Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Viva Valentine's

Since Tony had to work late on Monday, we celebrated our Valentine's Day on Tuesday, when he had the day off.

I don't cook from Viva Vegan that often. I think it's a fantastic resource, but many of the recipes require either advance preparation or ingredients that are not found at my supermarket. Still, Tony loves his spicy food, so I promised I would cook him a Latin feast.
Here we go!  Did I mention the advance preparation? I started making this stuff on Sunday...

Annatto-Infused Oil (looks like grape jelly, doesn't it?)

Chimichurri Sauce

Latin Tomato Sauce

Salvadorian Marinated Slaw

Pickled Red Onions

 Chorizo Seitan Sausage

 Creamy Corn-Filled Emapanadas

The plan was to serve corn empanadas with chimichurri sauce, and then chorizo-and-mushroom-stuffed pupusas topped with the slaw, pickled onions, tomato sauce, and avocado.

The empanadas turned out great. The corn filling was slightly sweet, with a nice hint of basil. They paired well with the tangy chimichurri sauce.

The pupusas were another story...

I had diligently read the section in Viva Vegan where Terry explains the difference between masa harina, which is used for pupusas, and masarepa, which is used for other stuff.  Off I went to the supermarket. In the Latin foods aisle, I found masarepa and maiz de harina. Those were my only choices and, since I knew masarepa was out of the question, I bought the maiz de harina. Sounds close enough, right? No. My pupusa "dough" looked like watery cornmeal (which it was, actually). Sadness. So we improvised, piling the pupusa fillings/toppings on top of tortilla chips. 

I'm pretty sure I've seen masa harina (it can also be labeled maseca...just not maiz de harina!) at the Wal-Mart a few towns over, so one of these days I'll drive down there and then we will have our pupusas. In the meantime, the makeshift nachos were pretty delicious. But the chorizo was my favorite out of everything.  It got nice and crispy in the saute pan without having to add any oil, and it's super spicy. I can't wait to put the leftovers in some breakfast burritos.

Have you made pupusas or anything else with masa harina? How did it go for you?


  1. Okay, first off, I'm totally impressed with the wonderful meal you served Tony. Secondly, you had my tongue twisting in all different directions trying to pronounce the ingredients and the names of the dishes. I think however it turned out, it must have been delicious!

  2. I've made pupusas with masa harina, and actually found them pretty easy to make, so here's hoping you can find some!

  3. Wow! This meal looks awesome! I hope Tony was grateful....In my house if it takes more than about 30-45 minutes of prep we do not eat it! If he was not grateful you can be my Valentine next year.

  4. I have not used masa harina, but I AM very impressed with your meal.