Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pupusas - A Taste of El Salvador


Over Easter weekend my family had the privileged of learning to make Pupusas from an El Salvadorian friend. We had a great time learning the art making Pupusas and enjoyed eating them afterward. They are absolutely delicious hot off the griddle. This recipe involves a lot of dumping, pinching, and dalloping and not a lot of measuring. So I estimated approximate amounts, but you may need to make alterations for taste and texture. Use the pictures to help reach the needed texture of the corn flour dough and the amounts of each ingredient in the slaw topping.

Ingredients/ Tools:
electric griddle
spatula
small bowl of water
small bowl of olive oil

shell:
about 2.5 pounds Masa (corn flour)
about 1 cup of water
1/2 cup tomato juice (from blending whole tomatoes)
1 T tomato soup bouillon

filling: (You could use chicken, beef, or omit meat if desired.)
3 pounds of meat
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
salt to taste

shredded white cheese

slaw topping:
dried chiles (amount depends on your spice tolerance)
1/2 cabbage head, raw, shredded
1-2 beets, cooked, chopped
2 carrots, raw, chopped
1 onion, raw, chopped
1/2 cup juice of jalepenos in oil
1 tsp oregano
2 T white vinegar
2 T olive oil

tomato topping:
4 tomatoes blended together in a blender

Directions:
Filling:
1.  Prepare filling ahead of time. This can be prepared the day before and left in the refrigerator to meld flavors.
2.  Slow cook meat for about 1 hour with a small amount of water, garlic cloves, and salt.
3.  Once meat is cooked through and tender, Blend the following ingredients in a blender: tomato, onion, bell pepper. Drain meat and fry just a bit to help dry it out. Blend up meat with the pureed mixture. When the meat filling is ready, it should look something like the picture below.


slaw:
1. Prepare ahead of time and store in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
2. Fry dried red chiles in a small amount of olive oil (save oil), Then chop chiles.
3. In a large bowl, mix together all slaw ingredients and oil from chiles. Add more vinegar or oil if more liquid is needed. Add more chopped veggies if more are needed. The slaw should look something like the picture below.

shell:
Mix Masa, water. tomato juice and bouillon together with hands in a large bowl. Add more water or masa to reach the texture pictured below.


To fry pupusas:
1.  Preheat electric griddles to 375 degrees and coat lightly with olive oil.

2.  Roll a ball (2 inch diameter) of the masa mixture in your hand, then form a cup. Like pictured below.



3.  Put a small handful of the meat mixture and then a layer of shredded cheese. Close up the pupusa and flatten with your hands. Like pictured below. You may need to dab your fingers in a small bowl of water and/or olive oil as the dough gets sticky.





4.  Fry on the griddle till warm and golden brown. Add more olive oil as needed.

5.  Serve with slaw topping and drizzle of tomato topping.


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