Crispy Potato Sopes (Masa Boats) with Salsa, Goat Cheese and Herb Salad
- 2 russet potatoes, about 8 oz. total,
peeled and cut into large pieces
- Salt, to taste, plus 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup fresh smooth-ground corn masa for
tortillas, or 1 cup powdered masa harina
mixed with 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, plus more as
- 3/4 cup fresh salsa, such as red chili-tomatillo
- 2 generous cups loosely packed torn herb
leaves, such as watercress, arugula, mizuna
- About 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (chèvre),
ricotta salata or Mexican queso añejo
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Divide the dough into 18 pieces, roll into balls and transfer to a plate. Cover with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
One at a time, shape the balls into disks about 1/4 inch thick and 2 1/2 inches wide. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch up the edge of the dough to create an upstanding border, about 1/2 inch high, all the way around the disk, forming the sope ("little boat"). Transfer the sope, flat side down, to the heated griddle and cook just to set the bottom, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, continue shaping and then cooking the remaining portions of dough. As you remove each one from the griddle, prick the bottom without penetrating the sope and transfer to a plate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Preheat an oven to 175°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set in the oven. Stir the balsamic vinegar into the salsa and set out the herbs and goat cheese.
In a deep-fry pan or heavy fry pan over medium heat, pour in oil to a depth of 1/2 inch and heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. (If you don't have a thermometer, dip the side of a sope into the oil—if it sizzles vigorously, the oil is ready.) Fry the sopes a few at a time until they are a rich golden brown, about 1 minute. Drain them upside down on the paper towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.
When all the sopes are done, arrange them on a serving platter. Spoon about 1/2 Tbs. of the salsa into each one, top with a tuft of the herbs and sprinkle generously with the cheese. Serve immediately.