Ingredients of a Woman http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog Celebrating our Uniqueness Mon, 24 May 2010 19:55:08 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 en hourly 1 Grand Marnier Strawberry Sauce -Spring Flavours http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/grand-marnier-strawberry-sauce-spring/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/grand-marnier-strawberry-sauce-spring/#comments Mon, 24 May 2010 19:53:44 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1802    
Nothing like fresh Spring flavours. Strawberries are on top of my list of vibrant and flavorful spring foods. I’m planning to grow my own, next year for sure. On the mean time, I got some of these gorgeous passion red strawberries from the market.
They are big, beautiful and juicy.
The taste of this sauce will remind you that spring is HERE.

   
The ingredients are:
About 12 large strawberries. One whole lime, the juice and zest.
A couple of medium size cinnamon sticks or just one large. Two Tbsp. of cornstarch. And 1/4 cup of Grand Marnier, maybe 1/2 cup, it’s up to you ;-)

   
Upps, I almost forget, we also need about a cup of brown sugar.


   
In a saucepan bring to a boil 3 cups of water. Add a large cinnamon stick.
Let it boil for about 5 minutes or until the water has changed its color to a light red-brown, just like if you were making cinnamon tea.

   
Then add a cup of sugar, the strawberries, the lime zest and juice. Boil for about 5 minutes.

   
Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in a ¼ cup of cold water. Make sure there are not lumps.

   
Once the strawberries are softened, add the dissolved cornstarch. Stir until begins to boil again and the sauce has thickened.
Remove the sauce from the heat and add the Grand Marnier.
Let it cool down and then refrigerate.

   
Server on top of a slice of cake with some fresh strawberries.
Strawberry Sauce_On top of sweet bread 2

   
Devour immediately!
Love,

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
12 large fresh strawberries (rinsed and sliced)
1 whole lime (the juice and skin)
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 large cinnamon stick
3 ¼ cups water
¼ cup Grand Marnier

   
Preparation
-In a saucepan bring to a boil 3 cups of water. Add a large cinnamon stick.
-Let it boil for about 5 minutes.
-Then add a cup of sugar, the strawberries, the lime zest and juice. Boil for about 5 minutes.
-Meanwhile, dissolve the cornstarch in a ¼ cup of cold water. Make sure there are not lumps.
-Once the strawberries are softened, add the dissolved cornstarch. Stir until begins to boil again and the sauce has thickened.
-Remove the sauce from the heat and add the Grand Marnier. Let it cool down and then refrigerate.
-Server on top of a slice of cake with some fresh strawberries.

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Where will you rest when you die? -Sarcophagi at the Metropolitan Museum of Art http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/sarcophagi-at-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/sarcophagi-at-the-metropolitan-museum-of-art/#comments Mon, 24 May 2010 17:26:55 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1687    

Where will you rest when you die?


Have you ever thought what your coffin will look like when you pass away?


I spent a whole afternoon starring at the gorgeous sculptures at the MET. Fascinated by the intricacies and drama of each piece, I lost myself in the surroundings of our ancient civilizations.

The collection of Greek and Roman art at the Met holds more than seventeen thousand pieces, ranging from the Neolithic period to the time of the roman emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in A.D. 312.

It is one of the most comprehensive collections in North America.
I want to share with you a little bit of the ancient Roman’s funerary art, Sarcophagi, impressive monuments carved with Greek mythology.

   
Marble Sarcophagus
Roman, about A.D. 220 – 230

Dionysos on a Panther with his attendants the four seasons as winged youths.
Tellus (The Earth) and Oceanus (A River), reclining. Probably found in Rome.

Here is a close-up:

   
Marble sarcophagus with garlands
Roman, Severan period, ca. A.D. 200-225

This one is adorned at the front and sides by garlands of oak leaves, supported by two erotes and four Victories.
Do you see the Medusa heads filling the spaces above the garlands?
At the center of the front there is a blank inscription tablet.
Along the front lid, six erotes hunt wild animals. You can see the details if you click on the picture, which will take you to my flickr account, where the original size is.

