Fried Egg Pupusas
I bought a tortilla press earlier this summer on impulse. It’s one of those single-purpose tools that has the very real potential to be used once, and then left, forgotten, in the back of the cabinet. (I have one of those cabinets, where kitchen tools go to die. Confession: it really hurts when I buy a tool, get home, and then dig through the cabinet, only to find I already had it. I’ve done that more than once.)
But not this summer. Much like the discovery of homemade pita bread (which absolutely rocks, folks), I wanted to enjoy fresh tortillas — lots of veggie wraps with crunchy summer produce. The grocery store selection is okay (the exception being soft corn tortillas, which must be purchased in bags of, I think, 50 — who, other than a family of 10, needs 50 corn tortillas for a weeknight meal?), but the freshness factor leaves something to be desired.
And tortillas — both corn and whole wheat — are so easy to make, it’s almost a crime not to make them fresh when you have a few extra minutes to spare. (Note: a tortilla press is not really required, but the fudging methods for flattening out the dough are iffy, and the press is just so easy — squeeze, and done. It was a worthwhile purchase.)
Searching for fool-proof tortilla recipes led me to other tortilla variations, like today’s pupusas, a stuffed tortilla native to El Salvador. Think corn flour quesadillas, only sealed around the edges. Made with fragrant masa harina and salty, melty Mexican quesillo cheese, this quick-to-make tortilla is the perfect vehicle for dipping in salsa or guacamole … or, my favorite, topped with an over-easy egg.
Like traditional flat tortillas, it really didn’t occur to me to talk about pupusas on this blog, until last week, when The Kitchn — one of my happy-place, regular stops on the Interwebs — rightly recognized the brilliance of it and published their recipe for pupusas. [Click!] (That’s the sound of my brain turning on, at last.) And so I just had to share my version, with the egg. It makes an amazing summer lunch (and, I predict a winter one, as a side with soup).
Although the dough is whipped up in minutes — mix water and masa harina, shape, and stuff (no resting period necessary) — and cooked up in about six, you easily make extra pupusas to freeze (before cooking) for a super-fast weeknight meal.
Pupusas are traditionally served — sans fried egg — with a side of vinegary, fermented slaw, called curtido, but I served mine with a big helping of my summery Crunchy Corn Slaw (watch for the post and recipe shortly).
The pupusas secret is out, because some things are too good not to share.