I had lots of leftovers in the 'fridge, and an inexplicable, urgent craving for sopes. You may not even know what sopes are, but if you did, you'd crave them, too.
One of my favorite restaurants in Chicago is Salpicón, down in Old Town on Wells Street, that my friend Zzilda introduced me to. It was voted Best Mexican Restaurant in 2005 by CitySearch. I've eaten there maybe half a dozen times, and every time I leave happy. The menu item that makes me happiest is the one called sopes rusticos--fat country tortillas topped with a bit of tomatillo sauce, queso fresco, onions and avocado.
So anyway, this afternoon I started tasting those delicious fat tortillas in my mind, and I couldn't help myself. I unloaded several shelves worth of leftovers onto the kitchen counter: pork roast, cooked shrimp, a zip-lock baggie of sauteed onions, a chunk of crumbly Mexican cheese, an almost-overripe avocado, some refried beans. Now we were talking!
I made sopes from masa harina (finely ground corn flour), water, and a little salt. To make the tortillas, you mix the dough, form little balls, and then squish the balls down into 1/4" thick wafers with a little bit of a raised edge. You can make them with as big or small a circumference as you like. My preference was to make the tortillas about 1.5 to 2.5 inches across. Fry those puppies up in hot oil using a cast-iron skillet, and drain them on a paper towel.
Now you're ready to create some fabulous toppings from the leftovers in the 'fridge. For the first batch, I diced the leftover pork roast into 1/4" bits and mixed it with chopped sauteed onions. I topped each sope with a couple teaspoons of the mixture, and then a bit of Mexican cheese, and broiled until the edges were starting to brown. Plop a bit of mashed up avocado on the top, and decorate with a tiny tomato chunk, and you've got a sope appetizer worthy of a great Mexican restaurant, made in your own kitchen!
For the second topping I peeled and chopped my leftover shrimp and mixed it with some chopped green onions and a tiny bit of cocktail sauce. I plopped a spoonful of this yummy mixture on several sopes, but this time I topped it with grated mozzarella cheese before broiling. Yummy!
And for the final batch, I used up my leftover refried beans. Each sope received a medium coating of beans, followed by some chopped up tomatoes and onions, and topped off with whichever cheese sounded great at the moment. After broiling, I again garnished with a bit of mashed avocado, because in my world, you cannot go wrong with avocado.
I was going to post photos, but I can't find them when I back up my phone data onto the computer, so you'll just have to use your imagination. But still, aren't you hungry?