the appetizer:

Travel to New Mexico with the Santa Fe School of Cooking: Flavors of the Southwest by Susan Curtis and Nicole Curtis Ammerman, with recipes like Sopaipillas; Nopales & Golden Beet Salad; and Lamb Adovada with Chipotle Chile Sauce & Caramelized Corn.



Noe's Outrageous Sopaipillas

including Technique for Making Sopaipillas

Yields about 10 to 12 Sopaipillas

Noe's Outrageous Sopaipillas


Noe Cano, long-time kitchen manager and sous chef at the school developed this version of sopaipillas, which are standard fare in most traditional New Mexico restaurants. These are so light and fluffy they just melt in your mouth. The buttermilk causes the sopaipillas to puff up, but the vanilla paste adds a wonderful flavor. You really don't need the honey and butter that are typically served with sopaipillas.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • Canola oil for frying

1. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the shortening until a coarse meal is formed. Stir in the buttermilk and vanilla paste with a fork until the mixture comes together into a moist dough. Form into a ball, knead several times, and cover; let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

2. Heat the oil in a deep pot to 375° F. Roll out half the dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut into squares or triangles. Drop the pieces of dough, one by one, into the hot oil and fry until golden, about 30 to 40 seconds, rolling them over to brown on both sides. Roll and cut remaining dough and fry. Drain on paper towels and serve warm with honey or honey butter, if desired. See Technique of Making Sopaipillas below.

For a richer flavor and more interesting texture, you can substitute 1/4 cup panocha flour for the white flour (panocha is a coarsely ground whole wheat flour).


Technique of Making Sopaipillas

Making Sopaipillas #1

1. Roll the sopaipilla dough into a large rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.


Making Sopaipillas #2

2. Cut the rolled dough into large squares.


Making Sopaipillas #3

3. Add a few of the dough squares to the heated oil and spoon the hot oil over the dough to help it puff.


Making Sopaipillas #4

4. Fry the squares until puffed and golden on both sides and repeat with any remaining squares.

  • from:
    Santa Fe School of Cooking: Flavors of the Southwest
  • by Susan Curtis and Nicole Curtis Ammerman
  • Gibbs Smith, 2008
  • $24.99, Paperback
  • ISBN-10: 1423604709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423604709
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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