Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Curtido and Pupusas

In one of those crazy attempts to use some cabbage in the fridge I found a cole slaw recipe that then led me to a tortilla making recipe... and it all turned out delicious. Now I'm tempted to learn to make better tortillas - they are very simple. These dishes are El Salvadoran and apparently very traditional.

Curtido (El Salvador cabbage salad)

1/2 head green cabbage, cored & shredded
1 carrot, grated
1 qt. water, boiling
3 green onions, sliced
1 c. distilled white vinegar
1/2 c. water
1/2 t. salt
1 jallapeno/serano pepper, minced (& seeded), opt.

Combine cabbage and carrot in a bowl. Pour boiling water over mixture and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Drain well. Meanwhile, combine green onions, white vinegar, water, salt and pepper. Dress salad and refrigerate for a minimum of 20 minutes.

Pupusas de Queso (cheese filled tortillas)

2 c. masa harina* (Maseca brand is easy to find)
1+ c. water
1 c. queso fresco**, crumbled

Combine water with masa harina and knead until a moist, smooth dough. Cover for 5-10 minutes. Divide the dough into 1/4, and form into balls. Roll out a ball***. Sprinkle cheese in middle and fold over. Seal edges. Cook on medium-high heated skillet for about 2 minutes per side. Repeat for following 3 tortillas.

Eat the Pupusas de Queso with the Curtido by tearing chunks off the tortilla and using that to grab the slaw or by whatever method you feel comfortable. Take care as the cheese may be very hot. Add salsa

Variation: experiment with the fillings - add jalapeno, salsa, beans, meat, etc.

* DO NOT substitute with corn meal or regular flour. Maseca is found even in my local mass grocery store (and our hispanic food selection is pitiful). Look for it in the baking aisle.
** You can substitute farmer's cheese or mozzarella but this is even in my local grocery and sold under the store brand.
***For a more authentic technique, don't roll but toss between two hands until make a round. Use masa and water to facilitate.

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