Pupusa with pinto beans & spinach


I had a rough week, and for some reason I found it comforting to watch videos of old women making pupusa on youTube. It’s one of those foods, like stuffed grape leaves, and many others, that you like to think about a group of women making together. The process is all made with hands, it’s repetitive and circular and almost hypnotizing. And I have a new fascination with stuffed flatbreads, which goes so nicely with my fascination with savory pastries! I’m also starting quite an impressive flour collection. I’ve got toasted barley flour, rice flour, semolina flour, chickpea flour, tapioca flour, buckwheat flour, wheat flour, and now masa harina. I’ve been intrigued by this for a while, and now I’m a big fan!

Back to pupusa – it’s a Salvadoran dish made with masa harina, and it’s stuffed with cheese or meat or refried beans. It’s cooked on a hot, ungreased griddle. I’m sure the version I made is not like the real deal, but it was so tasty! David said it’s like a combination of tacos and mashed potatoes – it’s got a very comforting quality, the taste and texture as well as the process of forming and cooking. You make it by taking a handful of dough, and turning and pressing, turning and pressing, trying to keep the edges neat. I love the idea that the pupusa will be the shape and size of the palms of the maker. You can fill it with anything you like. I chose pinto beans, spinach, and sharp cheddar. Just substantial enough not to be mushy, just soft enough to provide a comforting contrast to the crispy outside. This is one of my favorite things I’ve made in a while – to make and to eat.

It’s also gluten free, as far as I know! And it would be vegan if you left the cheese out.

Here’s Espiritu Libre with A Mi Me Gustan Las Pupusas.
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