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Cooking fresh tortillas and pupusas on the trail


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Home Forums General Forums Food, Hydration, and Nutrition Cooking fresh tortillas and pupusas on the trail

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  • #1309441
    Greg Pehrson
    BPL Member

    @gregpehrson

    Locale: playa del caballo blanco

    Fresh hot tortillas are one of my favorite things, but I never thought my comal, the traditional metal plate for cooking them over a fire or burner, made sense to carry in my backpack. Until I realized I could flip over my titanium pot lid and use that.

    Here it is, my ti comal over an IKEA woodstove. Originally the pot of homemade dehydrated beans was for dipping the tortillas into, but then we realized we should stuff the tortillas with the beans and some cheese and make pupusas.

    The ingredients pack down small–dehydrated spicy black beans in a sandwich zip lock, masa harina (corn flour) with a little salt in another.
    -Rehydrate the beans in the pot.
    -Set them aside and cover the pot with foil
    -Mix the masa harina with water and make the tortillas a little wetter than normal
    -Heat up the pot lid on the wood stove
    -Cook one side, flip to the other.

    tortillas1

    cheese

    beans

    pupusa

    dinner

    #2040845
    Ken Thompson
    BPL Member

    @here

    Locale: Right there

    Muy bueno

    We were talking about this on our last trip. Smells so good!

    #2040864
    Diane Pinkers
    BPL Member

    @dipink

    Locale: Western Washington

    How long do they take to cook, what did you use to flip them with, can they be thinner? Do you think this would work with a ti lid flipped over on a Caldera Cone?

    #2040867
    Leigh Baker
    Member

    @leighb

    Locale: Northeast Texas Pineywoods

    Looks great! I have a hiking buddy that uses a wood stove, think I'll hit him up to make these if I bring the ingred.

    #2040940
    Greg Pehrson
    BPL Member

    @gregpehrson

    Locale: playa del caballo blanco

    Hi Diane,

    How long they take to cook is dependent on how hot your wood stove is burning (flames or coals) and how thick the tortillas or pupusas are. My pupusas took about twice as long as tortillas because they're huge and stuffed thick. How thick a plain tortilla is depends on your likes and your technique. I used to live in Guatemala, where the tortillas are thicker than in Mexico, because they're used like spoons rather than wraps, so that's the style I make. They are definitely more fragile when you make them thinner, but it just takes practice.

    You'll see the edges getting dry when they're ready to flip. To flip them I used a spoon. It's good to have a pot grabber since there's nothing holding the lid in place. The photo below shows my buddy demonstrating the technique, checking for done-ness.

    sean tortillas

    Also, I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work on a Caldera Cone in wood stove mode. But just like when you use a big pan on a small stove burner, the hottest part is what is directly over the flame.

    Good luck, and enjoy!

    #2043179
    Redacted k
    Spectator

    @some-schmo

    Thanks for this post, I have been craving fresh bready goodness on the trail.

    #2178946
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Excellent food idea. Thanks for sharing it.

    #3445150
    Greg Pehrson
    BPL Member

    @gregpehrson

    Locale: playa del caballo blanco

    On another thread there was a question about the process for making and filling the pupusas.

    -Premix the masa harina with a little salt before the trip.

    -Add water, a little bit at a time. I’m not sure of exact proportions, I do it more by feel. You want the masa harina to be wet enough to not crumble, but dry enough to still be moldable–like cookie dough. I usually do this in a separate bowl or mug to be able to add more masa harina if I accidentally go overboard with the water.

    -Roll it into a ball, then push your thumb tinto the ball to create a little pocket/ divot.

    -Fill the pocket with beans, cheese, loroco, meat, whatever you want the filling to be.

    -Pinch the sides up around the filling as shown in the picture above until the filling is covered. You may need to use a small extra piece of dough here to cover it completely.

    -“Massage” the dough around the filling so you have a pretty even layer of dough around the filling (not thick on bottom and thin on top).

    -Press the ball flat between your palms. It’s kind of a clapping motion, turning your wrists to keep alternating which hand is on top.

    Now it’s ready to cook on the hot plate, as described above.

    It takes a little time, but it’s a really easy and lightweight meal that’s very satisfying.

    #3445165
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    I envisioned a cooked shell split and then stuffed. Your way looks a lot easier. I first thought rice flour was used and wondered how that would taste. Corn meal flour sounds a lot tastier :-) Thanks for the info on how to make them :-)

     

    I like the simplicity of the Ikea stove.

     

    #3445173
    Greg Pehrson
    BPL Member

    @gregpehrson

    Locale: playa del caballo blanco

    The pita-style sandwiches in your post, Dan, remind me a lot more of Venezuela arepas–also delicious, but messier. The nice thing about the filling being completely encased in the pupusa is that they are very portable–make extra and eat them the next day while walking in place of energy bars. At home sometimes I mix instant coffee in with my black beans to make energy beans–while I haven’t incorporated that into pupusas on trail yet, it would be great for breakfast.

    #3445269
    Dan Y
    BPL Member

    @zelph2

    Oh My….fill with chocolate covered roasted coffee beans and strawberry jelly, serve cold. Next time I talk with my daughter I’ll have to ask her to make me a few dozen. Her husband is from Guatemala. His cooking is the best. Daughter is learning fast. ;)

    #3649799
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Bumping a righteous thread because y’all should be practicing your pupusa skills.

    “At home sometimes I mix instant coffee in with my black beans to make energy beans”

    I forgot about coffee black beans. I need to try that.

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