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Mexican sopes perfect for Cinco de Mayo

Mexican Sopes (Layered Open Tortilla Sandwiches) (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

On a trip to Mexico City, I tasted these melt-in-your-mouth sopes. They're little corn tortillas filled with a spicy black bean spread, roasted chicken, lettuce and cheese. It's a perfect dish for Cinco de Mayo. The holiday on May 5 celebrates the victory of Mexican forces over the French occupation forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It's a great dish to serve anytime you'd like a Mexican dish.

Although sopes are usually served as appetizers, I've adapted this recipe to make a simple, tasty dinner.

Helpful Hints:

• Any type of salsa can be used. Choose the heat of the salsa according to your preference.

• If all 4 tortillas don't fit into your skillet, cook them in batches or use two skillets.

• Any type of hard cheese such as cheddar can be used.

• Black bean dip or pate can be found in most markets. Canned reduced-fat refried beans can be used instead.

Countdown:

• Prepare all ingredients.

• Make sopes.

Shopping List:

To buy: 1 jar/can black bean dip, four 6-inch corn tortillas, 1 bag washed ready-to-eat shredded lettuce, 1 small package reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese, ½-pound roasted or rotisserie chicken breast and 1 small can or jar medium-heat tomato salsa.

Staples: canola oil, red onion.

MEXICAN SOPES (LAYERED OPEN TORTILLA SANDWICHES)

3/4-pound roasted or rotisserie chicken breast, skin and bones removed

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/2 cup diced red onion

4 6-inch corn tortillas

1/2 cup canned or jarred black bean dip

1 cup washed, ready-to-eat, shredded lettuce

1/4 cup shredded, reduced-fat Monterey jack cheese

1 cup canned or jarred medium-heat tomato salsa

Cut chicken into slices and set aside. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the diced onions and saute until they start to shrivel, about 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add the tortillas. Warm for half a minute. Turn them over and spread with the black bean mixture. Sprinkle each one with the sautéed onion, a layer of lettuce, a layer of cheese and a layer of chicken. Remove to dinner plates. Spoon salsa on top or serve on the side.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 547 calories (22 percent from fat), 13.4 g fat (3.2 g saturated, 5.1 g monounsaturated), 135 mg cholesterol, 51.4 g protein, 52.3 g carbohydrates, 9.8 g fiber, 1,004 mg sodium.