Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pupusas (El Salvadorean Stuffed Tortillas)

A few months ago Jeff convinced me to purchase a bag of masa harina, or tortilla flour. He said we could use it to make homemade corn tortillas. We haven't used it for that yet, but we have made something even better. There is a dish prepared in El Salvador called Pupusas. It consists of corn tortillas with filling, served with a pickled cabbage accompaniment, called curtido. Jeff ate these several times on his Spanish-speaking mission in New York, and we decided to try making them at home. Though they were a bit complicated to make, I loved them! Though we took the easy route for the curtido and just substituted sour kraut.

Tonight we attempted them a second time. Last time we made them, I rolled out the tortilla dough, then put filling on one rolled out disk, topped it with a second disk, and squished the edges together. But as I was food blog hopping today I found one called Little Bits, that had just posted about making pupusas. Her method was much easier. Here is her recipe for pupusas. Her descriptions are a bit more detailed than mine, so if you have trouble figuring out what to do based on what I've written, check out her recipe. Or just check it out because it looks good!And now, here is our recipe that we made tonight:

Ground Turkey and Cheese Pupusas
1/4 lb. ground turkey
1/4-1/2 tsp. each chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper (I just sprinkled each on until it looked about right. This is my standard taco-meat seasoning blend)
1 1/2 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups masa harina (we used Maseca brand)
1 1/4 cups water, or enough to make a soft dough
Sour kraut

Make the filling: Brown ground turkey with seasonings. Allow to cool briefly, then add shredded cheese and mix well.

Make the tortilla dough
: Follow instructions on masa harina package to make 16 tortillas worth of dough. It's basically a "mix masa and water until dough forms" - pretty simple. Divide dough into 8 portions, form each into a ball.

: Press thumb into dough ball and form a deep nest in which to put the filling. Spoon about 1-2 tbsp. filling into each ball, then close up the dough around the filling and turn it into a ball again.

Place one filled ball between two pieces of plastic wrap. Press into a disk using a saucepan. Repeat with remaining balls.Heat large skillet or griddle to medium or medium-high heat. Cook pupusas on ungreased skillet for a few minutes per side. To quote Little Bits, "It's kind of like cooking a pancake, you can see the edges start to firm up then you know it's time to turn it over. The second side cooks faster."To serve, split pupusa down the center. Use a fork to open up the pupusa a bit, and spoon sour kraut into the pupusa. Or you could just spoon the sour kraut on top of the pupusa (like I did for the pictures), but it's more authentic to have it inside. Either way it tastes great!

Each pupusa (with sour kraut) = 155 calories


Michelle said...

Wow, ground turkey and saur kraut. Hmmm, I don't know that my kids would go for it, but it actually looks yummy!

Stephanie said...

I didn't mention in the actual recipe, but Jeff and I lightly rinse off the sour kraut before using it for these. It tones down the flavor.

Melinda said...

I might even use this sans-saur kraut!

LisaRene said...

Very well done! It is funny that we were both cooking pupusas :) I really like working with masa harina, it has such a distinct flavor and texture. I've always purchased "Bob's Red Mill" brand but am going to try the brand you used next time and see how it differs.