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In It To Win It Stuffed Pupusas

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 6 pupusas
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2 1/2 cups masa harina flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt

2 cups water, more or less as needed

1 cup canola oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided

1 cup finely diced Spanish chorizo

1/2 small white onion, finely diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely diced

1/2 Serrano chile pepper, seeded and minced

1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained

1 lime, zested and juiced

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup grated queso quesadilla (or mozzarella)

1 cup grated pepper jack cheese

1 avocado, halved and pitted

1 (4 foot-long) piece parchment paper

1/2 cup plain yogurt, for garnish

1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

Curtido Slaw, recipe follows

Curtido Slaw:

3 cups finely shredded green cabbage (about 1/2 head)

1 cup finely shredded red cabbage

2 cups peeled and finely grated carrots

3 cups white vinegar

1 cup water

4 to 5 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup (1/2-inch) diced pineapple

1/3 cup (1/2-inch) diced mango

2 tablespoons finely minced pickled jalapeno

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the masa harina, cumin, cayenne pepper, and salt and combine well. Add the water, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough forms a ball that can be handled. Form the dough into 12 equal tangerine-size balls, cover with a damp paper towel and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon canola oil and when hot, add the chorizo, saute for 5 to 6 minutes, then add onions, bell pepper and chile pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent, then add the granulated garlic and the beans. Heat through and add the lime zest and juice. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.
  3. Combine the queso quesadilla cheese with the pepper jack in a small bowl, and set aside. Slice the avocado flesh and set aside.
  4. Put 2 balls of masa between 2 sheets of parchment, about 6 inches apart. With a small saute pan or pie dish, apply even pressure until the masa is flat and about 6-inches in diameter. Pull back the parchment and top 1 of the discs with about 2 slices of avocado, then 3 tablespoons of the black bean mixture, and about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture. Top with the second, plain masa round. Replace the parchment over the pupusa and gently press down with the pie plate until 3/8-inch thick, being careful not to crack or blow out the sides.
  5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  6. Heat a large seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add about 2 tablespoons canola oil. With a pastry brush, brush 1 side of the pupusa with remaining oil and add it, oiled side down, to the hot skillet. Cook until golden with darkening areas, about 4 to 5 minutes. Brush the exposed side with oil and gently turn over. Transfer the pupusa to a small sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Arrange the pupusas on a serving platter and serve with plain yogurt, cilantro and Curdito Slaw.

Curtido Slaw:

  1. Put the cabbage and carrots into a large heat-proof bowl and toss to combine well.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add the white vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Pour the boiling mixture into the bowl, covering the cabbage and carrots and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain off the liquid and spin in a salad spinner or drain in a colander, pressing out as much liquid as possible.
  3. Return the cabbage to bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Let set at room temperature until cool, then refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve as an accompaniment to pupusas or as a side dish. Can be made ahead or canned, if desired.