Catherine Downes

Restaurants

Eat This Now: Surf & Turf Sope at Jalisco Norte

A perfect example of how beautifully native ingredients and Mexican tradition come together on a plate.

This eye-catching dish, from chef José Meza, uses a spongy corn masa sope as a backdrop for a vibrant blend of bean purée, tomatillo sauce, baby octopus, pressed pork, avocado purée, and radishes. “My family and I drove up from Mexico when we moved to Dallas, making stops along the way,” Meza says. “One of our stops was a little spot in Villahermosa, Tabasco, that had a very similar dish. As soon as I tasted it, I knew I needed to put something similar on the menu. The best octopus in Mexico comes from that region, and we use a very traditional preparation method for the pork. It’s a perfect example of how beautifully native ingredients and Mexican tradition come together on a plate.”

Sope
Meza forms corn masa into the same shape as a tortilla—only thicker and with a lip to hold in the fillings.

Bean Purée
Pinto beans are cooked with onion, garlic, epazote, cloves, and black peppercorns.

Tomatillo Sauce
Meza makes the tangy, spicy sauce using raw tomatillos, onion, garlic, serrano chiles, and cilantro.

Baby Octopus
A pot of water seasoned with bay leaves, onion, carrots, tomatoes, and celery is brought to a boil. After dipping the octopus in and out of the water five times, Meza lets it cook for 30 minutes. The burner is then turned off and the meat sits for another 15 minutes with no heat. The octopus is removed and is cooled to room temperature.

Guajillo Paste
Dry guajillo peppers are blanched with the seeds and stems removed and then blended with garlic and onion.

Avocado Purée
Raw avocado is blended with serrano chiles, onion, lime juice, and cilantro.

Pressed Pork
Pork, onions, and garlic are cooked in a skillet over medium heat then seasoned with guajillo adobo.

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