   
Marble strigilated sarcophagus
Roman, Late Severan, ca. A.D. 220

The marble on this piece is Proconnesian, imported from northwestern Asia Minor.
The lions heads are very impressive, they look hungry, gggrrrrrr, and furious.
I read on the museum notes that this kind of design is very distinctive, and it’s restricted largely to sarcophagi produced in the city of Rome. I love the effect of the front panels.
This piece was missing its lid.

   
Marble sarcophagus lid with reclining couple
Roman, Severan period, ca. A.D. 220

The couple represents water and earth. The woman is holding a garland and two sheaves of wheat, characteristics of Tellus, goddess of the earth. The man is holding a long reed, and there is some sort of lizard creature next to his left arm.
The wife’s head is unfinished. Apparently this means that her husband died before her, and no one added her portrait after she passed out of existence. Poor woman!
On the other hand, the details on the man’s head are amazing.

   
Marble sarcophagus with flying erotes holding a clipeus portrait
Roman, Severan period, ca. A.D. 190-200

The portrait center-high up, is of a soldier. He is wearing a military cloak. Tellus and Oceanus, the Earth and Ocean, are reclined below him.
There are figures of Eros and Psyche, personifications of the human soul, at each end of the sarcophagus.

   
Marble sarcophagus with the myth of Endymion
Roman, Antonine period, mid-2nd century A.D.

Selene, the moon goddess, who crazily loved Endymion, gave him eternal youth with eternal sleep.
Would you want to be asleep if someone grant you eternal youth? I know, I wouldn’t.

   
The myth says that Selene visited Endymion every night, where he slept. Althought there are many stories to this myth. I read some time ago that Selene and Endymion had fifty daughters called Menae. Fifty! And the guy was asleep, huh?

   
The relief on this piece is shallow in comparison with the other sarcophagus dated early third century, their carving is deeper.

   
Marble sarcophagus with the myth of Selene and Endymion
Roman, Severan period, early 3rd century A.D.

The lovers myth of Selene and Endymion became a popular funerary theme in Roman art.
If you notice on the lid, there is an inscription at the center, dedicated to a woman named Arria, by her daughter Anina Hilaria. The portrait of the deceased is carved to the right of the inscription. She looks very sad! I already asked my husband to have my portrait with a smile. I don’t want visitors looking at my sarcophagus getting all melancholic because of my weepy face.
Notice the carving on this piece, very deep, so beautiful.
There is Selene on the center, visiting her loverrr, Endymion. He is reclining at the right. Very dramatic pose, he holds!
The female figure over him is pouring out the magic potion of immortality.

   
Marble sarcophagus with garlands and the myth of Theseus and Ariadne
Roman, Hadrianic or Early Antonine period, ca. A.D. 130-150

The four seasons of the year are carved on the lid of this piece. Erotes driving taxis,
ok, maybe chariots, pulled by animals. Bears with spring, lions with summer, bulls with fall, and boars with winter.
On the front there are four erotes carrying seasonal garlands.
The garlands are formed by flowers, grapes, pomegranates, laurel and wheat.
If you blow out the picture, you’ll notice the three episodes between the bundles are from the myth of the Greek hero Theseus.

From left to right: “Adriadne giving a thread to Theseus at the entrance to the labyrinth, Theseus slaying the Minotaur, and the sleeping Ariadne abandoned on the island of Naxos, where she will be awakened by the god Dionysos to become his immortal bride.”

   
Limestone Jewish ossuary with lid
Roman, Jewish, 1st-3rd century A.D.

Ossuaries were used for the burial of bones after the departed’s body had disintegrated.
You could notice the chest was decorated with non-figural design.

