Appetizer, Entrée

Mexican Sopes with Duck Picadillos and Pecan Crema

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Chef: Chef Brian Streeter

Mexican Sopes with Duck Picadillos and Pecan Crema


  • 4 c. vegetable or chicken broth
  • 6 oz. butternut squash
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 T. butter
  • 1 c. Carneroli or Arborio rice
  • ¼ c. white wine
  • ¼ c. Parmesano-Reggiano, grated
  • Salt
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2 large carrots, minced
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 12 oz. ground duck
  • 4 oz. fat back, ground
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 c. plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 c. golden raisins
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ c. pecans, toasted
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 2 T. crème fraiche or sour cream
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt
  • 2 c. masa harina
  • 1 ½ c. water
  • 1 ½ quarts vegetable oil
  • ¼ head cabbage, grated
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • ½ white onion, minced
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • salt
  • 2 c. refried beans, warmed
  • 2 oz. cotija or queso seco cheese, crumbled


To make the duck picadillos, place a wide-bottom skillet over high heat. When pan is hot, add the oil to the pan, then the onion and carrot to the pan and sauté until soft. Add the duck and fat back and continue cooking while stirring until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute to soften. Stir in tomato, chipotle, raisins, spices, and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to low, partially cover and cook for 25 minutes until the duck is tender and the mixture begins to thicken. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate until cool.

To make the sauce, place pecans in a blender jar along with the milk and puree until smooth. Add the crème fraiche, cinnamon, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Pulse to combine. Adjust sauce with more milk if necessary. Sauce should be thin enough to spoon over the chiles and lightly coat them.

To make the sopes, place the masa harina in a stainless-steel bowl and mix in the warm water with your hands to form a soft dough. Knead together until smooth. Roll into 1 ½ oz. balls. Flatten each ball and form into a 3-inch disk with a half-inch rim to form a cup. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough. Heat the oil in a medium size pot to 375ºF. Fry the sopes in batches until golden brown and crispy. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and season with salt. Keep warm while preparing the rest of the recipe.

In a medium-size bowl combine the cabbage, carrots, onion, and vinegar. Season with salt and to marinate for 15 minutes before serving.

To serve, spoon the refried beans in the bottom of the sopes, top with a spoonful of the duck picadillos, a spoonful of the pecan crema and garnish with the pickled cabbage and crumbled cotija cheese.

Enjoy with a glass of Cakebread Cellars Apple Barn Vineyard Pinot Noir.