The Tasty – Recipes With Local Cranberries

Ryan Smith and Mike Peters of The Tasty
Ryan Smith and Mike Peters of The Tasty

Located in the heart of Plymouth’s vibrant downtown district, The Tasty is the perfect fusion of New England gastropub and craft cocktail bar. Rustic dishes change with the season, inspired by fresh, locally sourced produce and global cuisine innovation. Artfully crafted cocktails are a highlight and are served up with plenty of hospitality.

Ascending to head chef last summer, with just two years under his belt prior, chef Ryan Smith brings tenured confidence to his evolving menus. Cranberries have played a big role in the restaurant’s cuisine since The Tasty’s launch, five years ago.

“When wholesale markets and our produce vendors start talking in-season fresh cranberries, I immediately switch to a fall menu mindset,” says Smith. “They dominate my inspiration in many different dishes throughout the season, sometimes created just days before they appear on the menu.” Cranberries have appeared in everything from The Tasty’s main courses to hoisin sauce and pickled condiments. 

This harvest season, Ryan put together a pupusa dish (recipe below)- a traditional El Salvadoran corn-rich griddle cake, similar to its Venezuelan parallel, the arepa. The dish is served with a house-made cranberry jam and a spicy crema drizzle, accompanied by slivered fresh jalapeños, cilantro leaves and pickled red onions.

Pupusa with Cranberry Jam and Spicy Crema

Pupusa with Cranberry Jam and Spicy Crema The Tasty
Pupusa with Cranberry Jam and Spicy Crema

Recipe from Chef Ryan Smith, The Tasty

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Ingredients 

 

2 c. masa harina corn flour

1 t. salt (preferably kosher)

1 ½-2 c. cold water

Oaxaca cheese, diced into ½” cubes

Cooking oil or spray

Special equipment:  ¼ c. kitchen scoop

Cranberry Jam (recipe below)

Spicy Crema (recipe below)

Fresh cilantro leaves, sliced jalapenos and/or pickled red onions, for garnish

 

Cranberry Jam

4 c. whole fresh or individually frozen cranberries

2 T. ancho chile powder 

2 t. ground cumin 

1½ t. ground coriander

1 t. dried oregano 

1 t. dried thyme 

¼ t. clove powder 

2 medium Spanish onion, peeled and halved

10 cloves fresh garlic, crushed or coarsely chopped

½ c. granulated sugar

¼ oz. dark chocolate (1 square)

1 stick cinnamon

1 large orange, zested and juiced, both reserved, pith discarded

2 c. water

Salt and black pepper to taste

Cooking oil or spray, to grease the cast iron or grill pan

Preheat a lightly greased cast iron or grill pan until hot. Place onions cut side down in the pan and sear until deeply charred, set aside to cool slightly. 

Carefully dice cooked onion, place in a medium stock pot with remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat until barely simmering. Continue to cook, stirring to scrape the bottom to avoid burning, until all of the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to completely cool to room temperature, preferably overnight or at least until it reaches a firm, barely malleable consistency as it sets. Remove and discard cinnamon stick. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. 

 

Spicy Crema

1 cup sour cream

1 cup hot sauce

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed, finely chopped 

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate until serving.  

 

Note:  The Tasty’s chefs recommend local brand Wisdom Ferments hot sauce, available on Instagram and in select locations.

 

Pupusa Dish Instructions

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the masa harina and salt. Make a well in the center and fill with the cold water.  Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir the mixture until thoroughly combined. Continue to mix by hand until a very soft dough forms. 

Using the kitchen scoop or greased hands, measure masa mixture into 2 ½ oz. balls (about the size of a golf ball), repeating until all of the mixture is divided. Make a deep thumb indentation into each ball.

Place a cube of cheese into the hole, followed by a similar-size spoonful of cranberry jam. Pinch the sides of the dough until it completely encases the filling, then flatten the ball to form a hockey puck-shaped pupusa. Cover the formed pupusas with a kitchen towel or parchment paper to keep the discs from drying out while cooking in batches.

In a deep, large nonstick skillet, heat just enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat until shimmering (to test for the correct temperature:  carefully add a drop of water to the hot oil, which should make it sizzle). Pan fry the pupusas on both sides until golden brown and crispy, about 2-3 minutes each side.  Liberally season immediately with salt to taste. 

Preheat the oven to 200° F. Repeat the pan frying process until all pupusas have been browned.  Place the cooked pupusas onto a sheet pan lined with paper towels to drain. Remove the paper towels and transfer to the pan to the oven to keep warm until serving, if desired. Serve warm with spicy crema, garnished with jalapenos and pickled red onions, if desired.

Note:  Masa harina flour and Oaxaca cheese are available in the international foods section of most grocery stores. 

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