Photography copyright of Alba H. Rodriguez

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/metropolitan-museum-of-art/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/metropolitan-museum-of-art/#comments Thu, 20 May 2010 19:53:35 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1778    
I recently spent a few days in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.


   
I was camping at the Great Hall when one of the security guards asked me to leave, they had to kick me out of it. Ok, it didn’t happened that way. But it actually took me 3 days to see the entire museum.

   
It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by an immense collection of art.
I finally got the motivation I needed to pick up my brushes, dust my easel and start painting again.

   
There’s something for everyone at The Met, with a collection of more than two million works of art.
Thousands years of world culture, from prehistory to present days and from every part of the globe. You could immerse yourself in whatever interest you.

   
The Met is located in New York City’s Central Park along Fifth Avenue (from 80th to 84th Streets).
It’s very easy to find it. I walked from 59th street, the first day, to get there, just to warm up my calves and take some pictures of Central Park.

   
The visitors desk offers maps, tours, brochures, and assistance in many languages, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.


   
There are also restaurants, a bookshop, gift shops and even bars.
I tried the cafeteria’s food, it was very good and affordable.

   
If you ever have the opportunity to visit New York City, stop by The Metropolitan Museum.
Just make sure to check the museum hours before showing up.

   
Also, wear comfy shoes.

   
Get ready for hours of history.


   
Beauty.
And even good food.

   
Love,
Alba H. Rodriguez

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Baked Spanish Tortilla with Mushrooms and Peppers http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/spanish-tortilla/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/spanish-tortilla/#comments Tue, 11 May 2010 20:53:33 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1748    
This is a little variation to “Tortilla Española”, since Spanish don’t use the oven. They only use a fry pan.
You could play with the veggies, adding all sort of peppers. Sometimes I even use broccoli.

   

   
Here are the ingredients:

   
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
First let’s start by chopping all the vegetables.

   
In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the potatoes, bell pepper, and mushrooms. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

   
Then, in a baking dish arrange the cooked veggies.

   
Make sure to distribute them evenly.

   
Now, in a mixing bowl, add the eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the parsley.

   
Whisk all together.

   
Pour the egg mixture over the veggies.

   
Press down on the veggies making sure they get submerged.
I love the colors!

   
And bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

   
Serve on fresh bread.


   
Buen provecho!

   Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 oz peeled and sliced potatoes
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
3 mushrooms thinly sliced
Salt and ground pepper
4 large eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

   
Preparation
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add potatoes, bell pepper, and mushrooms; season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
-In a baking dish arrange the veggies.
-Now, in a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
-Pour the egg mixture over the veggies, make sure to distribute evenly.
-Press down on the veggies making sure they get submerged.
-Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
-Serve on fresh bread.

Buen provecho!

Alba

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Crazy HOT Salsa http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/crazy-hot-salsa/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/crazy-hot-salsa/#comments Wed, 05 May 2010 20:50:11 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1695    
I love spicy-hot salsas, green, red, orange, brown, yellow…I don’t care what color they are, as long as they are HOT.

   
Since today is Cinco de Mayo and it’s all about eating spicy food. Ok, maybe it’s not.
It’s actually about the Mexican army’s victory over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla, back in 1862. It’s about celebrating with your friends and family.
Cinco de MayoIt’s the perfect excuse to make salsa.

   
Just to clarify it has never been the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day as many people believe.

   
If you are looking to spice up your food try this salsa version. It’s very simple, easy, and absolutely HOT. You could use it with many of the Mexican snacks and dishes made to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Just be aware that it’s crazy HOT.

   
Here are the ingredients:
You also need 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

   
Boil the chiles, I used six red jalapeños, four cloves of garlic and one bell pepper to intensify the color of the salsa. Just a note, I didn’t remove the seeds. If you want to control the heat, then remove the seeds.

   
Once the jalapeños are soft, throw everything in the blender.
My preference is to have chunks of chiles, lots of texture. If you like yours smooth then make sure to blend some more.

