Saturday, December 28, 2013

Kitchen Experiment: Pupusas

I miss cooking.

One thing that I am resolving to do in 2014 is cook more for myself (again, as I had done that in the past and got away from it).  I definitely need to eat healthier, and cooking for oneself can help with that.

However, I also want to learn how to make some authentic Latino/Hispanic recipes for myself, as I feel that just appreciating what those cook for me is a bit...selfish, I suppose?  What kind of teacher would I be if I didn't learn how to do some things on my own (and then pass on that knowledge to others).

I had first learned of Pupusas on a visit to Smoke BBQ Taqueria.  Nelda, one of the owners, brought up making Pupusas with one of the waitresses, then asked if I knew what they were. 

Um, no.

Basically, they are like corn tortilla dough, stuffed.  Stuffed with what - that's up to you.  A few weeks later, I found a recipe on Pinterest, pinned it...and like so many other pins, it was forgotten about.

Until now.

I knew that I had leftover masa harina from something I made awhile ago (and honestly, I couldn't tell you what that was at this point!).  Salt, water...always on hand.  When I went grocery shopping, I picked up 2 kinds of Hispanic cheeses - queso fresco and chihuahua.  I figured keeping it simple on the first attempt was smart.

I crumbled the cheeses together, and figuring that they would be pretty bland (the original recipe called for pepper jack cheese), I added some tabasco sauce.

Queso fresco, chihuahua cheese, tabasco sauce
  I then made the dough.  I did have to add more water than the recipe called for, but I finally got a decent consistency.  

Dough.  Easy to make - 3 ingredients!
Now, the hard part.  Assembly.  I figured that it would take some time to develop a technique, as it does with pierogies.  Making the right size indentation and adding the right amount of filling took some practice, but I started to get the hang of it.  I probably should have flattened them a little more consistently (as some parts of most of them were much darker in some places than others), but I'll remember that for next time.

Pupusas on a griddle

This one probably turned out the best...
Bottom line - these weren't that difficult to make, and they're delicious.

I ate some with some salsa, and they were a great lunch.  AND I have leftovers for tomorrow (and probably the next day, too).  

Pupusa & salsa

Mmm,  cheesy!
Would I make these again?  Absolutely, and I can't wait to try other fillings!

But first - please get on my case until I try the tortilla and empanada recipes that I have been putting off FOREVER!  Peer pressure, come on!

For the pupusa recipe, click here.