Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Papusas Failures- MoFo Post Eighteen

Post #18 for Vegan MoFo 2013. 

Papusa failures. Don't they look good though?
Only a couple of posts left for the month of September and MoFo 2013! I made it to post 17 without a failure......then came the post 18 about papusas! So here you have it! My failure for MoFo. I think it is important to share our successes and our failures. We are all creators and every creation cannot be a success, I feel as though I have had many failures that lead me to successes. As I read all of these lovely blogs full of successes, I wonder about the failures. Not because I am a crumudgen who wants my fellow MoFo'ers to fail, but because it brings out the humanity. I have seen several blogs this year with failures and it gave me the courage to post about one of my own.

Many years ago, we had a restaurant in the area that served Nicaraguan and and Salvadorian food. One of my favorite items on the menu were the papusas. They came with a meat and a vegetarian option. The veg option had beans and cheese. They were crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The dough seemed to be made of corn flour of some sort. They were a favorite served with salsa, rice, and beans. I was sad when the restaurant went out of business as they had so many dishes that I had never seen before. 

These are the papusa balls before I shaped and stuffed them
Since that restaurant, I have had papuses one other time. They were at a place that told me they were gluten free, but then I later found out that they used the same oil as gluten (therefore not gluten free). Since that incident, I have wanted to try the round gooey pockets. I reviewed techniques online and set out to make them using what I thought was going to be my own spectacular recipe. 

I encountered trouble as soon as I started putting the papusas together. I was not able to get a proper seal and many of the pockets leaked the filling. I pan fried them in a little bit of oil and they were heavy and oily tasting. I used olive oil, which was probably among one of my many mistakes. The oil flavor was not appealing one bit with the corn flour. My second mistake was that I used masarepa from my very successful arepa posting earlier in the month. It felt like the flour was a bit too dense for the papusa. From what I had seen online, masa harina is commonly used. 

The papusa pockets were heavy, oily, and did not have enough vegan cheese in them. I was not able to get much filling inside the pockets and the beans seemed to dry the inside out. There was obviously a technique that I was missing. They were not inedible, but they were not something I would ever want to eat again. I plan to remake them again, but will most likely follow a recommended recipe. 

This failure, led me to think of another idea that ended up being quite successful (post to follow this week). I would like to know, what have been your cooking 
failures and did they lead you to any successes?


Dawn said...

I was thinking of posting one of my failures as an extra weekend post, but haven't done it yet. I actually attempted to make gluten-free, soy-free hushpuppy wrapped hot dogs. I think the main problem was a mis-measurement on my part. The wrapping was good, but the hot dog was gross.

I'm so glad that you were able to get to a new idea out of this one! It's frustrating to do all that work and feel like you have nothing to show for it.

Lindsay @ KitchenOperas said...

So sorry it didn't work out for you -- there are lots of videos on YouTube that show pupusa technique.

My first batch was really messy, but delicious, so I think it's something you need to get the knack of.

I have found that masa harina works really well for both pupusas and arepas -- hope you can figure it out!

GiGi said...

I hear ya. Sometimes an epic fail is something that tastes okay but is not too pretty looking. Yesterday I attempted to create my very own GF sandwich buns. They looked like rocks, but were edible. You have had major success this mofo :)

Kylie @ FotV said...

I love it when people post failures! Like you said, it adds a human aspect.

I had a major fail trying to make gluten-free brownies on a YouTube video. I filmed everything up until putting them in the oven and then they never set up right. I had spent so much time on the video already I figured I should just post my failure!

Beyond that, I have never even heard of papusas but they sound AMAZING! Not sure I'm brave enough to attempt them though!

Mandee said...

We all have failures, that's for sure! And these still look good :)

There's a pupusa recipe in Viva vegan! it works really well :)