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