Savor the flavor of these sopaipillas
This week, we are preparing a dish that is among the best-selling items at my restaurant: savory sopaipillas.
For the bread:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1⁄2 tablespoon baking powder
1⁄2 cup buttermilk
1⁄2 cup mineral water
Pinch of salt
Oil for frying
For the filling:
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp (or you can use chopped cooked chicken)
1 cup diced tomato
1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of ground cumin
Putting it together
Adding all of the bread ingredients to a large bowl and mix for at least five minutes using the mixer's dough hooks. Cover the dough and let it rest for one hour. Divide the dough into eight equal portions and flatten each with the rolling pin until it resembles a thick flour tortilla.
Heat about 2 inches of oil in a large pan and fry the dough portions (the sopaipillas) until golden brown on both sides.
In a separate pan over high heat, add a splash of oil and the onion and cook for about two minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for one more minute. Add the shrimp and cook for a few minutes, until done. Add the tomato, cilantro and spinach and cook for one more minute.
Turn off the heat and add the cheese. Toss the ingredients in the pan to incorporate the cheese and season with some salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.
Slice the fried sopaipillas in half and place one half on a plate. Top it with some of the filling mixture and the other sopaipilla half. Serve immediately (to avoid the bread from getting soggy) and enjoy.
Antonio Villagomez is head chef and owner of Cilantro's restaurant and catering in Yuba City, Calif. Contact him at 530-844-2111. His website is cilantros.us.