Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Sopes - just the recipe

Wow - I CAN go on.  So, without all the commentary, here's the recipe:

Oven Baked Pumpkin Sopes
this recipe makes 12-16 sopes depending on what size a "golf ball" is to you.  Any you don't eat right away can be frozen, and toasted or microwaved back to life (a little too hot too touch, pliable, maybe a little crispy, and tasty).

2C masa harina* (Corn Flour - NOT corn meal.  If the corn has NOT been treated with lime, it will not work.  You will have gritty polenta cakes, not sopes)
1.5 - 2C pumpkin purée (depending on the coarseness of the masa harina - finer will need less, coarser - more.)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 - 2/3 C fat (lard, oil, vegetable shortening - choose what you have or prefer to use.)

clean hands
large mixing bowl
measuring cups & spoons
cookie sheet or 1/2 sheet pan
oily/greasy paper towel (or a Silpat/silicone sheet liner)

Optional - Stand Mixer [if you are going to do a BIG BATCH, or would rather wash dishes rather than get your hands dirty, a stand mixer does this just fine!]

Pour the masa harina, salt, baking powder into the big bowl.  Briefly stir together.  Start by adding 1.5C pumpkin purée to the dry stuff.  Squish and mix it together.  Add a little more purée - until you get that firm "play-dough" texture - or get something that looks like this:
easily holds its shape
when you break it in half it neither slumps or crumbles
and NO dry bits
Then, fold in and evenly distribute the fat of your choosing.
It should have a lighter fluffier feel and be a bit sticker once the fat is folded in.
Form into a large ball/oval.
Break in half.  
Break each of those halves in half.
Each of those 4 chunks need to be broken into 3 or 4 parts.  They should be "golf-ball" sized.*
(If going the greasy paper towel route - liberally grease your cookie sheets)
Each ball should be patted flat.  And then placed on the greased/Silpat-ed metal tray.  Pinch up the edges with your fingers.

You can also press down the center with one hand,
and shore up the edges with the other.

There, like this...
done, done done, mostly done,
still to be done, still....
The most common instruction I see on the internet is "press down the center with a drinking glass." This was useless.  I didn't have a "drinking glass" that was sope sized, and mine all have indented bottoms anyway.  When I did find ramekins that were the correct size, they stuck.  And the rim was too low.  Go with the Carpel Tunnel Prevention Therapy of actually working with dough.

Heat up the oven to 350˚F.
Pop the sopes in for about 15 minutes.
Depending on their size they'll take 12 - 17 minutes.  You'll know you've hit the jackpot when you smell that tell-tale toasty corn smell.

several different sizes

So - what do I eat on a sope?

General rule - something rich flavored and protein-y (carnitas, shredded beef, refritos, scrambled eggs - maybe with sausage, chile) something sour and/or spicy (escabeche, spicy kraut, kimchi would be trendy) and something vegetable-crunchy.

Even cheese and salsa or beans and salsa would do the trick.  Or take advantage of their neutral flavor and general deliciousness, and use them as a home for abandoned leftovers.  Go nuts!

leftover greens with onions & vinegar
Lunch Accomplished
Tupperware Emptied
I win - twice!
Extra sopes are to be cooled, bagged and frozen for another day.

*(Special APPETIZER PATROL NOTE: Instead of golf ball size, try marble size for mini sopes.  You'll get 48 - 64 depending on the size of your marbles.  Awesome appetizer bases - and bonus - gluten free, and cook ahead and reheat-able.)

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