Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pupusas with Curtido

I made coleslaw this week, and the leftover coleslaw and my leftover homemade black beans were the perfect excuse to make pupusas. I've posted a photo of pupusas in the past already, but this time I wanted to share my tips and a recipe I like better. Also I wanted to clarify for those of you who may not know that pupusas are a dish from El Salvador. I became familiar with them upon visiting the Adams Morgan area of Washington, DC, where there are several great pupuserias.

There are many recipes on the web, even videos on You Tube of the pupusa making process. But this recipe most closely resembles the process I use in making them. I will warn you though that the recipe will make a LOT of pupusas. So I make a half batch, and usually still get about ten of approximately 4 inch diameter. The corn masa that you need for this recipe is very important. I prefer Maseca Masa Harina, and I can find it at my local chain grocery stores as well as at Mexican specialty stores. Don't add all of the water at once when mixing the dough. Add the water little by little until the dough becomes the consistency as described in the recipe. As far as forming the pupusas, I don't pat out the dough with my hands. I have a tortilla press that I line with waxed paper, so it makes the process faster. Plus I like that it makes my dough quite thin. As far as the filling, you don't have to use the type of cheese that the recipe suggests, nor that quantity. I fill mine mainly with refried black beans, adding a dash of chopped cilantro and just a light sprinkle of shredded cheese. And you will notice that my pupusas are not nearly as yellow as most. That's because I don't fry them in oil. My cast iron skillet doesn't require much greasing, and I find that I still like them a lot without the extra added grease.

I have topped them with a mayonnaise-free coleslaw which is quite similar to curtido, a topping I find at the DC pupuserias. Sometimes they will also serve them with a mildly spicy tomato sauce.
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