Two months since I made a post! I've been busy traveling and entertaining guests plus it's been too hot to feel like cooking. Time to get back in the groove.
One of my favorite New Mexican specialties is Sopapillas (also spelled Sopaipillas). They are a lovely puffy deep fried bread similar to the beignets of New Orleans. Usually served with honey or cinnamon sugar as a dessert, I prefer them with a savory filling. Somehow during the 4 days I spent in New Mexico this summer, I never had a chance to order them. A terrible oversight which I corrected tonight by cooking some up.
I stuffed them with Machaca and served them with Rancho Gordo's Anazazi beans. Let me put in a plug for Rancho Gordo. These are by far the best beans I have ever tasted. I've tried 3 varieties so far and they are all excellent....it's no wonder that great chefs like Thomas Keller at The French Laundry uses them. They are fresh so cook quickly and need no seasoning except salt.
2 c flour
1 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 T oil
1/2-3/4 warm water (as needed to form dough)
Combine ingredients and knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 20 minutes. Roll into a square 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 3X3 inch squares. Deep fry in 400 degree oil a few at a time. Be sure to hold them down in the oil initially and flip after a minute or so. If the oil is hot enough they will puff up almost immediately. Fry til nicely golden brown. Drain well and keep warm.
1 lb beef chuck
1 onion, minced
3 clove garlic, minced
3-6 roasted Hatch green chiles, chopped, to taste*
1 large tomato, chopped
cumin, salt, pepper to taste
Cover beef with salted water and simmer til tender. Drain (reserve one cup broth) and shred with two forks. Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add shredded beef. Saute 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients plus reserved broth. Simmer for about 15 minutes til tomato is cooked.
Assembly: Split open sopapillas and stuff with beef. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and serve. For a fancier presentation have ready warm red or green chile sauce. Place stuffed sopapillas in a baking pan, pour sauce on, spinkle with cheese and broil til cheese melts.
*While in New Mexico this summer I bought 30 pounds of freshly roasted Hatch chiles, packed them in a cooler and froze them when I got home. I had a choice of heat levels and picked medium-hot. OMG! These are VERY hot even with all seeds removed. Be sure to taste test chiles before adding.