MINI NAVAJO TACOS - Indian Fry Bread or Sopaipillas

Photo taken by John Pozniak

One of my favorite things to eat here in the Southwest is Indian Fry Bread. Here in Arizona we call it fry bread, in New Mexico it's called "sopaipilla", but by any name it's fried bread! It's sort of a native or Hispanic version of the famous beignets you'll find at the Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans, though I suspect the fry bread was around long before the beignet!

When I was in New Mexico most of the restaurants served it in the bread basket with a bottle of honey. I quickly became addicted. There is a cousin to these breads called a "funnel cake" which you'll find at most county fairs - though that is a slightly different batter which soaks up considerably more grease.

Here is Arizona, Fry Bread is often served up with beans, cheese, chilies and other goodies and called a "Navajo Taco". I found that these make a wonderful appetizer if you just make the fry bread smaller, more the size of a traditional beignet! Just chop up all the toppings ahead of time and fry the bread while your guests are sipping their first martinis!

(from one of my Navajo friends from my art show days!)
3 cups flour
I tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups warm water
Lard or other shortening
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl. Add milk, mixing thoroughly. Add the warm water a little at a time. Knead dough until it's not too sticky then cover the bowl and let it sit for about fifteen minutes.
Pull off two inch size balls of dough and pat by hand into rounds about 1/4-inch thick. (To make appetizer size fry bread just pull off about 1" balls of the dough, pat flat in your hand to about 1/4".) Punch hole in center of each round to allow air into the dough so it will puff up. Fry in hot lard (yes, lard is traditional) or other shortening until the dough begins to form bubbles. Turn over and fry on other side until golden.

For The Traditional Dessert - just drizzle with honey and/or powdered sugar. Want to get really sinful? Melt some dark chocolate and drizzle that on top! Add fresh strawberries and then the melted chocolate! Go hog wild and have some fun by adding some cream cheese!

For Mini Navajo Tacos - simply pile on some of your favorite following ingredients or place all these ingredients out separately in bowls and let your guests pick and choose! Navajo Taco Topping Suggestions:

Cooked beans - Anasazi Beans are traditional but try black beans or pintos
Cooked and shredded or ground beef, pork or chicken (spiced to your tastes)
Shredded Cheeses
Diced Green chilies, Jalapenos or chipotles (smoked peppers)
Diced Tomatoes
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Onions
Chopped Lettuce
Pico de Gallo or Salsa


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  2. Hi Pop Art Diva,

    My name is Shannon and I'm the editorial assistant at Foodbuzz.com. Following up on a recent email invitation to be a part of our newly launched Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I just want to reiterate that the Foodbuzz team loves reading your posts and would be very excited to have you become a part of our blogging community. I would love to send you more details about the program, so if you are interested, please email me at Shannon@foodbuzz.com.

    Those sound delicious.


    Shannon Eliot
    Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com


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