Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chicken Sopes – Gluten Free – Grain free- Sugar Free

If you've never had a Sope, you are in for a treat. These delicious little gems originated from Mexico.
From Wikipedia:
A sope is a traditional Mexican dish originating in the city of Culiacán, where it was first known asgordita or pelliscadas in Culiacán. It at first sight looks like an unusually thick tortilla with vegetables and meat toppings. The base is made from a circle of fried masa of ground maize with pinched sides. This is then topped with refried beans and crumbled cheese, lettuce, onions, red or green sauce (salsa, made with chiles or tomatillos respectively), and acidified cream. Sometimes other ingredients (mostly meat) are also added to create different tastes and styles of sopes. Sopes are roughly the size of a fist. Don't panic. My version of Sopes are Grain free, Gluten Free & Sugar Free. This recipe is simple and quick to make. While nothing can make up for the thick, fried, corn tortilla I think you will find this a satisfying and healthy alternative. Don't be afraid to experiment with flavors and add your favorite spices and "heat"! INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 - 3 boneless chicken breasts (use 4 if they are small)
  • 1 can of chicken broth (less sodium is better)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (I used the petite diced)
  • 1 large onion - diced
  • 1 green bell pepper - diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced or use a garlic press
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2 - 1 Tsp Dried Cumin (to taste)
  • 1 diced jalapeno (or any hot sauce you like)
  • 2 cups of Almond Flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil (save 1 Tbs for the Almond Crust)
  • Black beans (mashed up & seasoned) , You can omit this if you are not eating legumes.
  • Cilantro, shredded lettuce, fresh diced tomatoes, cotijo or crumbled cheese, diced onions, sour cream or "crema" or any other toppings you may want to add.
INSTRUCTIONS (Sope Chicken Filling):
  • In a large pot add 2 Tbs of olive oil and the diced onions. Let them saute a bit until softened.
  • Add the chicken breasts and season with salt & pepper
  • Add the canned tomatoes with their juice
  • Add the diced bell pepper
  • Bring to a light simmer
  • Season the pot with cumin, and any other spices you might like to try such a chipotle, cayenne, red pepper flakes, oregano, etc. I kept mine simple because my daughter is so fussy.
  • Allow the chicken to simmer in this liquid until it is just cooked through (about 15 - 20 minutes depending on the size of the chicken breasts.)
  • Remove the chicken breasts from the liquid and set aside to cool.
  • Add the fresh garlic to the liquid
  • Continue cooking the liquid until it reduces down quite a bit and the vegetables are softened. Time will vary depending on the heat of your stove.
  • Once chicken is cooled, shred it finely and set it aside
  • Add the shredded chicken back to the liquid mixture in the pot, and remove from heat
  • Stir to incorporate. Be sure to taste and re-season if necessary. Now is a good time to add the hot sauce or more spices if you want your sopes to have a little "kick" to them.
  • Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F
  • In a medium bowl add the 2 cups of almond flour, 2 eggs, 1 Tbs of Olive Oil & 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Mix well to incorporate. You will need to form a "dough" ball with your hands.
  • If the mixture is too wet add a bit more almond flour
  • Form the dough into a 2 1/2" roll
  • Form each slice by gently flattening the middle of the sope and pinching the edges up to form a little wall. Each sope should end up being about 3 1/2"
  • Lay them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 10 - 12 minutes (don't overbake them, but you want them crispy since they will absorb the juices from the sope filling.
Here you can see the prep of the dough. Notice the little raised edge on the sope shell. Itis really helpful to use a dough cutter (pictured) to slice and move the sopes around. The almond dough can get very sticky. I also like to work on waxed paper and then transfer them to parchment paper to bake. When you bake the sope shells, they may not actually get golden so don't overbake them. They should be crisp outside and tender inside.
Here is a photo of what it the sopes should look like after they come out of the oven and you add the first layer. I just used mashed up black beans that I seasoned with salt and pepper. If you are not eating legumes then just omit the beans. This layer is sort of like the glue that will hold it all together, lol. After the beans you add the chicken mixture and then top it off with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, onion (green onions work here too), sour cream or crema can be used as well as guacamole, cheese, salsa, whatever you like.