12 sambutas
  • 1 pound fresh masa or 1 3/4 cups masa harina mixed with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup flour (or 1/3 cup if using masa harina)
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Striped Bass Escabeche (recipe above)
  • 1/2 small head romaine or iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • If using masa harina, mix it with the water, cover and let stand for 1/2 hour. Mix the lard, salt, flour and baking powder with the fresh or reconstituted masa, kneading it until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. If necessary, add a little water to correct the consistency of the dough (the dough should be slightly sticky and form a ball when pressed together. To test, flatten a small ball of dough between your palms. If the edges crack, add water to the dough, a tablespoon at a time, until a test piece does not crack). Divide into 12 pieces, place them on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Set a griddle or heavy skillet over mediumlow heat. Place a 7 inch square of heavy plastic (like that used for freezer bags) on the counter and flatten a piece of masa onto it. Pat and press the dough into a 4 inch diameter circle about 1/8 inch thick. With the sambuta still attached to the plastic, flip it over onto one hand, dough side down, then carefully peel off the plastic.

  • Lay the sambuta on the heated griddle and bake, turning over every minute or so, until it is lightly browned and crusty, about 3 or 4 minutes. Cool on a wire rack, then form and bake the remaining 11 sambutas in the same way. Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil to 375 degrees in a large heavy saucepan or deepfat fryer. Fry the sambutas a few at a time for about 1 1/2 minutes, turning over frequently. The 2 sides should have puffed apart by about 3/4 inch. If they don=t puff, you can just split them apart with a knife when serving. Drain on paper towels. When ready to serve, use a small pointed knife to cut an opening in the pocket. Stuff a little of the bass escabeche inside and finish with some of the shredded lettuce.

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