Happy Monday! Hope everyone out there is doing wonderfully! It is once again time for Meatless Monday. Today’s recipe is very interesting. I was chatting with my friend Keren and she is originally from El Salvador. She was telling me about one of her favorite foods called Pupusa. They are little pockets of a Masa Harina based dough stuffed with all kinds of fillings. She so wanted me to try one and recommended an El Salvadorian restaurant. I thought it would be much more fun to try to create them! So that is our recipe experience today. Trust me they are very simple once you get the hang of it! I will try to share my experiences along with the directions! In the end these little delights are wonderful and have so many possibilities your head will spin! Hope you enjoy and hope you give them a try!
If you would like to read about the history of this little yummy treat…just click here
and if you would like to see a video of them being made just click here
There are so many variations out there…don’t get confused…focus on one or two fillings of your choice and then your basic Masa Dough and you will have fun! The trimmings are also a great part of this treat. They might sound a little different but trust me…they are the perfect accoutrement. The most important topping is a pickled cabbage slaw it is is YUMMY!!!!
Some fresh salsa is another addition that adds flavor and pizzaz to this dish…
not everyone uses sour cream…but all I can say is it is the perfect icing on this savory delight!
So are you ready to give them a try! I hope so! Let’s start with the dough and it is all about the
This is a corn based flour and it is used to make tortillas, tamales, pupusa’s and so much more. It is very popular in Latin American cooking. It is widely available in grocery stores now…Red Mill carries a full line of flours in case you can’t find it near you Amazon carries them all!
Now here is where I have to share my personal experience. All the recipes out there say 2 cups of Masa to 1 cup of water…I did not find that at all. I had to add just about double that amount of water. Moisture of the dough is very very important to this dish. It prevents them from breaking and falling apart. Not only that…without the proper amount of moisture the dough is tough and chewy so please play with the amount of water… I am sharing my recipe and what I found to work…you can also look at the many out there!
2 cups of Masa Harina
2 cups of Warm water
1 full teaspoon of salt
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
In a bowl place your Masa, salt (none of the recipes call of salt but please…trust me…you need it!) and now add a full cup of warm water, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix with your hands…then gradually add the amount of water needed…you want to obtain a very pliable soft play dough consistency in the end. When you get to the proper consistency…cover with a tea cloth and let it stand on the counter and rest for about 1/2 an hour.
Time to make your filling! This is the fun part because you can do anything you would like! I made a vegetable/bean/rice filling for ours. This is where you let your imagination soar because there is just no wrong way. You can use up things that you have and create a delicacy. All I did was saute some
garlic, scallions, thinly sliced red peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and corn until nicely cooked…then add some smashed beans of your choice and combine…now add some cooked rice and combine all the ingredients and your stuffing is ready! You can just use refried beans and cheese…saffron rice and cheese…sauteed veggies and cheese…and so on and so on! It is one of those recipes where you just can’t do it wrong! Of course mine consisted of veggies and such but your window is wide open!
Now you will need some cheese of your choice. Queso Fresco is fabulous…a sharp sharp cheddar is delicious and if you are fortunate enough to snatch some cheeses from the El Salvadorain blend…I am sure it will be delightful!
Time to make the simple Slaw!
All you need is some cabbage (I love Savoy) but any cabbage is perfect…even a blend of green and red is fabulous, sugar, salt and apple cider vinegar.
Simply combine 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar…1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 tsp of salt in a little sauce pan and bring to a boil and then pour it on 2-3 cups of finely shredded cabbage (about 1/2 of a small head) please remove the big heavy leaves before shredding. I found placing the mixture in a covered container is best…that way you can shake it once and awhile to spread the marinade around. You can make this days in advance…The more it sits the tastier it is!
Fresh Salsa Time!
Don’t need much…just a beautiful tomato of your choice…some sliced scallion greens and whites…maybe a nice tomatillo, a clove of crushed garlic, some cilantro, chopped jalapenos, …a touch of salt and pepper a squeeze of some lime juice and in 5 minutes you have a perfect salsa! Once again you can’t go wrong! Use what you have or yes…even open a jar! Have fun creating!
Now it is time to make the Pupusa’s!
Take your dough and roll it out into a log that is about 10 inches long. Cut it in 8 equal parts. Roll each one into a ball (coat your hands with olive oil…this will make the process easier and it helps to avoid cracks…place you thumb in the center and then form a pinch pot shape…you know the kind your kids make in school! Now you have the pocket opening…place a tablespoon of your filling and grated cheese of your choice in it and then cinch it shut…now flatten it and it is ready!place in a well heated cast iron pan.
You can also use the method of flattening the circle…placing the stuffing and grated cheese in the center and then cinching it shut and then flattening. Do what works for you! You will be a pro for the second time around and the great thing is even if they don’t look perfect they taste delicious!
Place your Pupusa’s on a well heated slightly oiled cast iron skillet…allow to cook 2-3 minutes on each side…they should have a scattering of lightly browned markings.
Time to dress it up!
Place your Pupusa on a pretty plate…top with your favorite salsa…then a good heaping scoop of the pickled cabbage slaw…a dollop of delicious sour cream and now I also add some yummy HOT sauce or freshly chopped hot chillies and it is time to Eat!
I sure hope you enjoyed this little novella on the Pupusa! I don’t usually like to have so many words for you but this is a recipe that was brand new to me…I have never even worked with Masa Harina before. I found it to be fun and very rewarding! Another big PLUS is if you have a large family this is a dish that goes far for a very small amount of money! The choices of filling are limitless and allow you to use up odds and ends in the fridge…they are instantly transformed to a yummy delight! Experiment…have fun and enjoy creating!!!!