Salvadoran Cheese & Bean Papusas With Curtido
July 09, 2017
"Salvadoran pupusas are a stellar corn flour pancake stuffed with fillings such as shredded cheese and braised meats, then griddled. Pupusas have the advantage of being stuffed before they're cooked, ensuring an irresistible gooey layer of cheese inside. Our recipe features a simple refried bean filling in addition to melted Oaxacan cheese, and gets topped with curtido, a simple cabbage, carrot and onion slaw."
- FOR QUICK MASA DOUGH
- FOR PERFECT REFRIED BEANS
- FOR QUICK CURTIDO
- FOR PUPUSASAS
- Serving Size: 1 (772.1 g)
- Calories 1089.1
- Total Fat - 48.2 g
- Saturated Fat - 20.3 g
- Cholesterol - 62.1 mg
- Sodium - 2267.9 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 135.8 g
- Dietary Fiber - 16.1 g
- Sugars - 22.3 g
- Protein - 35.5 g
- Calcium - 1113.6 mg
- Iron - 13.3 mg
- Vitamin C - 147.4 mg
- Thiamin - 1.8 mg
TO MAKE THE QUICK MASA DOUGH
In a mixing bowl, combine masa harina, flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to incorporate. Drizzle lard evenly over dry ingredients and whisk again util mixture forms pea-sized balls.
Scrape dough from whisk. Add water and, using a wooden spoon, mix to thoroughly combine. Scrape dough from spoon and, using your hands, knead dough briefly, just until it comes together in a smooth ball, about 2 minutes.
Cover bowl with a towel and let rest for 15 minutes before proceeding.
TO MAKE THE PERFECT REFRIED BEANS
In a large pot, cover the beans with cold water by at least 2 inches.
Add herb sprigs, the whole onion half, and garlic cloves and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until beans are very tender, about 1 to 2 hours. Season with salt. Drain beans, reserving bean-cooking liquid. You should have about 3 cups of cooked beans; if you have more, measure out 3 cups of beans and reserve the rest for another use.
Discard herb sprigs, onion, and garlic.
In a large skillet, heat lard, bacon drippings, or oil until shimmering, or butter until foaming, over medium-high heat.
Add minced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and lightly golden, about 7 minutes.
Stir in beans and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of reserved bean-cooking liquid. Using bean masher, potato masher, or back of a wooden spoon, smash the beans to form a chunky purée; alternatively, use a stick blender to make a smoother purée.
Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until desired consistency is reached; if refried beans are too dry, add more bean-cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed. Season with salt.
TO MAKE THE QUICK CURTIDO
In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, onion, carrot, and jalapeño, if using.
In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, salt, and sugar a cook over medium heat, stirring, until salt and sugar are just dissolved.
Pour brine over vegetables and toss to combine.
Cover and refrigerate for one hour before serving.
*NOTE 1: Epazote, a Mexican herb, can be found at Mexican grocers. To add other flavors to the refried beans, try sautéing a pinch of ground cumin or fresh chilis with the minced onion, or puréeing toasted dried chilis into the mixture*
PAPUSAS - HOW TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
With lightly oiled hands, form the dough into 2-3 inch diameter balls.
Using your thumb, make an indentation into one of the balls, forming a small cup.
Fill the cup with 1-1 1/2 tablespoons of the refried beans and top it with about ½ tablespoon of the shredded cheese.
Wrap the dough around the filling to seal it, making sure that the filling does not leak.
Pat the dough back and forth between your hands to flatten and form it into a round disk about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
After all the papusas have been formed, lightly rub them with oil and place them on a heated and previously greased griddle over medium heat.
Cook the papusas on each side until golden brown in spots and slightly puffy and cooked through, about 3 – 4 minutes per side.
Serve papusas while still warm with a side of the curtido, hot sauce and lime. Make sure to squirt that lime over the papusas while eating them. Enjoy!
Tips & Variations
No special items needed.