Sunday, March 26, 2017

Blue Corn Sopes with Refried Beans and Cheese

Sopes are another one of those Mexican comfort foods that so many people have yet to add to their repertoire let alone try just because they haven't become as ubiquitous as tacos or burritos. But really, they are equally versatile and delicious.

Here in northern Humboldt we are lucky enough to have a local purveyor of great masa - yellow and blue (Bien Padre, AKA Mala Madre according to my hubby), so I scooped up some blue masa to make these tasty morsels. Like Gorditas or homemade corn tortillas, you simply add water and salt to masa and let it sit; then you shape it and fry it as needed.

Making the dough is about trial and error - you don't want it too wet or too dry, and letting it sit for at least 15 minutes helps to allow the masa absorb the water. I simply dump some masa into a bowl - about 1 1/2 cups for about 3-4 sopes each - add about 1 cup of water and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let it sit while I'm getting the toppings ready. Then I check the dough and see if it needs a little more water or a little more masa. It should hold together when you make a ball and flatten it slightly; if it sticks to your hands, it needs just a little more masa. Conversely, if it's dry add a little more water. After a few trys you will see how it works best.

These were a brunch meal so it was a simple topping of refried beans, shredded cheese (ricotta salata, so similar to Mexican cotija) and some salsa and guacamole. Really, how can you go wrong!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chicken Saltimbocco

A few weeks ago a landmark old-school style Italian restaurant closed its doors after serving the community since 1928...We of course had dinner before they shuttered for good. "Saltimbocco" means "jump in mouth" and this was their version of Chicken Saltimbocco, and it was tooooo diiiiie forrrrr!  So naturally it needed to be recreated at home!

Creamy cheesy marsala wine sauce, meltingly sweet sun-dried tomatoes and succulent chicken, really, how can you go wrong! Do not be put off by what appears to be long instructions, they are there to ensure a delicious end result.

It looks fancy but is deceptively simple; dust chicken breasts with flour, slip a few slices of prosciutto and mozzarella into a pocket in the chicken breast, brown, and make the sauce as the chicken is browning, and Eccola! Saltimbocco!