Starters, Snacks, Light Meals

Crispy Masa Boats with Pork Picadillo and Salsa | Print |
(5 votes, average 3.40 out of 5)


 These are the classic little sopes from Central and West-Central Mexico—with a twist: They’re baked rather than fried.  And if you take care when forming the little boats, they’ll be one of the prettiest, tastiest pass-around appetizers you can make. 

Serves 10 as a pass-around appetizer or little snack

  • 1 cup masa harina (corn “flour”) mixed with ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup finely grated Mexican queso añejo, Parmesan or Romano
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 pound coarsely ground pork
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 bottle (16 ounces) Frontera Red Pepper & Garlic Salsa
  • ½ cup EACH: chopped green olives, dark raisins
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup EACH: grated Mexican queso anejo or Romano, chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the reconstituted masa harina with the oil, baking powder, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, ½ cup of the cheese, and the egg yolks.  The mixture should be the consistency of a medium-soft cookie dough.  Divide into 20 balls, flatten each one to a 2-inch disc, then pinch up a ¼-inch-high border all around. Arrange the masa boats on a lightly greased baking sheet, then bake until lightly browned and crispy, 17 to 20 minutes. 
  2. While the sopes are baking, in a large skillet set over medium heat, combine the pork and onion.  Cook, stirring regularly and scraping up any sticking bits, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the salsa, raisins, olives and brown sugar and continue to cook until the mixture is very thick.  Taste and season with salt (about ¾ teaspoon).  Cool completely. 
  3. Spoon a portion of the pork mixture into each of the sopes, then top with a small spoon of salsa and a sprinkling of cheese and cilantro.