Pupusas, tortillas, and empanadas

Saturday morning I woke up especially energetic and decided to make pupusas for breakfast.  Pupusas are a Salvadorean stuffed pancake made with corn masa flour and usually cheese,  sometimes refried beans or pork. I made my filling out of shredded Pepper Jack cheese, sour cream, a little chopped poblano, and a few leftover red beans. They were quick to make and quite tasty. They are certainly easier and quicker than tamales, that’s for sure! I  think that these would be a great addition/variation to Mike’s lunchbox, and I’m excited about trying them with some other types of fillings such as crab, sweet potato, and onion. The filling has to be sort of paste-like so that it can be squished flat without popping out of the masa dough that encloses it.

Tonight I made a small stack of thick corn tortillas for Mike. Several years ago while in Houston we found some thick corn tortillas at a Fiesta Food Mart, and Mike has been craving them ever since. Here’s my method for making “enhanced” tortillas.


  • 1 cup Maseca brand instant masa harina
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 small minced poblano pepper
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin and coriander (mixed)Stack of "enhanced" corn tortillas hot off the griddle
  1. Knead the dough lightly and form into large egg sized balls, then slightly flatten the balls.
  2. Place each dough disc between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently press in a tortilla press or roll out with a rolling pin.
  3. Carefully peel away the plastic wrap and lay on a medium hot griddle. Flip after a minute or two.

For my next masa adventure, I’m going to make some empanadas with a masa dough. The dough in this Columbian fried empanada recipe calls for masa, salt, brown sugar, and meat stock, while this baked empanada recipe uses a combination of wheat flour and masa.


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