“Juan? ‘Tilma’ That We’re Having Sopes for Dinner!”

Tell Ma? Tilma? Juan Diego? Get it?

It’s the feast of St. Juan Diego, so to celebrate meatlessly, we made sopes. I first learned of sopes when I shared an office with a girl who grew up inMexico. Whenever we ordered Mexican for lunch (which was a lot, because there was a phenomenal taqueria a mile from our office), she got sopes. Sopes always looked so good, but I avoided them because where she was from, asking for sopes without the beans would be like asking for a sandwich without bread—what’s the point? Anyway, with my bean sensitivity, I didn’t want to risk losing work by getting bean-sick. Now I know that sopes are made regionally with shredded chicken, beef, cheese, and so on. Today is Friday, so we did a can of refried beans (which I can tolerate to some degree, but I can feel a bit of regret bubbling up in my stomach as we speak).


When making sopes, think open-faced tacos. Think edible plates.

Oven Baked Sopes (modified from the recipe at Vegetarian Times )
1 ¼ c hot water
2 c masa harina
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
3 T corn or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Stir hot water into masa harina, salt, and baking powder until a soft dough forms. Let sit for 5 minutes, then mix in egg and oil. Knead with hands until the dough comes together and roll into 8 balls the size of eggs. Between two sheets of thick plastic wrap or a plastic bag split open, roll each ball into a flat circle, then using your fingers, scrunch up the edges of each disc to make a sort of saucer.

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Hand model I ain’t.

Place the sopes on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Cool for five minutes before serving to the kids, and top as desired. We spread ours with the frijoles, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, chopped olives, shredded montereyjack cheese, and guacamole. We live in a rural area where that good crumbly Mexican cheese isn’t available at the market where I usually do most of our shopping, so the montereyjack was as good as we could get. There are Mexican markets not too far from here, so next time I’m a little more flush with time, I’ll pick some up.

For dessert, we did have homemade truffles (leftover ganache rolled into balls and then rolled in leftover chocolate cake crumbs). I realize decadent chocolate desserts aren’t much in the spirit of Friday penitence, but it is the feast of St. Juan Diego. Our Lady of Guadalupe came to him, a brand-new Catholic inMexico, the home of chocolate, for lots of reasons. Mary’s a woman. I don’t doubt for a minute that at least one of those reasons was to bring chocolate to the world. She’s a good Mom!


About Erin McCole Cupp
Erin McCole Cupp is a wife, mother, and lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, The Catholic Standard and Times, Parents, The Philadelphia City Paper, The White Shoe Irregular, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She is a contributor to CatholicMom.com and has been a guest blogger for the Catholic Writers Guild. Her other professional experiences include acting, costuming, youth ministry, international scholar advising, and waiting tables. When Erin is not writing, cooking or parenting, she can be found reading, singing a bit too loudly, sewing for people she loves, gardening in spite of herself, or dragging loved ones to visitors centers at tourist spots around the country. Find out more about her novels and other projects at erinmccolecupp.com .

One Response to “Juan? ‘Tilma’ That We’re Having Sopes for Dinner!”

  1. Pingback: McBaja Fish Tacos « Mrs. Mackerelsnapper, OP

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