Pupusas are a lovely Salvadorian food with two thick tortillas, stuffed with goodies, crimped at the edges to hold it all in. You can put anything you want in there (beans and cheese being a common vegetarian choice) and you’ve got a meal, a snack, or traveling food.
I won’t purport to have an authentic version but, so far, I’m doing pretty decently with the tortillas and am still working on fabulous fillings (cheese is easy but not on my diet). Since I can’t have most breads either, these have been like a sandwich substitute for me. I have to go easy because of the carbs, but they make wonderful treats.
You can make pupusas out of any type of masa, even masa harina (flour). But they are truly wonderful with fresh, unpowdered, masa (ground corn soaked in lime–that’s calcium carbonate, not citrus). I’ve been using Primavera’s organic masa. Just don’t try to make pupusas from pre-cooked tortillas. It won’t work.
Start with your fillings. For this recipe, I finely chopped some onions and sauteed them to remove water and add some carmelization. Then I sauteed some mushrooms, added salt to pull out water, and cooked them down.
Next, I processed some leftover fresh tomato and basil leaves and added it to the mushrooms. Then I mixed everything together in a large bowl.
I also sliced up some bell peppers and sauteed them in oil with some salt and a large amount of hot pepper flakes.
I rolled the masa into balls and pressed them one at a time in-between dinner plates that were inside gallon zipper bags (see my post about making tortillas for technique details). The tortillas went down on a dry cast iron griddle in a single layer. Then I put a spoonful of canned beans (not my first choice but no time to make anything else), some of the peppers, and a bit of the onion/mushroom mix. Another tortilla went on top of each one, and I crimped the edges by hand, with a butter knife, or with a fork.
Wait until the pupusas have cooked enough to release easily, then flip them. Press down to make sure the top touches the griddle as much as possible. You won’t get it all but you do want to avoid raw spots.
After they cooled, I wrapped each one in foil and placed into a zipper bag then into the freezer. I’ll let you all know how well they freeze and reheat. So far I have heated a refrigerated foil-wrapped pupusa in the toaster oven and it came out great.
Some of my favorite fillings for quickie pupusas have been leftovers. Use your imagination.