One of our new favorite restaurants is a traditional Mexican place on Headhouse Row called Xochitl Check out the menu...this isn't El Burrito stuff...this is derived from authentic ingredients.
We tried their Sopes trio and needed to re-create this at home; basically they're little masa pancakes shallow-fried in oil and topped with a dairy cream and a savory. Xochitl has duck and goat cheese sopes. Tonight, we opted to use some leftover salmon-zucchini cakes and yogurt for our sopes, topped with a sprig of bacon lardon.
Ok, bacon first. Using my hunk-o-salted pork-belly, I chopped up some lardons and cooked them off in the pan to render some grease. Pull those little guys out and reserve...resisting the urge to snack on them.
Next, we bought some Masa from Whole Foods...a fine-milled corn meal you can find in the latino area of the market. Mixing roughly equal parts with water and a pinch of salt. It makes a sandy paste, which you then roll and form into balls.
Smash the balls flat into little discs, then throw in the pan of bacon grease.
Cook equally on each sides, browning the sopes. I've added the salmon-zucchini topping here to reheat and crispify.
Remove from heat when GBD (golden brown delicious) and then smear some yogurt, crumble the salmon-zucchini cake mixture atop, place a sprig of fried bacon and voila!
The next version we're going to make this weekend? What else, Duck Confit and Goat-cheese....because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery (thanks Xochitl!).
C & E