Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pupusas and Pasta

Carbs anyone? We've been so good recently, but Sunday, not so much. It's probably best in my world if I don't cook when I am exhausted.

Baked Pasta with Ricotta and Pork Ragù
Sunday was a brief sliver of time-off between chaotic full houses at the restaurant on Saturday and Monday and I was really tired; really, really tired. If there had been a fridge full of food, I probably wouldn't have done anything but sit and vegetate. But the fridge was pretty barren and we had to go out to schlep 14-year-old to his girlfriend's, so while we were out, we decided to grab a quick bite. I wanted tacos or something of that ilk, something really simple.

Ann remembered that there is a pupuseria down on Valley Avenue (next to Sona) that we have been meaning to try. Rid of teenager, we gave Puerto la Unión Pupuseria a shot. I'm not quite sure what to make of this place, but I want to like it. It was empty when we got there except for a bunch of kids who were playing in the adjoining dining room. We sat in the little dining room into which you enter from the street; it was very cold and very dark, too dark by far to take photos. The booth we sat in had seen better days: the seats were sagging and the springs were poking me in the ass. Definitely a shoestring budget, which I as a fellow restaurateur appreciate fully, given this horrible winter.

I am guessing that the place has changed hands once or twice since opening. The menu is unlike what I have heard others describe in the past and the current menu seems recycled: it says they offer beer but I don't think this owner actually does and it says they accept American Express, which they don't.

In any case, I don't need a menu in a pupuseria. I ordered three pupusas, one each loroco, frijol, and chicharrón. Ann ordered chorizo con huevos. My pupusas were very good and I enjoyed the curtido that came with them. The bean pupusa was my favorite, the loroco my least. Ann's eggs looked terrible and lacking chorizo. She ate them but I could tell she didn't really like them. We both had horchata to drink, Ann's first experience with this beverage. It was too sweet for me and seemed like a commercial mix. I make horchata at times at the restaurant from chufa nuts and then freeze it into sorbet. That way, I get to control the sugar.

In any case, the pupusas were worth returning for. Good to know. Having made gazillions of them at the restaurant, they are not something I want to make at home.

For once, I really didn't want to cook at home on my day off, but at least at dinner I rallied. The thought of not cooking something for my beloved Annie I couldn't bear. She insisted that we stop on the way home and get some pasta, and being as tired as I was, I gave in. Back home, I got a bag of pork ragù out of the freezer.

The result you see above: strozzapreti pasta mixed with my ragù and ricotta cheese, topped with shredded mozzarella and baked. Oh my was it good and sinful! And after weeks of eating well, I felt pretty bad after having eaten it. But I'd do it again!

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