06 October 2013

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.

Secret Recipe Club

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. 

Mexican Sopes

2 cups instant corn mix (Masa preparada)
1½ cups water
1 tsp salt
Canola oil
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!

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  1. I JUST had sopes at a restaurant this weekend. Now I can make them myself...with your recipe. Thanks for sharing with the SRC.

  2. I've never heard of Sopes before Lesa. But I love Mexican food and I can't wait to try these. They look delicious.

  3. Mmm, these sopes look amazing - love them. :)

  4. I'm also a frying school reject - but it didn't stop me from trying a fried recipe this month either :-) These look outstanding, love all the flavors layered in this dish!

  5. Sopes are like mini Mexican pizzas, an invitation to cover with your favorite toppings. Delicioso!

  6. Those look incredible! I also read Noelle's blog and have made a few recipes of hers. Small world, right? :)

  7. So fun-- and it is always good to find another recipe to use up masa.