While a burgeoning Hispanic population has resulted in a taqueria on every corner, (this certainly seems to hold true here in San Francisco) as noted in this column and by Mexican foodies everywhere, “ubiquity does not always translate to auténtico”.
“Some of the foods I see served on Cinco de Mayo aren’t even authentic Mexican dishes,” says Aaron Sánchez,celebrity chef and Food Network star. “That’s why I’m partnering with CaciqueUSA®. With my recipes and the fresh, authentic ingredients Cacique® offers, we can bring auténtico back…. Sánchez’ Cinco de Mayo menu features the versatility of the queso fresco as the central ingredient in every course from botanas (appetizers) to dessert. Queso fresco, which means “fresh cheese,” is a staple on kitchen tables across Mexico. Its fresh milk flavor and crumbly texture uniquely balances hearty, sometimes spicy Mexican dishes. The brand’s variety of queso frescos, which include Queso Fresco and Queso Panela, brings out the auténtico flavor and texture to Sánchez’ culinary creations. Getting these auténtico gourmet recipes is not the only reason for visiting and liking Cacique® USA’s Facebook page. From Apr. 13 to Aug. 31, 2011, the company is conducting a sweepstakes that will allow one lucky Facebook friend to have Sánchez “crash and cook” at the winner’s very own kitchen! All that visitors have to do is visit www.facebook.com/caciquebrand and like the Cacique® Brand page. If the page reaches 5,000 “likes” by Cinco de Mayo, the company will send Sánchez to the grand prize winner’s home.
(With permission from CaciqueUSA): This inventive recipe combines corn, Cacique chorizo and nopales in a beautifully-served sope shell. Cacique® Queso Fresco’s light, fresh milk flavor balances out the zestiness from the chorizo in this
savory dish. These sopes are great as an appetizer or as a satisfying and delicious main dish!
- 2 ears fresh corn, husks removed and
- kernels cut from cob
- 4 oz. Cacique® beef or pork chorizo,
- remove from casing
- Salt and pepper to taste
SOPES (to make your own, you’ll need the following, or buy them freshly-made at La Palma on 24th St.)
- 2 cups masa corn flour
- 11⁄4 cup water
- 1 qt. canola oil
NOPALES PICO DE GALLO
- 1⁄2 lb. nopales (cactus petals), pre-cleaned (available at Chico’s Produce on 24th St., already diced!)
- 1 cup tomato, small dice
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 cup canned pickled jalapenos, small dice with seeds
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz. Cacique® queso Fresco, crumbled
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
FOR CORN AND CHORIZO FILLING In a medium sauté pan, cook chorizo and corn for 10 minutes, crumbling the chorizo with a wooden spoon while cooking. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
For SOPES Place the masa corn flour in a bowl and add about 1⁄2 cup of water and mix with your hands for about 2
minutes. Make 3-inch rounds of the masa using the palm of your hands, pinching the perimeter of the rounds to create a little wall. The cooking process is divided into two parts: 1) pre-cook on pan without oil 2) fry crispy. After completing all of the sopes, (author’s note- if using sopes from La Palma, begin here) heat a wide thick bottom sauté pan or comal (tortilla cooker) over medium heat for 5 minutes. Once hot, place the sope on pan or comal and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Begin to preheat another pan with 1 quart of canola oil to 375F. Fry the pre-cooked sopes a couple at time in the 350F oil until golden brown. Once brown, carefully remove onto paper towels.
FOR NOPALES PICO DE GALLO
Fire up the grill or BBq. While the BBq is heating,bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Once water is boiling, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon of baking soda to the water and boil the nopales for 10 minutes. Remove the nopales from the water and set aside. Once the grill is hot, lightly oil the nopales and scallions, season with salt and pepper and grill until a bit charred. remove from the grill and set aside. Once at room temperature, dice the nopales and scallions into small pieces. Place nopales, scallions, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place the hot corn and chorizo mix inside the sope, top with a spoonful of nopales pico de gallo, then crumble
some Cacique® queso Fresco on top. Serve immediately.