This dish always reminds me of Christmas. I mean, look at it. It’s all red and green, full of Christmas colors. It’s also incredibly tasty.
Baby Lady and I first had these stuffed sopaipillas in Santa Fe, NM at the Plaza Cafe when we got married, except instead of Stuffed Sopaipillas Christmas Style they were called Stuffed Sopaipillas Divoricado. Now, I realize it’s a little unusual to get married and have divorced stuffed sopaipillas but we saw someone served these and they looked so good. We had to try them regardless of what they were called. So, we did. Later we discovered they were also called Christmas Style. We prefer Christmas Style as opposed to divorciado. 🙂 Because they are so Christmasy we made them for dinner the other night to stay in theme with the season. We also made them because they really are delicious and we had a hankerin’ for some Southwestern cuisine. Now, the trick with this dish is the sopapailla.
Most people relate sopapaillas with dessert. People typically think of a nice tasty, light, puffy, fried bread filled with honey or coated in sugar and cinnamon. Sopapaillas, however, can also be served as a savory dish. This is such a savory dish. The sopaipilla is light and airy with a touch of saltiness. It is the perfect vehicle for stuffing. You can stuff them with beans, chicken, taco meat, steak, even fish. Top them with the sauce of your choosing or if you can’t decide or want the colors of Christmas, then do one in red and the other in green, like we did. Whatever you do, give these a try. You will be glad you did.
For the Stuffing
- 8 cups cooked pinto beans
- 1 lb chorizo
- 1/2 lb chicken, shredded
For the Salsa
For the Sopaipillas
- 3 cups flour
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp lard (substitute shortening)
- 1 cup warm water
- oil or shortening for frying
- Monterrey jack cheese, grated for serving
- cilantro, chopped for garnish
For the stuffing
Cook pinto beans however you like your pinto beans. Baby Lady got to fixin’ the beans before I was done with Christmas cookies so no recipe or pictures. Somedays, she just isn’t cooperative. 😮 But she does fix a mean batch of beans. Oh well, that’s a post for another day.
When done, heat chorizo in a heavy bottom skillet.
Cook the chorizo then add the pinto beans.
Mash the beans to make refried beans
Continue to cook stirring frequently so the beans don’t burn until you reach the desired consistency. Cover, remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve. Reheat just prior to serving.
Presumably, you already have the shredded, cooked chicken, salsa de chile colorado and salsa verde on hand. If not, make it. 🙂
For the Sopaipillas
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Using the tips of your fingers cut the shortening into the flour until it resembles coarse meal.
Gradually add in the warm water and mix until it forms a soft, smooth dough. If needed add another teaspoon of warm water until a soft, smooth dough forms.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 3 minutes or so. In kneading the dough press down and stretch the dough as you fold it over on top of itself. This ensures a smooth, fine texture dough. Cover and set aside for about 30 minutes to let the glutens relax.
Pull off pieces of dough approximately the size of a walnut. Roll into little balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough approximately 1/8 inch-thick.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet, preferably cast iron. When oil is hot, add dough to the oil.
See how the dough begins to bubble? Using a spoon, toss the oil over the top of the dough where the bubbles are forming. This causes the bubble to continue to rise.
Eventually, the bubble will cover the entire circle of dough.
Fry in hot oil until brown on each side. Place on a rack to drain. Repeat with each of the other balls of dough.
Using scissors, cut the sopapailla roughly half the way around.
Stuff the sopaipilla. This one is stuffed with the beans.
Place on a plate.
Get another sopaipilla and cut. Stuff with shredded chicken.
Pour salsa verde over the sopaipilla stuffed with chicken and salsa de chile colorado over the sopaipilla stuffed with beans.
Top with cheese
Finish with chopped cilantro
Serve & enjoy
14 thoughts on “Stuffed Sopaipillas Christmas Style”
Wow! Those are beautiful! I am intrigued by this recipe.
Thanks for the nice compliment. 🙂 They are muy delicioso. The sopaipillas are also a lot of fun to make. I love to watch them puff up in the oil. Little flour pillows of airy goodness.
I’ve never heard of sopaipillas, Richard, so this post is as much a lesson for me as it is anything else. Thanks to your step-by-step instructions and photos, I could actually make these. Of course, my family would wonder where I got the idea to fry ravioli but they’d come around. What I especially like is that the sopaipillas can be either sweet or savory. This time of year, there’s plenty of sweet around; bring on the savory!
