When I’m in a hurry or lazy, I just mix the cheese right into the dough. For a slightly less faux version, shape the dough into balls, then poke a hole in the center to make a “pinch bowl”; stuff as much shredded cheese as you can inside, then close up the dough ball, flatten, and cook as below.
Put the masa harina in a medium bowl and stir in the warm water and salt to make a soft dough. Knead in the cheese. Shape the dough into eight Ping-Pong–size balls, then flatten into
Heat a large cast-iron griddle (or use a skillet or sauté pan and work in batches) over medium-high heat. When a drop of water on the surface evaporates immediately, it’s hot enough. Arrange the masa rounds on the griddle and cook until the bottom is brown-flecked, about 4 minutes, then flip and brown the other side, pressing down gently on the top with a spatula; the pupusas will puff up a bit in spots (and probably ooze a little cheese, which is fine). Serve hot.
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