Friday, March 2, 2018

Soyrizo Bean Sopes { #Lenten #Recipe }

Have you ever had sopes from your local taco shop? They’re a thick tortilla, anywhere from a 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch thickness, with a crispy outside and a soft middle. These babies are then smeared with a good portion of refried beans and are topped with shredded beef or chicken or any number of guisados (stewed meats or vegetables). 

Did you know they’re super easy to make at home? 

Today, I’m sharing another inexpensive lenten meal favorite, vegetarian-style. Soyrizo Bean Sopes. This soyrizo beans recipe is adapted from a chorizo beans recipe I grew up on. They're my dad's version of frijoles charros (charros is slang for cowboy so this translates to cowboy-style beans). Traditionally, frijoles charros also has bacon and weiners. Don't ask me why. They just do. Dad's didn't. I'm glad for that. 

I'm forsaking a post filled with photos for a video tutorial on technique firstly, because I think it's easier to show you how to make the masa in a video over photos. Secondly, I'm off to a food styling workshop by the incomparable Denise Vivaldo this weekend and need my beauty sleep as it's in Los Angeles and I'm going to have to make the 2 1/2 hour drive up north in the rain at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning to be there in time for the 8:30 am check-in.

I'm tired already thinking about it! Wish me luck!

As for the video, I'm still trying to figure out my style and format. I'm a one-woman show so they take me longer to do than if I were to have someone shooting the video and then have an experienced video editor doing the post, so please bear with me.

If you do like this video and find it useful, I'd love it if you could subscribe to the YouTube channel for Confessions of a Foodie, hit the bell icon so you can be notified directly when new videos go up and leave me a comment if you'd like to see something from my archives turned into a cooking video.

Until next time friends … xo, ani

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Soyrizo Bean Sopes
Mexican sopes are a handheld street food typically piled high with meat. We're making these soyrizo bean sopes vegetarian for a satisfying Lenten or vegetarian meal. Masa harina is an instant corn masa flour not to be confused with corn flour/meal used to make cornbread or polenta. Those products are made from dried corn that has been ground. Masa harina is maize (field corn) that has been treated with lime and water, made into a dough, then dehydrated and made into a flour for tortillas or tamales depending on the consistency of the grind. Queso fresco is a soft Mexican farmer's cheese. Feel free to substitute with feta, or your favorite farmer's cheese.

For the masa
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
  • 2 ½ cups very warm water
  • oil for frying
For the filling
  • 5 ounces soyrizo
  • 1 16-ounce can pinto beans, do not drain
For the garnish
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ½ lemon freshly squeezed
  • salsa, to taste
Add the masa harina to a large mixing bowl. Pour in 1 ½ cups of very warm water to start. Using your hands, mix in the water until it’s thoroughly absorbed. Continue adding water, about a ¼ cup at a time, working the water in, until there is no more loose flour on the bottom of the bowl and the dough holds together. Test the dough by rolling a small amount in your palms to make a smooth ball. Flatten between your palms. If the sides of the disk has cracks in it, you’ll need to work in a little more water, a tablespoon at a time until the dough is smooth, pliable and resembles a play dough-like texture. Cover with a damp paper towel then seal the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rest. Add 1 teaspoon of cooking oil to a hot skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the soyrizo. Cook for five minutes, stirring to keep it from sticking or burning. Remove 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the can of pinto beans then add the beans to the pan. Stir to heat through. (We removed some of the liquid because we want our beans creamy, not soupy.) Using a potato masher, give the beans a mash. I prefer not to over-mash, leaving some beans whole for added texture but you can mash more or less to taste. Lower heat to a medium low and allow to simmer for five minutes. Then remove from the heat and set aside.Roll the masa into a log about 10 inches long. Using a bench scraper or knife, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll a piece of the dough into a smooth ball. Place the ball of dough on a sheet of waxed paper. Press down a little to flatten slightly then cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Place a plate on top and press down evenly and firmly to create about a ¼-inch thick patty. Remove from the wax paper and use your thumb to smooth out the edges by pressing your thumb into your index finger, creating a squared off edge. Work your way all around the patty. Return the now flattened dough to the bowl and cover with a clean dish towel to keep the dough from drying out. Repeat with remaining dough.
Heat up a skillet or griddle, preferably cast iron. Once the griddle is hot, add two of the tortilla patties to the griddle. Keep the heat at about medium. We don’t want the griddle so hot that the outside of the patty burns before the inside has a chance to steam and cook. After about 6-8 minutes, check the patty. You want it to just be turning a medium to dark brown and the edges should be looking a little dry. Flip them and repeat this cooking process on the second side. If you have multiple skillets going, or a large two-burner griddle, this cooking process will go much faster as you can cook more at the same time. As the patties are cooked, place them in a bowl and cover with a clean, kitchen towel to keep warm.
While the tortilla patties are still hot but cool enough to handle, create a “crust” that will keep the toppings from sliding off, by using your thumbs and index fingers to pinch the edges up firmly, creating a little ridge on surface facing up. It's like crimping a pie only you're not getting fancy by scolloping, you're just creating an elevated "wall'. Return the patties to the towel covered bowl as you finish crimping them to keep them warm.Heat a skillet on medium-high. Once hot, add enough oil to cover the bottom, about ⅓ of a cup or so. When the oil is hot, carefully add the tortilla patties to the skillet, no more than three at time so you don't lower the oil temperature. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove to a towel-lined pan and continue frying until all the patties have been fried.
In the meantime, add the sour cream to a small bowl. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Stir until smooth; set aside. To assemble the sope, spread two tablespoons or so of the soyrizo beans onto the tortilla patty. Top with some queso fresco. Add lettuce. Drizzle on sour cream, to taste. Then add salsa, to taste. Garnish with another hit of queso. Serve immediately.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 sopes

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