I was raised on quesadillas. Whole wheat tortillas, a Mexican cheese blend, and some refried beans were a staple in our house. Baleadas are pretty similar to that! They’re sold as a street food in Honduras, and I can see why- they’re quick, easy to […]
If you liked the Bruneian Murtabak, you’re going to love this. These are a popular street food in El Salvador- and I think they’re going to become a staple here. Usually, papusa are served with a cabbage and jicama slaw, but I couldn’t find jicama anywhere, so I just threw in a ton of cilantro! When in doubt, throw in a ton of cilantro. Who said that? Confucius?
1 ½ c flour
9 tablespoons water (AKA ½ C water plus one tablespoon)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Refried beans, cheese, chorizo, black beans- anything goes!
2 cups cilantro, chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cayenne.
Pour the flour
and salt into a bowl. Mix them together with a wooden spoon. Or spatula. Or your bare hands.
Now pour in the oil and water. That’s really all you need. And I don’t know if I’ve stressed this enough- THESE ARE SO GOOD. They’ll make you forget about the dumpster fire that this country is! And not many things can do that.
So mix it all up, it might seem like too much flour, but use a bit of elbow grease, and it’ll all be peachy. It’ll be a bit rough, so knead it!
Kneading does wonders for dough. You could make this in a stand mixer, and use the dough hook, but it can’t compare to when you do it by hand. Plus, it’ll give you muscles. I’m all for anything that gives you muscles. Except, you know, weights and push ups. That’s boring. Once it’s all smooth, divide the dough into chunks, and sprinkle some flour on a cutting board.
Pour some oil into a deep frying pan, and heat it up.
Roll around a piece of dough, and flatten it with a tortilla press, rolling pin, or your bare hands. I had neither the time nor the inclination to do the first two, and you know what? The papusas turned out just fine.
Plop in some refried beans, and then grudgingly grate some cheese,
and throw that in there. Except for the cheese grating part, this is a lot of fun to make. I’m a big believer in not doing anything I don’t enjoy. Have you seen the psycho in chief? Enjoy life while you still can. Buy the shoes. Ask your mom to grate the cheese.
Now fold the edges up, so it looks kind of like a dumpling, and then flatten it. On the outside, it’s an unassuming disk of dough. On the inside? Creamy beans, spicy cheese, and lotsa love. Don’t judge by appearances! However, if someone is wearing so much spray tan they look like a cheeto gone very wrong (Looking at you, Tapioca Lungfish), run.
Carefully place it into the oil- I put it on a slotted spatula and lower it. Hot oil splashing everywhere is the last thing you want.
Continue the process of rolling, stuffing, and frying the papusa until all the dough is gone (snack on one while you cook. It’s hard work, you know!)
and in the meanwhile, make the slaw! Slice up the cabbage and cilantro and throw it in. This is somewhat similar to a coleslaw, which I would eat 3 times a day and twice on Monday if I could. I missed the bite of the jicama, though! If you can get your hands on any, definitely use it.
Pour in the milk, mayo, and vinegar- it’s okay if it has some lumps. Then add in the spices, and some salt,
and toss it with tongs. Taste it- you might need to add some sugar.
Serve the papusas with a healthy serving of slaw- this makes a great lunch, dinner, breakfast, snack, or brunch! I’m eating one right now
It’s the first recipe in the Bs! It took me a while to get around to this one. I kept getting distracted by things like ‘the sauce’. We should get something out of the way: Souse isn’t as photogenic as, say, dandelion green pesto or double chocolate chip cookie pancakes. It’s delicious, what it lacks in the looks department, it certainly makes up for in the taste department.
5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (not shown)
2 small onions
10 cloves garlic
1 bunch cilantro
3 cups water (not shown)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (not shown)
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
Let’s start by making the marinade for the chicken! Juice three of the limes.
If you’re cool and have upper body strength, squeeze them by hand, if you’re me, use a citrus reamer. Save the squeezed limes, we’ll need them later. Pour in the oil,
and then dump in all the spices.
A pinch of salt is good at this point, so don’t take my instructions with a pinch of salt. That was horrific. Next, peel half the garlic. You can do it the old fashioned, genteel way by peeling it with a paring knife, or you can grab a wooden spatula or chef’s knife (or your fist, if you’re really hardcore) and smash it.
Dump the garlic cloves into the marinade, whole.
Now throw the chicken in, stir it a bit so the chicken gets coated, and then throw in the squeezed limes!
