Saturday, May 3, 2008



Well if that doesn't sound naughty I don't know what does.

I made these for dinner last night. We a table full of wonderful guests who all brought wine and wicked desserts.

My sister Lisa was visiting from Hawaii and brought one of her best friends who is a sex therapist, you know that made for spicy conversation. We had a two midwives, two nurses, a high school teacher, an artists, a genius contractor, an engineer and yes a sex therapist who rocked us.

I decided to make pupusa because it is easy and everyone gets to help. It is one of the easiest things to make and yes it is vegetarian.

Pupusa is a Salvadorian dish, it is a corn masa pocket full of yummy, cheesy filling. I am not sure what is in a traditional pupusa but this is how I do it.

You need to hit the grocery store:

Instant Corn Masa, it is where all the Mexican food is and comes in a big bag, don't worry once you try these you will want to make more and the flour keeps forever.

Cheese, you can pick the cheese you like best but I use a combination of mozzarella and Cotija. I am generally lazy so I get my cheese grated.

Olive oil, you should have gallons of this at home but if you don't it is time to buy it.

Mild Green Chili's, you can be a purist and buy them fresh, roast and peel them or you can be smart and go all the way back to the Mexican food isle and get a couple cans of Ortega green chili's in the can. Get extra they are yummy in scrambled eggs.

Corn, a simple can of corn or you can run over to Trader Joe's and buy some of my favorite corn salsa (the chip isle) this stuff rocks, rocks, rocks.

Salsa, buy your favorite but please, please don't buy the stuff meant for dipping chips into at a super bowl party. Get the fresh kind that is refrigerated.

A head of purple cabbage, don't make that face, you are going to like this I promise.

Onion, green, white, purple, it is up to you.

If you don't have vinegar in your pantry then you are not human. White balsamic is best for this recipe but any vinegar will work.

Salt and pepper.

If you want to serve some sides you can always cook up some rice and heat a can of black beans.
If you have never made rice here is the skinny.

I use brown rice because I am one of those people who like it. This works with white too.

Get two cups of water boiling in a sauce pan.
Add one cup of rice.
Let it get all hot and boily again for about five minutes, pop on the lid, turn the heat down to very low and ignore it until dinner is ready.

OK lets make pupusa... if you are making this with friends who have killed three bottles of wine before dinner don't expect them to be pretty, the friends will be pretty but the pupusa will not.

So put some corn masa in a big mixing bowl and add some water. I don't measure, again because I am lazy, just keep adding water until it becomes a soft dough. Now cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest.

While that is doing it's thing cut your purple cabbage up nice and thin. Purple cabbage is your friend, and it is very pretty.

Put the cabbage in another big bowl and add a little olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and about a teaspoon of sugar. Don't worry about the measurements, dress it a little heavier than a salad.
Toss it, cover it and wash your hands.

I have a granite counter top because my husband loves me and after twelve years he finally got tired of me complaining about our ugly tile counter tops from the 70's. I wet the granite a little and lay down a strip of plastic wrap. This will be were you will roll out your masa. Don't try to flour your counter, use the plastic it less mess, and it is much easier.

This is a lot more fun if you have been drinking and speak really bad Spanish.

Roll two balls of corn masa, they should be bigger than a golf ball but smaller than a baseball. If you have drunk friends expect a lot of sexual innuendo about balls at this point.

Put your balls on the plastic wrap and give them a little pat and mash (more ball jokes here) put another sheet of plastic over your smashed balls and roll them flat and thin with a rolling pin.

They should be as thin as a regular tortilla. Peel the plastic off and on one of the smashed balls add cheese, a little corn, some onion, and green chili. Let everyone make it the way they like.

Carefully place the second smashed ball on top of you little pizza you just made and seal up the sides like a little pie.

The plastic helps you lift and transfer.

In a skillet add olive oil and heat to med-high. The pupusa gets to fry on each side for about ten minutes. Adjust the heat as you go, the dough needs to cook and the filling needs to steam and melt so you don't want it to cook too quickly.

To serve you simply plate the pupusa with the purple cabbage and a little salsa. The combination is heavenly.

We made a pile of these yummy things, had a big green salad, brown rice, and black beans. I served three different salsas: a fire roasted, a pico Di gallo, and a mango salsa.

For desert we had vegan chocolate cake and a huge fruit tart from whole foods.

My sister lit about a million candles and we all squeezed in around the table and ate, talked, laughed and listened to my son sing two beautiful songs.

Thank you Lisa for being here, we wanted more of you. Thank you Sarah for keeping our glasses filled and for making the table so beautiful. Thank you Steve for working so hard to make nights like this happen.

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