   
Next, in a sauce pan, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the salsa and let if boil for a few minutes.

   
Then sprinkle the juice of one lime. We are done.

   
Serve on top of your favorite breakfast.

   
On your favorite tacos.

   
Buen provecho!

   
Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
6 Jalapeños peppers
1 Bell pepper
4 garlic cloves
Salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime

   
Preparation
Boil all the ingredients except the oil.
Once the jalapeños are soft, throw everything in the blender and blend.
Next, in a sauce pan, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the salsa and let if boil for a few minutes. Then sprinkle the juice of one lime.

Enjoy it.

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Eggplant Pasta with Garlic and Rosemary http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/eggplant-pasta-with-garlic-and-rosemary/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/eggplant-pasta-with-garlic-and-rosemary/#comments Tue, 20 Apr 2010 16:08:08 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1660    
The sauce in this recipe is robust in flavor and texture, yet so easy to make.
You could substitute the pasta for chicken. Or even add sausages.
It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare and about 25 minutes of total cooking time.

   
Here are the ingredients needed:
Also, some salt and freshly ground pepper.

   
I almost forget, Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.
Eggplant with Garlic and Rosemary_Pecorino Romano

   
First, let’s start by cooking the pasta in salted boiling water.
Once it’s al dente, drain it, but wait! Save some of the water used to boil it, we are going to use 1 1/2 cup.

   
Halve and dice the eggplant. Also, dice the tomatoes.

   
Remove the leaves from the rosemary stems and finely chop them.
Eggplant with Garlic and Rosemary_RosemaryPause, inhale the aroma, pause, inhale again, continue.

   
In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic cloves. Cook over low heat until softened.

   
Then add the eggplant.
Stir over moderate heat until the eggplant begins to soften and change color.

   
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

   
Add the diced tomatoes.

   
Then the tomato paste and 1 ½ cup of the water used to boil the pasta.
Stir, then sprinkle the chopped rosemary.

   
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes or until the eggplant is completely soft and the sauce is not runny.
Here is an easy way to find out if it’s done. Run a spoon through it and if your get to see the bottom of the pan, the sauce is done.

   
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to mix.

   
Serve immediately, with Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

   
Buen Provecho!
Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
3 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 eggplant large
1 fresh Rosemary sprig
3 large tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
12 oz elbow pasta
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

   
Preparation
First, let’s start by cooking the pasta in salted boiling water. Once is al dente, drain it and save the water used to boil it.
Halve and dice the eggplant. Dice the tomatoes.
Remove the leaves from the rosemary stems and finely chop them.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic cloves. Cook over low heat until softened.
Then add the eggplant. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Stir over moderate heat until the eggplant begins to soften and change color.
Add the diced tomatoes.
Then the tomato paste and 1 ½ cup of the water used to boil the pasta.
Stir, then sprinkle the rosemary.
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes or until the eggplant is completely soft. And the sauce is not runny.
Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to mix.
Serve immediately, with Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.

   
Buen Provecho!

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Beef with lime and Capers http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/beef-with-lime-and-capers/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/beef-with-lime-and-capers/#comments Fri, 16 Apr 2010 20:01:38 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1646    
The capers and lime juice add a sharp contrast to the buttery Italian sauce.
Beef with Lime and Capers_Serve with salad

Today’s ingredients are:

   
In a mixing bowl beat the 2 eggs.

   
Season with salt and pepper.

   
Add the shredded beef and mix well until all the meat is cover with the egg mixture. Drain off any excess.

   
In a pan or baking sheet add a cup the flour and season with freshly ground pepper and salt.

   
Now, coat the beef with the seasoned flour.

   

   

   
Heat the olive oil in a large flat pan. Cook the beef for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides.


   
I love their free form ;-)

   
Drain on paper towels.

   
Using the same flat pan, add 2 slices of onions and the 2 garlic cloves, let them cook for about 2 minutes.

