Sunday, August 19, 2012

Tortilla Flats

We’ve been eating at the farmer’s market every weekend, and the choices are fairly limited. However, the one choice that we really like comes each week, so it’s a win-win situation, though the crowds at the market have been thin. I’m not sure how long the market will last, but I don’t think the community has come out as strongly as they had hoped.

Either way, we’re guilty of the same. As much as we go and support the vendors, it can get expensive week after week buying supper at the market. This always leads to extraneous purchases of bread and beverages that the kids want and I feel obligated to buy since these guys are our friends. This past week we decided to skip the market and make the same food we buy at home. Our favorite meal of choice are pupusas and tamales, which Mama Tina makes. They are excellent, and come with this amazing Salvadoran cole slaw and salsa. We can make the salsa, it’s the cole slaw that’s been the challenge. That, and of course, the pupusas.

The slaw seems pretty straightforward, but the question became how they prepared it. It’s funny how some recipes never seem to work out the way you want them to. Some say to leave it raw and let it cure, others say to blanche it. I tried varying degrees of both, and they came out okay, but not as good as theirs. I finally tried doing a flash stir fry in olive oil, and that came out well. We went with it.

The pupusas are basically stuffed tortillas filled with whatever you want, though we go with the black beans. You make the dough and then form it into a ball. From there, you make a bowl, fill it, then flatten and heat. Flattening it isn’t easy, and I ended up getting a tortilla press that works beautifully. The recipe calls for heating it on a hot pan, but I add a little bit of oil and it comes out nicely. Throw on the slaw and salsa, and you have a meal.

Best of all, because we’re making them, we can eat to our heart’s content. They’re not as outstanding as Mama Tina’s, but pretty close. In the end, that’s good enough, and we save money and get to stuff ourselves. Enough said.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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