mentioned when trying them. "Next time, I think refried beans would work better." Yep!
This was my first time using queso fresco and we all loved it.
I served these with salsa and sour cream, but you could do guacamole or any other topping you like.
These were a big hit with my family. Thanks so much for adding a great new meatless main to our rotation, Noelle!