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 occupational forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862.

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, 4 6-inch corn tortillas, 1 bag washed ready-to-eat shredded lettuce, 1 small package reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2-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)

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

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 sauteed 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.

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