Total: 1 hora
Preparation: 30 minutos
Among the Salvadoran recipes that I most enjoy is the pupusa, a stuffed tortilla. I share my preference with most everyone in El Salvador, since Salvadorans are huge fans of these delicious tortillas that are filled, traditionally, with cheese, chicharrón (pork rind) or a refried beans mix.
As you must already know, Salvadoran tortillas differ from tortillas of other countries in both their thickness and size. Here the tortillas are small, about four inches in diameter and one half inch thick. I remember when, some years ago, all pupusas were cooked in clay griddles over open fire. The smell was unforgettable; I still associate my childhood trips to San Salvador with the aromas of freshly made pupusas and the crackling of the fire and firewood.
The infallible jar of curtido (Salvadoran cabbage relish) is always on the table. Pupusa is also served with sauce-tomato sauce, of course-and nothing else, since it’s a finger food eaten with your hands. The pupusa is a complete meal in and of itself, and it’s not exclusive to breakfast time, but instead is served for any meal of the day.
The pupusa is tasty, filling, makes you feel like you’re at home, and above all, it’s one of those dishes you can take with you if you don’t want to make them yourself, since they are sold frozen in the supermarket and also in the airport.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 12 zucchini flowers (blossoms)
- 1 zucchini, finely shredded
- Salt and pepper
- 2 1/2 cups coarsely shredded cheese (such as mozzarella cheese)
- 4 cups corn flour, for tortillas
- Lukewarm water (quantity as indicated on package)
- Curtido (cabbage relish or slaw)
Thoroughly wash the zucchini flowers and drain. Remove the stems and coarsely chop blossoms.
In a frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the onion until it’s bland. Add the flowers and shredded zucchini, stirring until bland and well cooked. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer the pupusa filling to a bowl and let cool. Incorporate the cheese and mix thoroughly until well incorporated. If you see that it needs additional cheese, add more, to your liking.
Meanwhile, prepare the tortilla dough following the package directions. Once the dough has set start forming the thick tortillas, portioning out about 2/3 cup of the dough per tortilla.
Create a hollow space in the tortillas to contain the filling. Put 1/3 cup of filling in each tortilla.
Carefully close each tortilla, being careful not to leave any holes in the dough.
Cook the pupusas in a non-stick, hot griddle or pan.
As the pupusas come off the griddle or frying pan, cover them with a paper napkin or wrap in aluminum foil to keep hot.
Serve with curtido.
- Having trouble getting zucchini flowers? Replace with coarsely shredded vegetables and sauté with cheese.
- Fill the pupusas with soft cheeses that melt when heated or when mixed with refried beans. They will turn out divine.
- If you like to experiment, fill the tortillas with shrimp or any other kind of seafood. You’ll see how rica they are.