   
We need about 1/4 cup of drained capers.

   
Add the cappers.

   
And the chicken stock.

   
Then the juice of the two limes and remove the pan from the heat.

   
Whisk in the butter.
Season with salt if needed.

   
Transfer the beef to a serving plate and pour in the sauce. I removed the garlic cloves and onions, just my preference, you could leave them in if you like.

   
Serve with a light salad.

Buon appetito!

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
1 LB shredded beef
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt
Pepper
2 eggs
3 tablespoons of olive oil
½ tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup chicken stock
2 limes

   
Preparation
In a mixing bowl beat the 2 eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the shredded beef and mix well until all the meat is cover with the egg mixture. Drain off any excess.
In a pan or baking sheet add a cup the flour and season with freshly ground pepper.
Coat the beef with the seasoned flour.
Heat the olive oil in a large flat pan. Cook the beef for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown on both sides.
Drain on paper towels.
Using the same flat pan, add 2 slices of onions and the 2 garlic cloves, let them cook for about 2 minutes.
Then, add the cappers and the chicken stock. Let the sauce cook for about 5 minutes or until reduced by half.
Add the juice of the two limes and remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the butter.
Season with salt if needed.
Transfer the beef to a serving plate and pour in the sauce.
Serve with a light salad.

   
Buen provecho!

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Spring Blossoms – Sharing some flowers and a poem by Emily Dickinson http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/spring-blossoms/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/spring-blossoms/#comments Wed, 14 Apr 2010 19:05:22 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1626    
“A Light exists in Spring

Not present on the Year

At any other period —
When March is scarcely here

A Color stands abroad

On Solitary Fields

That Science cannot overtake

But Human Nature feels.

It waits upon the Lawn,

It shows the furthest Tree

Upon the furthest Slope you know
It almost speaks to you.

Then as Horizons step

Or Noons report away

Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —

A quality of loss

Affecting our Content

As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.”

   
Love,

Alba H. Rodriguez

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-56G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom Lens

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-56G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom Lens

Capture detail-rich digital photos using this zoom lens that features ED glass elements for lifelike images and a Silent Wave Motor for ultrafast autofocusing. Lens-based vibration reduction reduces distortion from camera shake for improved image clarity.


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Insalata Caprese with a small twist http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/insalata-caprese-with-a-small-twist/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/insalata-caprese-with-a-small-twist/#comments Tue, 30 Mar 2010 21:16:18 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1602    
This is my version of Insalata Caprese. My little twist is substituting mozzarella for queso freso (fresh cheese).
Insalata CapreseI love this salad, it makes me feel healthier after the first bite!

   
Here are the ingredients:

   
Cut the tomatoes, into thin slices. I used four tomatoes this time.
Also, slice the cheese.

   
For the dressing:
In a bowl, add one tablespoon of olive oil.

   
Then, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

   
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

   
Mix well.
How easy is that?

   
Here is the fun part.
Arrange the tomato and cheese slices in slightly overlapping circles on a plate.

   
Drizzle with the dressing.

   
Sprinkle with the basil leaves on top.

   
We are done.

   
Buon appetito!

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
4 large tomatoes
½ Lb fresh queso ranchero
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
½ cup fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper

   
Preparation
Cut the tomatoes into thin slices.
Slice the cheese.
In a bowl, mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Arrange the tomato and cheese slices in slightly overlapping circles on a plate.
Drizzle with the dressing.
Sprinkle the basil leaves on top.

   
Enjoy it!

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Sopes -Mexican Flavours http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/sopes_mexican-flavours/ http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/sopes_mexican-flavours/#comments Fri, 26 Mar 2010 19:11:00 +0000 Alba Olaya http://ingredientsofawoman.com/blog/?p=1550    
Sopes are significantly thicker than tortillas. Regardless of their difference in shape, they can be topped with the same fillings, such as beans, chicken, cheese, avocado, you name it.
For this sope version, I didn’t add lard or vegetable shortening to the masa dough. My Mom always make sopes this way, she always says we need to watch our figure ;-)
Sopes_Mexican FlavoursThe result is a delicious sope, which is rustic on the outside and soft in the inside. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

   
Here are the ingredients for the filling:
Ingredients 1

   
We also need some ground beef, about a pound.

