Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Llapingachos and Pupusas: The Daring Cooks

Late again, that's me. The Daring Cooks' challenge this month was to make patties of some sort. I must admit, I wasn't too enthused at first, as challenges recently have been less than challenging. I kind of like looking for obscure ingredients and making time consuming dishes. Since that wasn't necessary, I challenged myself to make a dish I had enjoyed in Ecuador and another from El Salvador that I have loved for a long time but never eaten. And you know what? I loved the challenge. I would probably never have got to making either of these things without it. So thanks,  Lisa and Audax!
First up are the llapingachos. I had these as part of my first meal in Ecuador, in Quito and I also had them when I visited Cuenca. They were not common on the coast, but they really hit the spot on those chilly nights at high altitude. And they were fun to order too. Llapingachos are a kind of mashed potato cake, seasoned and coloured with achiote. Inside is melty cheese and they are topped with an interesting array of toppings. First was a warm peanut sauce with hard-boiled egg, pickled onions, tomato and salsa. You can also see the avocado behind, but it just wouldn't fit on top. Actually the llapingachos I had in Ecuador didn't have the peanut sauce but I quite liked the combination.
The melted cheese. Mmm.
Next up was pupusas, something I've been eating for years. Unfortunately they are hard to find here so I don't have them as often as I'd like. Now that I know how easy they are to make, I think they'll be making many more appearances on the table. Pupusas are masa cakes stuffed with any combination of cheese, beans or meat. The ones in the photo have leftover pulled pork in them, but my favourites were the cheese ones. 
The pupusas are topped with curtido, a slightly pickled coleslaw. I also like a bit of plain tomato sauce on mine, but I don't know if that's traditional. The ones in the photos are cracked because I refrigerated them overnight before cooking them, but it really should be done last minute. They only take a few minutes to form and 5 minutes a side to cook.
There's melty cheese in here too. Can you find it?
Thanks to Lisa and Audax for a great challenge. Here is the original challenge pdf, though I didn't use any of the recipes. Click on the names for recipes for llapingachos, peanut sauce, pupusas and curtido.

Blog-checking lines: The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!




17 comments:

Lyuba @ Will Cook For Smiles said...

Wow! All these sound very interesting and very intriguing!! I would love to try these some day!
Thank you for sharing!

Come see me at http://www.willcookforsmiles.com/2012/02/daring-kitchen-flipping-patties.html

Gingered Whisk said...

Wow, great job! Both your patties look awesome! I've been wanting to try a papusa for a while now, I might have to try this recipe! And the other one (not even going to attempt that name, haha) sounds amazing! I definitely want to try one of those someday! Awesome job, as usual!!

shelley c. said...

Wow. What great choices, and a great way to get yourself more pumped about the challenge! While they both look outstanding, those llapingachos, with the melty cheesy middles, are totally speaking to me. Amazing job!

Monkeyshines in the Kitchen said...

Wow!! Your pupusas look phenomenal. We get them for our Saturday breakfast every week at the farmers market and often think of making them, but haven't yet dared to. Your version is inspiring me to just get on with it. The curtido looks perfect too!

(BTW, the ones we get always have a tomato sauce on them too)

Todd M said...

They all look great - never saw anything like these when I was in Machala - was only there for a week though.

Nish said...

Wow I've never heard of either dish but they sound delicious - the combination of flavours must be stunning!

Well done and here's to hoping that the next month's challenge would be something ridiculously challenging ;)

Suz said...

What a brilliant interpreation of the challenge. Llapingachos and Papusas are new to me, but they look mouthwateringly good. I'm in love with that top picture!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

LOVE pupusas, tons of restaurants serve it in Montreal. Llapingachos are new to me and I am really curious to try these. Great choices.

Kathlyn said...

So excited you made llapingachos! We just discovered them at a restaurant around the corner and my husband asked if we could make them...well, he actually asked if we could make that beef thing with the potatoes and the peanut sauce. I didn't realize until this morning that the "llapingachos" were the potatoes with the sauce. Such a yummy interpretation of this challenge!

Jo said...

Oh my, I need to make some llapingachos! They look fantastic and right up our alley!

Audax said...

WOW OMG so many interesting and intriguing recipes and they look so wonderful, the photos look so professional also well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia

Lisa said...

OK..so I've never heard of either, but boy do they both look amazing. I love that you revisited Ecuador for your first patty, and those Pupusas I definitely want to try! Such a unique and international take on the challenge!

crumbsoflove said...

I have a pupusa bar down the dtreet from me and LOVE them! I am so excited to try them on my own. Thanks for the recipe. Best, Sandie

Cher Rockwell said...

I love your take on this month's challenge. It seems like part of the challenge was coming up with a challenge!

Jojo said...

Congrats on coming up with such a challenging challenge! I have never heard of llapingachos, but have had pupusas. They look delicious. You're giving me great ideas to use that masa I have in the cupboard. As always, beautiful and delicious photos :-)

Renata said...

I remember seeing these at the forum and I have to say they sound so delicious! I always look forward to your results because I know you are going to introduce us to some really authentic and good stuff! Hats off to you, Mary!

Valérie said...

I can't believe how creative you were with this challenge! So informative and delicious-looking!