No one who eats Souse will have any trouble with scurvy or vampires. Cover it, and let it marinade for 1-2 hours. Any longer than that and you risk making the surface of the chicken mushy, from all the acid. Prep the vegetables next- when I’m working with vegetables that need to be peeled, like the onion, potatoes, carrots, and garlic I’m using today, I like to cover the cutting board with a paper towel, and use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrots and potatoes onto the paper towel, and then peel the onion and garlic into it.
That way, all I have to do is fold up the paper towel and throw it away. Or you could throw it on a compost heap, if you don’t have the same aversion to sunlight and gardening that I do. Slice the carrots into rings, mince the garlic, and slice the onion and potatoes into chunks.
Throw them all into a Dutch Oven if you’ve got one, or any other heavy, flat bottomed pot.
Add in some oil and salt for moisture and flavor, and be sure to keep it on high heat. You just want to sear them, as they’ll be stewing later. Next, chop about half the cilantro, and get the juice of 1 ½ more limes.
Throw in the squeezed limes, juice, and half the cilantro. Stir it around so everything’s coated in cilantro.
I love using cilantro. It just makes everything look so pretty! Now throw in the chicken, marinade and all, but be sure to remove the limes that were in the chicken and throw them away. Or onto a compost heap. But those were with raw chicken. Does that matter with soil? I’m not the most knowledgeable about things concerning the outdoors. Anyways! Throw in the cilantro left from when you sliced it, stir it in, and pour in three cups of water, a pinch more salt, and a dash of sugar.
Now put the lid on, and walk away for 55 minutes. Put a pot of rice on about 30 minutes after you put the lid on. You’ll come back to this!
The water and marinade have reduced, the chicken has been braised, and the vegetables are soft, but not mushy. Yum. I don’t care if it’s a cliche to say that on a cooking blog. It’s yummy, and I don’t care who knows it. To serve, spoon (or fork, I don’t judge. Is forking a verb?) some rice into a bowl, heap some Souse on, and top it all with a bunch of fresh cilantro! This is one heck of a lunch. Or dinner. Or breakfast. Or snack. Bottom line, it’s good!
Here’s the printable recipe, with ingredients and instructions: Souse- The Bahamas
I love steak. I also love chimichurri. It’s one of my favorite condiments. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, on the most basic level, it’s a parsley-based condiment from South America.
Think of it as South American pesto! And when you whip up a fresh batch, marinade a juicy steak in it, and grill it… Oh my. I’m getting a deja vu-ish feeling! Let’s make it. Let’s make it soon. Let’s make it NOW!
1 cup flat leaf parsley
⅔ cup cilantro
¼ cup white vinegar
7-8 cloves garlic (I mean it)
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps cool water
2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 ribeye steak
1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 sprig cilantro
Start with a blender.
Well, you don’t need a blender, technically. I guess you could also use a food processor, immersion blender, or if you’re feeling sassy, a mortar and pestle! But today I’m using a blender. First, throw in the parsley and cilantro, and give them both a whir, just to get them broken up a bit.
Keeping the blender on low, gradually pour in the oil, water, and vinegar.
Let it sit and get pretty for a moment while you peel the garlic.
You don’t have to use it all… But if you’ve read any of my posts you know I really like garlic. I like to smash it with a knife or wooden spoon, and then throw it all in and give it a pulse. I hate mincing garlic. I love using it, but I’ve always thought mincing it was a pain. Now pulse it in,
and then toss in the spices.
I am physically and mentally incapable of using any less than 3 spices in any of my recipes, sweet or savory. I just can’t do it. I start twitching, which is a bad thing to do when you’re holding a knife. Give it one last whir, just to get everything incorporated…
And you have chimichurri! I love it when that happens. Now, find a steak. That was a weird way to put it. I made it sound like there might be one under the sink. If you ever find a steak under your sink… Something ain’t right. Here’s a steak! Right from the fridge. Toss it in a zipper bag,
and pour the chimichurri right over it, reserving a little bit.Now let it marinade for about 4-8 hours, depending on how much time you have. 10 minutes works good too. It would be nice to have a pot of rice on now,
by the way. When the steak(s) have marinaded for however long you want them to, throw them on a grill/grill pan!
Cook them to your preferred temperature (I like ‘em medium myself), then serve them with rice and extra chimichurri!
Here’s the printable recipe, with ingredients and instructions: Argentina