   
Fresh mushrooms, about 6 to 8.

   
One lime.

   
Chopped cilantro, about a half of a cup.

   
In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat.
Add the onions and garlic, let them cook for about 2 minutes.

   
Add the ground beef.

   
Season with salt.

   
And freshly ground pepper.

   
Sprinkle the lime juice. Stir and let it cook.

   
Meanwhile slice the mushrooms.

   
Once the ground beef is cooked, there should not be any running juices.

   
Add the sliced mushrooms and let them cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

   
Time for the tomato sauce. We need about a cup.

   
Add the tomato sauce and stir some more.

   
Let the sauce reduce a little. It should look like this.

   
And finally add the chopped cilantro.

   
Mix well and let it cook for about 2 more minutes.

   
Now lets work on the sopes shells. We are going to use a sope press. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, you could use a tortilla press or even the bottom of a can could help.

   
We need some fresh corn masa.
Use a little bit of warm water to soften the masa. Mix it with a pinch of salt to taste.

   
If the masa is too dry add more water until you are able to form a smooth ball with your hands.
Use a square of plastic to cover the sope press. Place a masa ball on top and gently press with your fingers.
If should look like this:

   
Cover with another square of plastic.

   
Then press gently but now using the sope press.

   
You should get a flat disc about ¼ inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. The result should be a fat little tortilla or what is called a gordita.

   
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Peel off the plastic and lay the gordita (fat tortilla) on the hot skillet.

   
Do the same with the rest until your skillet is full.

   
Let each side cook for about 3 minutes.

   

   
Remove the gorditas from the comal and immediately pinch up a border around each one.

   
It’ll look like a flower. They all look like flowers to me.

   
Also pinch the center.

   
If you haven’t developed the so indispensable calluses on your hands yet, then you might want to use a napkin or a paper towel.

   
They are so pretty!

   
Ok, one last close up.

   
Repeat the process until you finish shaping all the gorditas, making them into sopes.

   
Using the same skillet, now over medium heat, place the sopes back.

   
Add the ground beef on top, and let them cook briefly until the bottom is firm and cooked through. About 2 minutes.

   
Sprinkle the top with some fresh cheese.
Buen provecho!

Alba H. Rodriguez

   
Ingredients
The Filling
1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Lb. ground beef
1 lime (the juice)
6 mushrooms
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 fresh chopped cilantro
1/2 cup Mexican queso fresco
Salt to taste
The Dough
1 Lb. fresh corn masa
Salt to taste

   
Preparation
In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, cook for about 2 minutes.
Then add the ground beef. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Sprinkle the lime juice. Stir and let the beef cook.
Meanwhile slice the mushrooms.
Once the ground beef is cooked add the sliced mushrooms.
Let them cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the tomato sauce and stir some more.
Let the sauce reduce a little and then finally add the chopped cilantro. Stir.

For the sopes shells, use a little bit of warm water to soften the masa. Mix with a pinch of salt to taste. If the masa is too dry add more water until you are able to form a smooth ball with your hands.
Divide the masa into balls.
Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Use a square of plastic to cove the sope press. Put a masa ball on top and cover with another square of plastic, and then press gently. You should get a flat disc about ¼ inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Peel off the plastic and lay the fat tortilla (gordita) on the hot skillet and bake each side for about 3 minutes.
Pinch up a border around each gordita. Also pinch the center. Set aside and repeat with each one.
Using the same skillet now over medium heat, place the sopes back, adding the ground beef on top. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Top each sope with some fresh cheese.

   
Enjoy it!

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