Thursday, May 27, 2010
When I was a kid, I loved to go get the mail, in hopes that there was something there for me...a letter, a magazine, a package. The possibilities were endless! But in becoming an adult, one quickly realizes that going to get the mail is not so much fun...it's always the same--bills, junk mail, and solicitations.
Unless....your husband's cousin's wife is kind enough to send you a new cookbook....out of the blue....filled with wonderful, farm-fresh recipes....from New Mexico of all places!
If you've been hanging out here for much time, then you know that our family drove across the country and back last summer. One of my very favorite places of the 26 states we visited was Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is famous for its gorgeous, historic adobe architecture, a renowned farmers' market, and amazing restaurants.
After a very long day of travel, we stopped in for dinner at Maria's, a restaurant favored by the locals. Just after we ordered our food, a basket of hot, crispy and delicious sopaipillas was delivered to our table with a bottle of honey. The kids were incredulous that they served dessert first (and we were thrilled with the strong margaritas.....and the peace that these deep-fried pillows brought to our table).
I will forever be grateful to Maria's for our delectable supper, the amazing sopapaillas, and lively atmosphere that recharged our spirits and got us through another day on the road.
This recipe, while not as fluffy as theirs (I think I rolled the dough too thin), was delicious. I mean, how bad can fried dough really be anyway?
adapted from Artisan Farming
Sopaipillas are New Mexican deep-fried pillows of pastry that you fill with jam or honey. You can also stuff savory fillings inside, like refried beans, stew meat or cheese. Make sure the oil is hot enough. You can drop a small bit of dough in the oil to test it. It should bubble up and begin to brown immediately, but the oil should not be smoking. If you have a thermometer, the ideal frying temperature is between 350 and 375 degrees F.
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minute rest time
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: about 1 dozen
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup warm water
vegetable oil for frying
honey, powdered sugar and/or jam
1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk until blended. Stir in the oil, cream and water and mix until shaggy.
2. Turn out onto a board and knead until a soft dough forms. Knead for a couple minutes more. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
3. Roll dough out into a rectangle about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch squares using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.
4. Fill a medium saucepan with 3 inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until a small piece of dough, dropped in the oil, sizzles and becomes golden brown (about 350 F). Carefully drop squares of dough, a couple at a time, into the hot oil. Fry on the first side for a minute or so, until golden brown, flip and fry for a minute or two more. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.
5. Dust sopaipillas with powdered sugar if desired (we didn't ) and fill with honey or jam. Eat immediately.