Serious Eats: Recipes

Seriously Meatless: Sopes de Chile Con Queso

Note: Michael Natkin of the vegetarian blog Herbivoracious drops by every Wednesday to share a delicious recipe and expand our vegetarian repertoire.

[Photograph: Michael Natkin]

Masa, or corn boiled with mineral lime and ground, is part of a vast family of deliciousness—from the familiar corn tortillas and tamales to treats that aren't as well known north of the border, like bocoles and sopes.

Sopes are like an unusually thick corn tortilla, but with vertical sidewalls that allow them to hold a filling. To make them, you underbake the masa, use your fingers to form the walls, and then fry them in hot oil just before serving. Once you get the hang of it, you can prepare a batch of 16 in about 20 minutes, after the dough has rested.

For the filling, I made a basic chile con queso. Poblano peppers are roasted, peeled and sliced, then cooked with tomato. A meltable cheese such as asadero or Monterey Jack mixed with a bit of cheddar turns the whole mixture into a gooey, tasty mess.

Serve these with plate of brothy or refried beans, Mexican rice and a bit of salad, maybe some proper homemade guacamole, and you'll have a happy and well-fed crowd.

Sopes de Chile Con Queso

Adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless.

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