Thanks for introducing me to another great dish, Richard.
Thanks, John. Many people believe Sopaipillas are a Mexican food because they are served in Mexican Restaurants. They are not. Instead, sopaipillas are a Southwestern dish very popular in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. New Mexico, however, treats sopaipillas as a savory dish; whereas, Arizona and Texas treat them as desserts. I thoroughly enjoy them. I don’t think I have ever met anyone who didn’t like them. They’re one of those “fun” foods.
Seeing your post makes me want to head back to Texas. I love southwestern and Tex Mex food and your post has made me hungry…good thing it will be lunchtime soon.
Hi, Karen. Glad you liked it. You know what they say: “You can take the girl out of Texas but you can’t take Texas out of the girl.” 😉
That is so true, Richard.
We can cook again!!!!!!! One year without an oven/decent kitchen or ingredients, followed by three months of travelling/apartment hunting and now TODAY we can cook again with myriad wonderful ingredients, space and utensils. Merry Christmas to you and the Baby Lady and we look forward to flicking back through your recipes and indulging! x
Hi! I was wondering approximately how many Sopaipillas one recipe will make? I am planning on making these for a little appetizer for New Year’s Eve tomorrow night! They sound so very yummy! There will be 12 people… what do you think? Will one recipe work, or should I double?
Would love to know how Baby Lady makes her beans. 🙂
Thanks for your help! 🙂
Oh, and ps… if I make the Sopaipillas at home, will they hold for awhile? I will stuff and sauce when we arrive at our friends. I love new ideas and little surprises for people… this will be an unexpected yumminess!
Hi, Linda. Thanks for dropping by and we’re tickled you want to make this for New Year’s Eve. The Sopaipillas will keep for a very short period of time before they start to fall. They will fall anyway once you stuff and top them. You just don’t want them to get soggy so don’t make them too far in advance. For appetizers, I would recommend you make them no bigger than 1-1/2 to 2 inches maximum. The ones in the photo were probably 3+ inches which made a rather large meal. 😮 I’m really going on a diet after tomorrow. Baby Lady suggests you roll out the dough and cut it into 2 x 2 squares. It’s easier, quicker and more manageable that way.
Insofar as Baby Lady’s beans are concerned, get 2 lbs of beans, cover with water and soak overnight. The next day, drain the beans and set aside. Prep 1 onion, chopped; 4 large cloves garlic (we like garlic), minced; 3 slices bacon, sliced into 1/2 inch lardons; 1 tomato, seeded and diced; 1 large jalapeño, seeded and diced; 1 tsp sea salt; 1 Tbsp Mexican oregano; 1/2 tsp ground cumin. Place the bacon and veggies on the bottom of the crock pot; pour beans on top; add water to cover the beans + 1/2 – 1 inch; add cumin and oregano; cover and cook on high 3 – 4 hours until you reach the desired tenderness. Baby Lady says don’t open the pot! If you allow the pot to vent you will get dark colored beans. If you can resist from opening the pot, you will get light colored beans. She’s my wife and I love her dearly, more than life itself, but we don’t always agree on things. I open the pot all of the time and she doesn’t know it. 😉 She’s glaring at me right now. 😮
We hope you have a Happy New Year and all goes well on New Year’s Eve.
You TWO are fabulous! Thank You! It’s going to be super fun! 🙂 Thank YOU BOTH!!! Happy New Year!!
Oops. I forgot to tell you 1 batch will be enough for appetizers. You will find out not all will rise the first time.
YUMMO!!! Everyone LOVED, LOVED the Sopaipillas!!! Such a fun dish to present to our friends! And, the beans are really quite delicious too! Borrowed our daughter’s vitamix; what a machine… whiz, whiz and you have some pretty awesome sauce! Followed Baby Lady’s advice and cut 2″ squares. Felt like a little kid frying those up and watching them puff!!! SMILED big with each one that cooperated; you were right some didn’t, but most of them did, and they held well on the 10 minute drive! YEAH! SUCCESS! THANK YOU!!! Again, Happy 2013!
We’re glad everything worked out and you had fun. All the best to you in 2013.